Tag Archives: grammar

Another use of the simple non-past tense in Japanese: admonishing children

One of the convenient things about Japanese is that there are less verb tenses than in English, where you have things like “will run” and “would have run” (though there is still a few in Japanese). However, the tradeoff is that there are a bunch of other ways to use the smaller set of tenses to… Read More »

Report: Meetup at Kale for The Portland Japanese Language Exchange (ポートランド日本語交換会)

A few days ago I wrote about an upcoming meetup at the Kale (カレー) restaurant in Portland for the “Portland Japanese Language Exchange” group. It was 6pm-8pm today and I just got back, so I thought I would write a summary of how it was. All in all, I had a really fun time, having… Read More »

The “〜くある” (~ku aru) form for Japanese adjectives

Recently I saw a post on Japanese Language Stack Exchange about the 〜くある  (~ku aru) form of adjectives (ex: 美しくある), and there was no good answer so I did some research. By the time I was ready to post, the question had been deleted, so will make a make a post here with my findings. To review, let’s… Read More »

Linguistic debate on the existence of subjects in Japanese (from three points of view)

Recently I came across this interesting post by fellow blogger Moaz Elgabry. For only having studied Japanese a few years, his Japanese writing skill is quite impressive, and I’m curious to see his thoughts on different topics. His post discusses whether the Japanese language really needs to have a grammatical subject and how such a subject should be… Read More »

Japanese phrase “~kara de” (〜からで)

I feel that particles (such as の、で、に) are the heart of the Japanese language, or at least a grammatical aspect of the language that is significantly different to languages such as English. I think it’s fair to say that without a very strong grasp of particles, one can never fully understand the subtleties of more advanced sentences.… Read More »

An important Japanese word that is good to master: “hoka” (ほか、外、他)

As anyone who has studied a foreign language can attest to, knowing what words to study is one of the more challenging things because there is so many words out there. In this post I’m going to go over the word “ほか”(also written in Kanji as “他” or ”外”) and some of it’s uses. This… Read More »

A discussion on problems students face with the common Japanese verbs もらう、くれる, and あげる (translated from a textbook)

Recently I posted a review of the book “Teaching methods based on student native language, English edition” by Kazuko Nakagawa, which provided some important insights on mistakes English-speakers typically make when learning Japanese. I wanted to translate at least a short portion of this book to give a feel what the content is like, and also… Read More »

Lack of polite Japanese in certain parts of the novel “Downtown Rocket” (下町ロケット)

The other day I wrote a review of the Japanese novel 下町ロケット (“Downtown Rocket”), where I alluded to something about the usage of polite Japanese in that book. In this post I’d like to talk about that matter in some detail. When reading this novel, I was surprised by several scenes where one person from a company spoke to… Read More »

Japanese particle combination での (de no)

Mastering Japanese particles can be difficult, especially when you have to worry about various combinations of particles as well as individual ones. Some time ago I wrote about the combination ならではの which is one of the tricker ones. This time I’d like to talk about the combination of で (de) and の (no), namely “での” (deno). While… Read More »

Japanese expression of respect: “足を向けて寝られない” (“ashi wo mukete nerarenai”)

Japanese is filled with quirky expressions which are commonly used for something deeper than their literal meaning. In this post I’d like to talk about an expression which I recently heard spoken by a Japanese person that caught me off guard. The expression is ”Xに足を向けて寝られない” which literally means “cannot sleep with feet/legs pointing towards X”, where “X”… Read More »