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In front of "ほうがいい," is it always past tense?

This 〜た is the perfect, not past; that is, it's indicating a time before some reference time, rather than a time before speech time: 傘を持っていったほうがいい。 Lit. "Having brought an umbrella would be ...
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19 votes
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"As in" in japanese

You can simply use の: 今日は「評論」の「評」の漢字を覚えました。 ブラボーのB、デルタのD 「服を着る」の「着る」じゃなくて、「髪の毛を切る」方の「切る」です。
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14 votes
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Are Japanese modifiers "greedy", "anti-greedy", or do they mean whatever people choose them to mean?

Unfortunately, there is no easy and clear rule to determine which parsing strategy is correct. The general rule is "Choose the shortest and simplest parsing strategy as long as it makes sense". It ...
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14 votes
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What is the meaning of 上げて落としたみてー?

みてー is a contracted form of みたい ("is like ~"). It's an instance of /ai/-to-/ee/ contraction. 上げて is the te-form of 上げる, and 落とす is a verb. Therefore a very literal translation is "It's like I raised ...
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13 votes
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Why can we use の after へ and から?

The function of の is still more or less the same. It's connecting two nouns, but with a different relationship given by the preceding particle. 先生へのプレゼント - a present to the teacher 私達からのプレゼント - a ...
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12 votes
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How to tell よく (often) apart from よく (good)?

As Yuu wrote, there is a tendency that よく immediately before a verb often means “well” and that よく at the beginning of a sentence often means “often,” but it is by no means a firm rule. Word order is ...
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12 votes
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What is the meaning of しも?

I'm afraid to say that いつしも is very rare, and you can use it naturally only in literary sentences. ~しも was a grammatical element in archaic Japanese (it was a kind of intensifier similar to nothing ...
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11 votes
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Maths sentences: 足す and 掛ける

They are not grammatical phrases. We just read the symbols verbatim like: [⁠1]{いち} [+]{たす} [⁠2]{に} [=]{は} [⁠3]{さん} It has nothing different than saying: [⁠1]{いち} [+]{プラス} [⁠2]{に} [=]{イコール} [⁠3]{さん} ...
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11 votes
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What's the difference between 日本人の学生 and 日本の学生 ?

A の B has many meanings, depending on the relationship of A and B: (possession/affiliation/belonging) B of A, A's B, B which belongs to A 彼の友達 his friend, a friend of his 私の車 my car 日本の都市 Japanese ...
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11 votes
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Writing a story in Japanese: how to handle dialogue

Can it work the same way in English, where I can remove the dialogue tag (he said, she said) when my speakers are established? Can I also mix in action between the dialogue while doing this? Yes. ...
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10 votes
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How to compare the ages of people in Japanese?

You would use [年上]{とし・うえ} for older and [年下]{とし・した} for younger. 僕は彼女より2歳年上だ。 → I'm two years older than my girlfriend. 妹は私より5歳年下です。 → My sister is five years younger than I. You can also ...
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10 votes

Structure: thing を numeral (or numeral and counter) ください

Think like this: All nouns in Japanese are uncountable. You can't count apples any more than you count water or light. Thus under Japanese grammar you always have to say "two 'objects' of apple", "...
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10 votes

What is 'called' in Japanese?

This is a case where you don't necessarily need to do a direct translation from English and include every word. You can just say 私の町は「name of your city」です。 If your "city" is fairly well-known (...
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10 votes
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か + と particles with a non-quotation verb

「か」 as you may know is a particle that shows uncertainty, usually to create a question. Here, even though it is not what we call in english a question, it acts like exactly like it. 「と」 is the ...
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  • 504
10 votes

Listing things off: Using Hitotsu repeatedly

Using 一つ for every entry is actually an older and more traditional style of listing than using sequential numbers. Historically, Japan didn't have a tradition of assigning numbers to listed items; ...
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10 votes
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JLPT sentence order section

Rather than just solving your exercise (which is not the point of this website anyway) I'll try to give you general suggestions about how to approach this kind of problem. 1. Understand the context. ...
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10 votes

How can I say "to be tired of verbING" in Japanese?

Yes, but it has a nuance like "I am tired because I am verb+ing". I think のに appropriates for your sentence such as 一日中家にいるのに疲れる. When I read dictionaries, I noticed that these words "tired", "bored",...
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9 votes
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「〜がする」 the extended use of する (to do)

Xがする is a phrasal verb and is most often used in phrases such as 音がする and 匂い{におい}がする and even 気がする. It is used with words that are about perceiving or sensing something. (More phrasal verbs here.) ...
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9 votes
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How can one stop "去年【きょねん】教職【きょうしょく】" from looking like a weird 4 kanji compound?

As with almost anything, there are people who care and others who don't! But it is definitely a thing to consider if you are trying to write well. Degrees of severity There are two angles to this. One ...
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9 votes
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「が」vs「の」 with possessives

が for possession was more common in old Japanese. But it's rare today and it only remains in proverbs (e.g. [人間]{にんげん}[万事]{ばんじ}[塞翁]{さいおう}が[馬]{うま}) and other fixed phrases. One exception is [我]{わ}が. ...
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9 votes
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Do I have a good grasp on the basics of what the continuative form is?

連用形 (usually translated as "continuative form") is one of "the basic 6 conjugation forms" of Japanese verbs/adjectives. For the ichidan verb 食べる, its 連用形 is 食べ. For godan verbs, many of them have two ...
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9 votes
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Ways to specify "intra-" or "extra-" usage of 北・南・東・西

Place + の + 東/西/南/北 + にある is indeed ambiguous, but you can usually determine the meaning in one way with the aid of the context and some background knowledge: 伏見桃山城は京都の南にある。 Fushimi-Momoyama Castle ...
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8 votes
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Usage of ”し” particle

The particle し is used to create a non-exhaustive list of reasons. Example from Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_particles#shi): 綺麗{きれい}だし、広い{ひろい}し、いいね、このアパート! Kirei da shi, ...
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8 votes

Usage of ”し” particle

In your example: 結婚式ってだいたいいくらかかるんですか? えと。。。100万円っていうのもありますし、5万もありますよ。 The し is used to give options, indicating 「前に述べる事柄が、後に述べる事柄と対比的な関係であること」, "what's stated first has a contrastive relation ...
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8 votes
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Is repetition of words in questions, such as the 番 in 電話番号は何番ですか common in Japanese?

A. 電話{でんわ}番号{ばんごう}は何番{なんばん}ですか。(What is your phone number?) B. 今年{ことし}は何年{なんねん}ですか。(What year is this?) C. 好{す}きな色{いろ}は何色{なにいろ}ですか。(What is your favorite color?) D. この車{くるま}はあなたの車{くるま}ですか。(Is this ...
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8 votes
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Structure: thing を numeral (or numeral and counter) ください

The following Wikipedia article on Japanese counter word explains well about how the counter words or counters (josūshi 助数詞) work in Japanese. In Japanese, as in Chinese and Korean, numerals cannot ...
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