[aDoBJG] E - J 💮 A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar

In support of the “younger native speakers may not make this distinction” note in bunpro, NHK did an interesting little survey on this in 2007 where they asked “if there’s a ferry on the 9th of the month, and ferries are 1日おきに, then when’s the next ferry?”. The traditional answer (i.e. the one that matches the dictionary explanation) is “on the 11th”, and that’s definitely still the overwhelmingly common reply, but the younger you are the more likely you are to answer “on the 10th”. Now, even in the youngest age group 80% of respondents still picked the traditional definition, but it does hint that maybe in future this usage may fall out of favour for being ambiguous. (There are phrases in English, like “Thursday next”, that started with a precise meaning but are no longer clear to all English speakers because the “obvious guess” is not the traditional meaning.) It would be interesting to see the results 15 years on and whether the trend has continued.


Wow you’re right, I have found 3 examples in mangas that I have read, I hadn’t noticed :sweat_smile:

Happiness book 4


Ruri book 1



Recently, I got completely confused during a Genki exercise that was about practicing ほうが~より because I have to answer a multiple choice question, about which was faster, the bus or the train. And I thought obviously the train, but no, it was the bus! The following discussion was great and I learned about 高速バス
And now it happens again, in this dictionary, page 140:
Man, Japan is confusing :sweat_smile: If somebody can explain that one, I’m curious to know how that it possible!


Going by car is cheaper in most countries, I expect, if you do what the typical car owner does and ignore all the sunk costs (depreciation, maintenance, tax) and only consider the one-off cost of petrol for a particular journey and compare it against a bus ticket. And if you have scenarios like “family of four travelling together” car is even more clearly a winner against pretty much any public transport.


Okay, so nothing that surprising. As a car owner, I definitely don’t think it’s cheap to use a car, I see that cost of the car itself, the insurance, the maintenance… I bike / take the bus whenever possible and see it as the cheaper option. Though I’m sure owning a bus would be even more expensive :joy:


Week 8 starts now: はず to 一番

Of course, any comments and such for earlier entries in E-J is still welcome, encouraged even.

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I was surprised that the entry for はず sticks firmly to present tense はずだ and doesn’t mention はずだった which expresses “was/wasn’t supposed to happen”, as in 君に恋をするなんて、ありえないはずだった (a random light novel title I found while googling for examples), or 彼は8時に来るはずだったが、10時になるまで姿を現さなかった – “He was supposed to be there at 8, but he didn’t show up til 10”.


It also says that it can’t be used alone, but I found it alone there? Maybe はずだった has different rules?

Kinda nsfw


I interpret that as being part of the same sentence as the last line in the previous panel; split across panels for dramatic effect because it flips the meaning of the sentence (in a way that you can’t do so easily in English because the word order is different – best I can come up with is “…or so I thought.” which isn’t quite the same meaning).


I am surprised that there is absolutely nothing on は (except the remark on the use of が vs は in the article on が). Isn’t は a grammatical entity?


There are a bunch of entries related to particle は in the w section (wa, ~wa~da etc)


Of course! I forgot that the articles are ordered by romaji, so I thought that は would come before はじめる.



I found a great example of this in one of my recent Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling translations! This was from a write-up of a press conference, actually.

It happened on 2023.04.18, leading up to Pom Harajuku and Max The Impaler challenging Mizuki and Yuka Sakazaki for the tag belts:

Here’s the recap the below quote is from, and here’s the video of the press conference itself if you get curious, haha.


On April 18, at Shosen Book Tower in Akihabara, Tokyo, a contract signing was supposed to be held for the Princess Tag Team Championship match, Mizuki & Yuka Sakazaki (champion team) vs Max The Impaler & Pom Harajuku (challenger team) on April 22 at the Edion Arena Osaka No. 2, but Max was absent. With ring announcer Sayuri Namba presiding, the three wrestlers each signed their names. As they waited for Max, who had been informed of the time and place but still had not arrived, the other three wrestlers gave their comments first.



I thought note 1 was interesting, because I hadn’t realized that when ほど is preceded by a noun, the predicate must be negative, though it can be negative or affirmative if a sentence or demonstrative modifies ほど.

I went looking for an example in my translations, but my favorites all turned out to be ~ば~ほど instead, haha, so those will have to wait until the intermediate volume…


This one gave me such a headache when I first learned it in Minna no Nihongo! Even now, I still always forget that it’s generally formed with the past tense of a verb, though I guess even in English, we say the same sentiment in the past tense: “you had better do [blank]”. It’s interesting that the present tense can also be used, but is a weaker suggestion, and the negative must be in the present.

I couldn’t find any ほうがいい’s in my Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling translations!


I’m seconding Akashelia getting confused on this one when I learned it initially, haha, though I think I’ve generally gotten better at figuring it out.

I have a great example of this with an omitted Yより from my TJPW translations! There’s even a ばかり in there for free, too:

This is from the 2023.02.22 press conference leading up to Mizuki facing her tag partner Yuka Sakazaki at Grand Princess for the Princess of Princess title:

Here’s the full transcript of the presser for context.

瑞希 「闘いたくはないけど、甘やかされてばかり(涙)…いるほうが…嫌です」

Mizuki: “I don’t want to fight her, but just being spoiled all the time,” (cries) “that would be worse.”


