Questions tagged [syntax]

統語論. Rules governing construction of phrases and sentences in a language.

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sentence final を?

I found numerous answers to the question... Does the particle "を" (wo) have a special use when at the end of a sentence? One comment says: It's like Japanese color-by-numbers: the outline is ...
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Is the usage of について here natural?

So , this is a sentence a came across when I was reading about 書体 on Wikipedia 書体(しょたい)とは、一定の文字体系のもとにある文字について、それぞれの字体が一貫した特徴と独自の様式を備えた字形として、表現されているものをいう I feel について here is used as a は (a topic ...
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Meaning of ~だのと in this sentence

I encountered this sentence in a manga and can't quite parse it: 情だの何だのと乳繰り合ってるようなヤツらは踏み台にすればいい Context: a woman is jealous about her love interest getting close with another person (and meeting ...
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What form does 満を持して贈る take on here in this context?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxasEvdWGxo&t=0m30s This is a sentence in a promotional video for an upcoming game. Narrator: このゲームはクエストが満を持して贈るシミュレーションRPG! Google translate gives: This game is a ...
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Break down the sentence 喧嘩{けんか}が強{つよ}い上{うえ}に、男前{おとこまえ}

I can't get the correct translation and understand the structure of this sentence: けんか{kenka}  が{ga} つよい{tsuyoi} うえに{ueni}、おとこまえ{otokomae}。 喧嘩{けんか}が強{つよ}い上{うえ}に、男前{おとこまえ}。 This is a quote said by a ...
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“は…は” usage: What’s the function of the first は?

午後は授業はありません。 I saw this sentence in my book, and from my understanding the second は marks the topic of the sentence, and in some cases “は…は” highlights the contrast between two topics, but in this ...
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clauses within clauses

Recently I was reading「鶴の笛」by (林芙美子) and came across this sentence: 若木の林のなかは、ところまだらに陽の光が煙っていて美しい景色でした。 Am I correct in assuming that this would be read as two clauses joined with the conjunctive ...
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What does なり mean and how is ように used in this sentence?

化粧をすると、声が高く、大きくなり、相手の目をよく見て話すようになるそうです。 My understanding: When you wear makeup, your voice becomes higher and stronger [the なり grammar I don't understand], and your partner [becomes able to do ...
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What does this double entendre じゃなかったらいいのかよ mean?

「テレビ番組を勝手にアップロードするのは違法だからな」 「10年以下の懲役か1000万円以下の罰金か、その両方だ」 Teacher talking to 3 students: It's illegal to upload TV programs without permission. You can get up to 10 years of hard labor... ...10 ...
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柴門を雇うなんてチーム, 柴門なんてを雇うチーム, 柴門を雇うチームなんて

津田監督に逆らって柴門を雇うなんてチームはどこにもいませんよ。 The placement of なんて feels most unlikely to me. I would expect 津田監督に逆らって柴門なんてを雇うチームはどこにもいませんよ。 or 津田監督に逆らって柴門を雇うチームなんてはどこにもいませんよ。 I have always been hesitant about ...
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A は A、 B は B Please help in parsing this sentence 「油ものは油もの、茶飲み茶碗は茶飲み茶碗と」

This is from Hayashi Fumiko's writing titled 生活 describing the author's daily life in 1935. 夕御飯が済んで、小さい女中と二人で、油ものは油もの、茶飲み茶碗は茶飲み茶碗と、あれこれと近所の活動写真の話などをしながらかたづけものをして、剪花(きりばな)に水を替えてやっていると、...
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Particle に (point in time) without a verb

Could the particle に (point in time) be in a sentence that doesn't end on a verb? For example: 火曜日に日本語の勉強です。 If incorrect, could anyone explain why? Could it be that time-indicator に always needs a ...
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Please explain how this "joke" works, ダーウンロードってかぁ

I have no idea how this joke is even supposed to be a joke. In this video, 3 kids are laughing at the idea of uploading: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2qxzVteHto&t=0m12s 「だいたいアップロードってなんだよ?...
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How exactly are 準体助詞 and 形式名詞 different? In what regard? And where does の stand?

I have read several definitions (e.g. here and here) and explanations (here for example), but I am not sure any real differences are drawn except one is 助詞, the other 名詞. The list given for 形式名詞: ...
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Are 接続詞 a syntactically unified class or classes of words, and what are the rules governing them?

