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japanese grammar

September 2008

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Sep. 15th, 2008

renge_kun

Question regarding dictionaries/publications

Hi!  I've just joined this group.  Not sure if community posting is okay, or if that is just for the moderator.  Please let me know if I have made a mistake.  Thanks!

I am wondering if anyone knows if there is a dictionary or other publication that indicates the intonation used in each word.  In my intermediate Japanese class, I am required, as most are, to memorize a list of vocabulary each week, but my sensei does not read each word for us.  Only occasionally the question of intonation has arisen, though.  I feel that while I have a general idea of how Japanese words should be intoned, there are some homonyms {such as 買う (かう - to buy) and 飼う (かう - to keep [a pet]);  or 紙 (かみ - paper), 神 (かみ - god), and 髪 (かみ - hair)}  that have different intonations. 

While I understand that usually the meaning of the word can usually be gleaned from the context of the sentence, I intend to teach Japanese in an American high school upon graduating my master's program; because of this, I need a resource that will give me specifics in this area.  Any information someone may be able to provide would be most appreciated.

Thank you!

Aug. 10th, 2008

hitotsuyanagi

Help please.

Hello, I just have two questions, rather short, I need anwered; Note I am teaching myself and this won't under any circumstances be used in a class or formal writing.


Jul. 12th, 2008

hitotsuyanagi

Important Question

 Hi everyone I am studying "an intergrated approach to intermediate japanese" by The Japan Times and I have four small questions? 

1.)
学生:今朝でクラスの宿題をいただくを忘れてしまったのです。
先生:明日持って来るを忘れて下さい

first what does the の in each sentence mean? If is remember correctly (according to Genki, by The Japan Times as well, it references to a noun that has already been stated or clear; also I thought that everything before the の was just qualifing it. 

2.)
例:赤ちゃんはペンギンのように歩きます
例:あの人は女のようなひとです

okay, here is my issue i know that のように is the adverbial form of のような but I have seen it used in sentences without a preceeding verb following it. So, could someone clear this up for me because even when Genki II explained this I was confused. 

3.)
例:自分の名前さえかけない人がすごくないでしょう
例:時々夏のようにさえあります

So, i learned sae means even and it follows a noun or dictionary form of a verb + koto, so I am very confused - please help.

4.) 
例:僕は盗人に財布を盗まれました
例:お母さんは子供達に野菜を食べさせました

simply, what is the difference between causive, passive, and causive-passive? when do I know when to use them?

thank you,
hitotsuyanagi 

Oct. 16th, 2007

pynelyf

nagara (mo)

Verb.stem / Adjective + ~ながら (も) = "Although~" / "Even though~" / "Nevertheless~"

  • used generally in written Japanese
  • because 残念ながら is an idiomatic expression, it does not take the optional も which gives emphasis

Formation:

Verb.stem

言いながら(も) / although someone says
分かっていながら(も) / although someone understands something/someone

Adjective (い-adjective). infinitive
大きな柄(も) / although something is big

Noun/Adjective (な-adjective).stem
静かながら(も) / although something/someone is quiet
子供ながら(も) / although someone is a child





Examples:
教授のセミは厳しいながら(も)学ぶところが多かった。 / Although my professor's seminar was tough, I learned a lot from it.
残念ながら、明日の音楽会には行けません。 / To my regret, I cannot go to tomorrow's concert. (or literally, Although I regret it...)
山口はそのことを知りながら(藻)黙っていた。 / Yamaguchi kept silent, even though he knew about the matter.
この辺は不便ながら(も)車も少なく、空気がきれいだ。 / Although this area is inconvenient, there is little traffic and the air is clean.

Aug. 24th, 2007

pynelyf

ni (shika) suginai

NOUN /  number and counter / V.Dictionary +  に(しか)過ぎない = something is "nothing more than "" or "just " or  "merely "

  • more explicitly, something or someone is nothing more than what is stated, in terms of amount, degree, status, significance, etc., and so, can have something of a downgrading nuance:
    • 吉田は平凡な会社員に過ぎない。/ Yoshida is nothing more than your average white-collar worker.
  • can use any of the following for emphasis: ただ だけ しか
  • this construction cannot be used with adjectives. In the case of adjectives, simply use だけ by itself to indicate “just
    • if だけ by itself is used with a noun, it means “only” in a neutral way rather than the what に過ぎない conveys.

 

 

Examples:

Noun
彼女にとって彼は恋人ではなく、ただの友達にしか過ぎない。/ To her, he’s just a friend, not a boyfriend.
 