Interesting, did you also search for 方がいい? I’ve seen it spelt like that but not sure if one spelling is more used than the other


Aha, yep, there it is! Four uses so far this year. I need to remember to try searching for other spellings and variants… :sweat_smile:

Here's Pom Harajuku and Nao Kakuta closing out the show on 2023.04.08, the week before Nao faced Mizuki for her title:


Pom: “Nao-san, you did it!”


Kakuta: “Thank you. You’re so kind. I’m happy! But the match that really matters is next week. I’m a mess right now, but even if I become an ugly mess, you’ll all see me win that belt, so please come and support me.” (cries)


Pom: “I’m definitely going!”

角田「頑張ろうね! みなさんにお礼を言って、また来週来てもらいましょう」

Kakuta: “Let’s do our best! Let’s say thanks, and everyone will come back again next week.”


Pom: “I’m definitely coming!”


Kakuta: “Yeah, you really should be there.”


Nothing much to add except that I’m still reading along, still a bit behind (just finished はず), learning some new stuff and refreshing my memory on most other things, and checking this thread for additional interesting commentary (the part about はずだった was interesting). I don’t have any other big insights, and certain parts are occasionally a bit confusing, but I try not to worry too much about small details and nuances right now.


Nice to see my fellow ~ほうが~より confused users around. I’ve always struggled with this grammar point, especially when one of the parts (~ほうが) is omitted or there’s inversion, but somehow I feel that reading the definition in the dictionary helped. I’ve also been taking more time to process the sentences when I read them, so I know that if I can identify which term is associated to ~ほうが and which one to ~より, I can figure out the meaning correctly (and eventually hopefully be able to do it less consciously)


Using ほしい with third person is permitted in more situations than I expected – I knew about the indirect-speech case but either never knew or had forgotten about the others.


ほしい 1

The vast majority of instances of ほしい in my translations were for ほしい 2 (and yes, I remembered to search for the kanji variant this time, haha. The kanji version had 12 uses in this document; the kana had 23), but I did find a few of the first type!

Here's an example from Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling's 2023.01.19 show, after Miu Watanabe and Rika Tatsumi beat Yuki Arai and Saki Akai in the tag team tournament:

Hard mode: here’s the video. (Insert usual disclaimer about the transcripts being from shupro, and the translations are mine and might contain errors.)

Note the dropped particle and who is the experiencer.

辰巳「よかったねー。いやぁ、でもなんかもっと連覇だ! イェイイェイ!みたいなかんじで終わらせたかったんですけど、そういうわけにはいかなかったですね」

Tatsumi: “What a relief! I’d wanted to end it like, ‘Back-to-back victory! Yay, yay!’, but it didn’t work out quite like that, did it?”


Miu: “Yes! Our opponents were former champions too, and AA Cannon are the total package: beautiful and strong.”


Tatsumi: “If it was just Yuki-chan, we’re her senpais and we could just take control without having to worry about a thing, but, well, Akai-san was there, too. She was really a thorn in our sides, and she kept breaking us up and breaking us down.”


Miu: “She kicked us.”


Tatsumi: “It was hard! But we managed to get a win, so we’re OK… You want to get another belt soon, right?”


Miu: “Yes! A pink one!”

Just for fun, I found an example of one of the situations highlighted in note 3.

This one's from TJPW's 2023.03.18 show, Grand Princess, after Mizuki defeated Yuka Sakazaki and won the title:

Hard mode: video version (the part quoted below starts at 2:26).

Once again, note who is the experiencer, and how the word is being used.


(You took some incredibly strong attacks)

“Each blow was stiff. There were so many times where I thought that if I had been the same person as before, my spirit would have been broken. I think I won by being really, really, really strong-willed.”

(Is there a possibility that you will face Sakazaki as the champion?)

“I won’t do it.”

(What do you want your road of title defenses to be like?)

“I, like all the champions before me, strongly wanted this championship. I want to be the kind of champion whom the others in TJPW see holding the belt and think ‘I want that belt.’ I want to walk a very exciting defense road.”

ほしい 2

I personally see ほしい used more with verbs than with nouns, at least in the context of these wrestling translations specifically. I often end up translating it more like “I hope” than “I want”, especially when the wrestler is saying that she ほしい’s the crowd to look forward to something or to come to the next show, just because I think “I want” can have a more selfish/demanding connotation in English than ほしい seems to have in Japanese, at least in some circumstances.

I have a very memorable example for this one! At least it's memorable to me, haha, because this was the first of my translations to get stolen. This is from the 2023.03.20 press conference before TJPW's first show in America:

Here’s the full transcript of the presser for context. And the video, though I’m not gonna go dig around for the timestamp, haha (yes, she really did say “Maki Itoh simps”. That is a direct quote).

伊藤 マジラビとやるのはいつも楽しいけど、毎回負けてばかりなので今回はタッグチャンピオンとして絶対に負けてはいけないと思うので、必ず結果を残したいと思ってます。あとアメリカの「Maki Itoh simps」たちにもいつものアメリカで見れる伊藤麻希じゃなくて、東京女子の伊藤麻希を見れると思うので、楽しみにしててほしいなと思ってます。

Itoh: “It’s always fun to face MagiRabbi, but we just lose every time, so as tag team champions, we definitely can’t lose this time. We have to get results. And the Maki Itoh simps in America will get a chance to see TJPW’s Maki Itoh, not the Maki Itoh they usually see in America, so I hope they’re looking forward to it.”