Category Archives: grammar

The Japanese particle は(wa), 癒やし (iyashi), and therapeutic dogs.

Grammar is interesting because it allows packing a lot of meaning into only a few words. In Japanese, a language where words are often omitted, that is even more so. In this post I want to analyze the following sentence, which I heard the other day: 犬は癒やされますね。 [Inu wa iyasaremasu ne] This sentence is quite… Read More »

Using “~ga suru” (〜がする) to express feeling or sensing something in Japanese

In this post I’d like to discuss a grammar construct that I had not explicitly learned into fairly late in my Japanese studies. I saw it used often but until I researched it I didn’t understand it completely. The pattern is  “[noun] + ga suru”.  First, before we talk about the combination of “ga” and… Read More »

Japanese non-past (present/future) tense, “will”, and intention

One of the nice things about the Japanese language is that it has relatively few grammatical tenses, at least compared to languages like English which can get quite messy. Knowing a handful of tenses can get you pretty far, although you do have to memorize the conjugation for each category of verbs. In this post… Read More »

Japanese grammar: a tricky passage and morphing adjectives

Reading foreign language material is always an adventure, especially when you come across grammar you’ve never seen before. Oftentimes, you can just figure out the meaning from context, but I’m the type of person that wants to understand the grammar completely so I can grasp any nuances involved and potentially learn to use the patterns… Read More »

Japanese Grammar: Using kara (から) and node (ので) to express a reason in isolation

As I’ve written about before, in Japanese oftentimes words or entire phrases can be omitted, even more so than in English. I’d like to talk about another case where things can be omitted in Japanese, but first I want to give a quick summary of talking about reasons in Japanese. Expressing a reason is pretty straightforward and typically… Read More »

Japanese expression “〜するも” (~suru mo) and vagueness of the が (ga) particle

Recently I read the very enjoyable short story “麦本三歩は今日が好き” by 住野よる in the literary magazine 小説幻冬 (Dec 2016 edition). I even translated a short excerpt of it into English here. There was one line of the story whose grammar I just couldn’t figure out, and I thought that it was either some strange pattern I had never… Read More »

Japanese historical short story review: 野望の狭間 (Opposing Ambitions) by 天野純稀 (Sumiki Amano)

Recently at a Kinonuniya bookstore I picked up the 2nd edition (2号)of the book 小説幻冬 (Shousetsu Gentou) which is a compendium of Japanese short stories. I chose this because I was looking for something to read on a holiday trip, and didn’t want to get involved a long story, so though short stories would be perfect. When I… Read More »

Japanese phrase “mou hitotsu” (もうひとつ)and a brief Murakami translation

Recently I was reading an interesting blog which contains reviews of Japanese books (in English), and I came across an article about the Haruki Murakami (村上春樹) book “After Dark”. While I am not going to go into that book in detail in this post, in the the article I found there was a short passage… Read More »

あらせられます (araseraremasu): A triple-polite Japanese word

One of the distinguishing things about the Japanese language is how there are many different ways to say the same thing while varying the level of politeness. For example, the below words all mean “to eat” in increasing levels of politeness. 食う (kuu) 食べる (taberu) 召し上げる (meshiageru) Besides the many different verbs, there is also… Read More »

Self Taught Japanese Podcast: 8 recordings in 8 days

A little over a week ago, I decided to start a companion Podcast for this blog, covering many of the same topics: studying Japanese on your own, anime reviews, etc. I managed to record eight episodes in eight days, though it was a bit challenge since recording plus editing took roughly between 45 minutes and… Read More »