Number and counter
私の睡眠時間は五時間に過ぎません。/ I usually don’t sleep more than five hours. (literally: My sleeping hours are merely five hours.)

 Verb dictionary form
田中さんは英語が読めるだけに過ぎないよ。/Tanaka-san can merely read in English (as opposed to writing or speaking).

Mar. 20th, 2007

pynelyf

ni shite mo

Noun + にしても = "Even in the case of ~"

  • can only be preceded by a noun
  • grammatically equivalent to ~の場合 but indicates more emphasis


Examples:
そもそもクリスマスやバレンタインディーにしても、その日がどういう意味を持っているかは。。。/To begin with, even in the case of days such as Christmas andValentines' Day, I'm not sure what they mean.


時代とともに日本人の家族関係は変化してきた。夫婦関係にしても、自分中心に生活するために同居しない夫婦も増えつつある。/Japanese family relations have changed along with the times. Even in the case of married couples, for the sake of a lifestyle that centers on the individual, couples who no longer cohabit are continuing to increase.
Tags:

Mar. 7th, 2007

pynelyf

to iu yori mo

X というより (は), (むしろ) Y = "It's more Y, than X" or "Y rather than X"or "It's not so much X as Y"
  • indicates which of two options describes the situation, person, etc. more accurately
  • むしろ、which is optional means "rather"
  • X and Y must be the same part of speech

Formation:
adj. というより (は), (むしろ)adj
ex: 涼しいというより (は), (むしろ)寒い / cold rather than cool
きれいというより (は), (むしろ)かわいい / cute rather than pretty

noun というより (は), (むしろ)noun
ex: 青というより (は), (むしろ)紫 / purple rather than blue

Verb plain というより (は), (むしろ) Verb plain
ex: 食べるというより (は), (むしろ)飲み込んでいる / swallowing rather than eating ****awful typo corrected


Examples:
私にこの音楽は楽しいというよりはやかましい。/To me this music is more noisy than enjoyable. OR To me this music was not so much enjoyable as noisy. etc.
今年の夏は涼しいというよりは寒かった。/This summer was cold rather than cool.
父は、父親というよりは、むしろいい友達という感じでした。/ I felt that my dad was a good friend rather than a father.
私が呼んだというより、むしろ彼女の方が押しかけて来たんです。/It's more of a case of her having invited herself than me having invited her.

Mar. 3rd, 2007

pynelyf

kara to itte

.
Plain/TA form + ~からといって、 Plain/TA form + ~という訳ではない OR ~訳にはいかない OR ~ことはない = indicates denial "Just because ~, doesn't mean ~" or "even if ~", "even though ~"
                                    
                                    

ex: 子供だからと言って許す訳には行かない。/I cannot forgive him just because he is a child. (more literally, "There is no reason for me to forgive him, even if he is a child.")

試験に受からなかったからと言ってそんなに悲観することはない。/You don't have to be so pessimistic because you didn't pass the exam.

こんなことを言うからと言って別に批判している訳ではない。/Even though I tell you such a thing, it doesn't mean that I'm criticizing you.

Feb. 28th, 2007

pynelyf

de aru – copula and formality

de aru – copula and formality

~である  a form used in formal writing or very formal speech, you’ll see it a lot in journalistic writing

 

formality scales starting with most and going to least formal

writing:
 / である
であります

です

 and である are often used together in formal writing such as professional or newspaper articles, editorials, etc, and although  です seems like it should be more formal, in writing it is not. You can’t combine the です style with the and である styles.

speech:
であります
です

nothing
 / だ

 The polite form of である namely the  であります style is used in formal speech, such as public speaking.

 

 

Usage:

Noun + である
(ex:
先生である / be a teacher)

Adj. + である
(ex:
静かである / be quiet)

 

 

Conjugation:

 

Affirmative

Negative

Present/future

である

ではない

Past

であった

ではなかった

Conjecture

であろう

ではなかろう

            
Ex:
日本語はあいまいな言語であるというのは誤りである。/ (The idea) that Japanese is an ambiguous language is incorrect.

 
If you want better examples of this, I would recommend going to asahi.com and just looking at the sentence endings of the Japanese articles.

Feb. 12th, 2007

pynelyf

a note on the posts

From this point, the posts are going to be much more grammatical in nature. I plan on focusing on specific sentence constructions, most of which are generally used in writing and not speech. But I'm always open to suggestions, so if you'd like to see something different or want this community to take a different direction, please let me know.

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