A recent comment under a question of mine prompted me to consider how 接続助詞 work syntactically, and to discover that different ones follow different 形 (Japanese Wikipedia has a nice list). However, no ...
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Are 並立助詞 (Parallel-marking particles such as とか・や・…) coordinating conjunctions?

Assuming that a coordinating conjunction is a conjunction which links two phrases of the same phrase type (e.g. NPs) and create a larger phrase of the same type, it seems to me 並立助詞 should be ...
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Nested が in the form Aが(Bが...)

Please excuse me for not using the proper grammar jargons. I am trying to parse the following sentence. (It is taken from this book. For this post it is crucial that I should not make a mistake ...
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"Binding" order of adjectives

Related: Order of multiple nouns and adjectives modifying the same noun I've come across an instance of the adjective ambiguously belonging to a noun in songs, but I'm never sure which is the correct ...
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Grammatical/syntactical implication of なお

I've encountered the below sentence, and although I kind of understand where it's going, I find it hard to comprehend, especially how it ends. その弱い人間が切り刻まれようが突きされようがそれでもなお生き続けるってことがどんなことなのか。。。 So he ...
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Question about 現金だとでも言うように

The context is this: two women are talking, with the first one (still unnamed) that asks the second girl (Himari) if her trip with her boyfriend went well. She says it was a very nice vacation and ...
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いただきとう and ありがとう

I came across いただきとう, as in 「納めさせていただきとうございます」 or 「軽く説明させていただきとうございます」. My research led me to this question where I learned とう is likely just an ウ音便 of たい. This seems a fairly rare locution these days....
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when to use あります vs です

I am not 100% sure that I get the difference between あります and です. I understand parts of it, for example "わたしはマルクスです" using あります doesn't make sense for me here as I think it is more of a &...
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名詞 + なだけ: 志望なだけある

女優志望なだけあって自分の見せ方わかってる感じがした。(source) 爆豪君ってヒーロー志望なだけあるよね (source) Given that 志望 is a noun, I don't know what な is doing here. 私も本日、二次面接通過の返事を頂けたものです!第一志望なだけに、ひとまずすごく嬉しいです!(source) I would've ...
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What is the correct tense for を生み?

一つの時代の積み重ねが新たな伝説を生み、ここにまた一人のヒーローが誕生した。ロックマン (source) Here are two translations I have: The culmination of one era gives birth to a new legend, and here again another hero is born. The efforts of an ...
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How to tell which noun is being modified in 二人だけの世界

In the song あの夢をなぞって (Ano Yume o Nazotte), the third line is 音の無い二人だけの世界で聞こえた言葉は「好きだよ」. The translations to English give this as some variation of In that soundless world with only two of us, the ...
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Confusion over それで+なら meaning

In this video, the characters are saying the lines they had in the game, only reworded, but they basically mean the same thing. やってみせる、それで自分が取り戻せるなら。 In the video game, there is a line of text: ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Difference between「なんか」and「なんだか」?

What are some examples of their usage? Is なん the short form of 何【なに】 in both words? Also, not sure if this is correct, but the だ in the middle of なんだか should be the copula. Why is the copula being ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Sentence construction 活躍をしてる現場

他のヒーローが俺くらい活躍をしてる現場なんて見たことがない In this sentence, the main noun in the clause before なんて is 現場, so I would understand this sentence as "I haven't seen a place that the other heroes flourish as ...
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Using 人 vs の vs 人の when talking about a person's nationality

What should be used when describing someone by their nationality? Example: 日本人女性 vs 日本の女性 vs 日本人の女性 I've seen all three of these used, but it's hard for me to see the difference.
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3 votes
1 answer
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Which part of the sentence is emphasised in Japanese?

My question relates to which part of the information is emphasised more in Japanese, the part that comes first or in the end of a sentence for instance what would be the nuance in this type of ...
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Differences between ~たら and ~なら [duplicate]

I have this sentence to conjugate in the right form, but I have doubts about what to use. If I use ~たら then the sentence must have a logical-temporal sense. If I use ~なら instead it will have a ...
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Understanding the subject and object when using 満足/満足できない

I'm a little confused as to who the sentence is referring to as the satisfied/dissatisfied person. for example: 彼はもう彼女満足できない。 I understand this sentence to mean: He cant be satisfied by/with her ...
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Correctness of this sentence

The original sentence was: 運転教官は私に毎日運転するように言いました。 The driving instructor told me to drive every day. But I wanted to change it into something more complex or perhaps similar to how a native speaker ...
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How come this sentence そんなことでどうする? takes on so many forms?

