20 votes
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Conjunctive form (e.g. 書き) vs Conj + mono (e.g. 書き物)

Verb stem (masu-stem) as a noun can have various meanings depending on the original verb, and you may not be able to determine its meaning without referring to a dictionary. I generally recommend you ...
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18 votes
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住んでいたい and 住みたい

住みたい means "want to live" and is the default choice. 住んでいたい is its progressive form and is used when there's some sense of progression, which works best when you're already living where you want to ...
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16 votes
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「捨ててしまう」Why are there two て’s used here?

The verb is 捨てる, so its て-form is 捨てて, hence the compound form Vて+しまう becomes 捨ててしまう. If it were the casual ちゃう instead of しまう that you were using, that starts from the て-form too, but also ...
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Can verbs/i-adjectives be indefinitely conjugated, or is there a limit?

Let's talk about something practical first. Something like 食べさせられたくなかったです, beautifully explained in this article, is probably the longest natural verb "form" that may appear in ordinary ...
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15 votes
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Why does 「もう待てないよ!」 mean "I can't wait any longer"?

待って is indeed the te-form, but 待て is not. It is the potential form. Remember that the final う sound becomes an え sound for the potential form of godan verbs? I guess this verb is a little more ...
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14 votes
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Ai oboete imasu ka, what does "imasu" add here?

A note on translation Expressing the same ideas in different languages inevitably results in all kinds of things that don't fit very well, if we try to look only at the individual words used in those ...
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14 votes

When on earth do you use ごろ (goro)?

In English, ~ぐらい and ~ごろ mean about, around, approximately. ~ぐらい is used for approximate quantities, which include duration. このXはいくらぐらいですか。About how much is this X? そのXは500円ぐらいです。 That X is about ...
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14 votes

What conjugation of what word is 出なく?

なって is indeed the te form of なる. 出なく is the morphing of 出ない (the negative form of 出る) to allow it to be connected to another verb. so 出ない + なる becomes 出なくなる (to start not coming out) Adding the te ...
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Conjugated word + んだ vs nonconjugated word + conjugated んだ

無理だったんだ is straightforward, it's a combination of 無理だった ("was impossible") and the explanatory-の. "So it is that it was impossible", "Because it was not possible", "(I failed but) it was impossible (...
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13 votes
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Proper form of なさる - なさります or なさいます

There are five honorific (subsidiary) verbs of almost r-consonant (type I) conjugation that have very peculiar style of irregularity, ending in い in 命令形 (command form) and before ます. plain form   ...
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What is the verb ending of われん mean?

救われん is made of 救われる and the archaic suffix ん, which came out of む. む・ん had similar roles to よう・おう today; that is to say, 救われん in modern style would be 救われよう or 救われるだろう. It is not related to the ん ...
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Break down the phrase "[失礼]{しつれい}しなければならないんです"

失礼{しつれい}しなければならない 失礼 (shitsurei) is "rudeness". 失礼する (shitsurei suru) is "to be rude" 失礼しない (shitsurei shinai) is the negation "to not be rude". 失礼しなければ (shitsurei shinakereba) is a conditional ...
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How to understand みんなしてお出かけですか?

What you're seeing is not お出かけする written in a strange order, but a fixed adverbial phrase みんなして ("get together and (do ~)", "with many others", 一緒になって, 集まって). 大好評 is not a suru-verb in the first place....
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12 votes
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Meaning of 寒くなる vs. 寒くなっています

Actually, because なる is a change of state verb,「寒くなっています」does not mean "it is getting cold", but rather "it is cold"- or more specifically, that it got cold and remains in that state. Any verb that ...
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12 votes

Break down the phrase "[失礼]{しつれい}しなければならないんです"

① Grammar pattern The grammar pattern used here is: V(ない form, and drop the い) + なければならない which means "must V", where V is any verb in the plain negative form (ending in ない) . First drop ...
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What is the meaning of "できたれば"?

This たれ is the realis-form (已然形) of たり, which is an auxiliary in classical/archaic Japanese. This たり is like ている in modern Japanese, and 已然形 + ば means "because". So できたれば translates to ...
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11 votes
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Why is an anachronistic modern conjugation thrown into the lyrics of 軍艦行進曲?

This looks like modern "浮かべる" but it is actually classical "浮かぶ" (四段, "to float") plus what is traditionally taught as the "り" auxiliary verb (助動詞). Etymologically, of course, it is really just "ari" ...
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11 votes
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meaning of 歩けなくなっちゃって

Here's where 歩けなく comes from: Start with the verb 歩く, "to walk". Turn it into its potential form: 歩ける, "able to walk". Make it negative: 歩けない, "unable to walk". Turn the newly formed i-adjective into ...
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11 votes
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Differentiate a cause from a succession of terms in a sentence using ~くて / で

How do you know in English? The degree to which て/で represent causality versus things being simply sequential is ambiguous in nearly the same way that and is ambiguous in the same role in English. ...
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10 votes

Why is intentional form used in 「カラオケに行こうと誘われました」?

You should parse it this way: 近所のひとに『カラオケに行こう』と誘われました。 (lit.) I was invited by my neighbor, (saying) "Let's go to Karaoke." ⇒ My neighbor invited me out to Karaoke. / suggested we go to Karaoke. ...
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Two questions about "can"

First of all, it should be 食べられる rather than 食べれる, although the latter form is used. See this link. Once you have conjugated a verb into the potential form it behaves just like any other iru-eru/...
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10 votes

Why is the potential form of 滑る 滑れる and not 滑られる?

滑る{すべる} is not a 'る' (ichidan) verb, but a godan verb. While it is true that all ichidan verbs end in いる or える, the reverse is not true; 入る{はいる} for example is a godan verb. 滑る conjugates as normal ...
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Where do 覚悟なさい、我慢なさい come from?

意味は同じになるのですが、「我慢しなさい」の「なさい」と「我慢なさい」の「なさい」は、文法的にちょっと異なるもので、 「しなさい」= 動詞「する」の連用形「し」+ やわらかな命令を表す補助動詞「なさい」 「なさい」= 動詞「なす・する」の尊敬語「なさる」の命令形 なので、 「我慢しなさい」は、サ変動詞「我慢する」の連用形「我慢し」+ やわらかな命令を表す補助動詞「なさい」 「我慢なさい」は、...
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9 votes
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Apparent reversals of conjugation patterns in classical 形容詞 and 動詞, origin?

There is no clear-cut etymological explanation, but some think there is a connection. In A History of the Japanese Language (2010), Frellesvig says: The suffixes which attach to the infinitive [i.e. ...
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9 votes
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What conjugation of 願う is 願わくば, and what does it mean here?

This 願わくば is a fixed expression fossilized long ago, and you just have to memorize it without thinking about it too much. It's a literary expression that corresponds to "Hopefully, ..." used as a ...
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