ロニキス 「はは。クロード、これしきの事で怯えているのか?少尉ともあろうものが、そんなことでどうする? The context is that Ronixis is a commander who hands Claude a pistol and tells him to use it in case of an attack. I'm confused at exactly what ...
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Can someone break down this sentence for me?

「人は話せるようになるとすぐ いろいろなことを尋ねます」I would like this sentence to be broken into Subject, Object, Verb... I can only distinguish a few of the particles, and I understand (because of dictionary) that「話せる」means ...
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2 votes
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Is ある in this sentence used to refer to animate objects (children)?

I was doing some searches and so know that it is not as simple as just ある = nonliving and いる = living, but the sentence still makes me confused because of "みんな的には…" and "良いとかある?" ...
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What's an equivalent in Japanese to "I'm asking this because..."?

Like, in a conversation one might first ask: "When are you going on holiday?" and then follow up with a clarification: "I'm asking this because I need someone to watch my kids next week....
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Does the construct: [verb]+るっちゃ[verb]るけど, make any sense grammatically?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2QAVNPdJso&t=2m39s 2年間ぐらい全然漢字使ってなくて、今なんか書こうと思えば、ま、ちょっと難しい。読めるっちゃ読めるけど... I haven't used kanji at all for about two years, and if I want to write something now, it's ...
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Does anyone know if this is supposed to be some kind of expression これが憎めないんだなぁ?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IY3w8m7zZfs&t=2m5s スリッピーはちょっと気が弱いが、これが憎めないんだなぁ。 Slippy is a bit faint of heart, ... 憎む 【にくむ】 to hate; to detest
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Connotations of 身もふたもないこと

My question is about the expression "身もふたもないこと". I know that "身もふたもない" means blunt or point-blank, but is there any additional connotation such as "stupid" or "silly&...
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How to find implied sentence parts in flash news

The following is a flash news from テレ朝 沖縄県 「緊急事態宣言」政府への要請を正式決定 Two questions: What particles are implied after Okinawa prefecture and after quoted "declaration of emergency state"? Since ...
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Can 案が検討されまして also be used to mean "implemented"?

I'm not sure how to make sense of this section of text. Either it says that buses were considered for use but ultimately left without stranded passengers, OR that sightseeing buses were used and ...
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Can 総指揮 be used outside of a military context?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4JDxrrSGT0 「えーー、こんにちは、あるいはこんばんは。えー、糸井重里です。 今度、任天堂から、えー、マザーというタイトルで、えー、僕の、えー、組織、監督脚本というなんか大げさ が/な 触れ込みで、マザーという新しいロールプレイングゲームが出ます。 I'm not sure if its そうしき 総指揮 general ...
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The function of して and のかに

I don't really understand what して and のかに mean or their function in the following sentence? さあ私がどのようにして友達のマイケルに出会ったのかについてお話しましょう
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2 answers
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Does 泣いている describe a continuous action or a state after a change has taken place?

Intransitive verbs describe a change that people/things undergo from my understanding and do not take a direct object. I've also read that the te-form of intransitive verbs with いる describe a state ...
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Can も replace を when used with 気にしない

For example I want to say 俺は彼だったらあなたも気にしない I know that it should be あなたを気にしない, but I couldn't find it being used this way anywhere online in the meaning "didn't care ABOUT you, too". にも ...
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2 votes
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How to express "I'm so X that Y?"

I found these two grammar points but I can't seem to be able to use them to express what I want. くらい、ほど Let's say I want to say "I'm so full that I will never walk again" The closest I can ...
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What is the right order of this sentence? (JLPT N2 practice question)

From Shin Kanzen Master JLPT N2: 新しい店をオープンする _ _ _* _ かたまってきた。 1 の 2 ようやく 3 にあたって 4 方針が The right answer at the starred position is 4. One arrangement I thought might make this answer work is: ...
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What does 表現とか感じるもの mean in this context?

The definitions for「表現」and「感じるもの」seem to take on different meanings in different sentences, I can't find which definitions are appropriate for this phrase, or if the phrase means something completely ...
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How to parse 彼は甲殻のように固い背中を下にして横たわり

I am (still) reading Metamorphosis(from Kafka) and can't figure out how to parse 彼は甲殻のように固い背中を下にして横たわり Translated as He lay on his armour-hard back I suppose the japanese version litteraly looks ...
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