[aDoBJG] M 💮 A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar


A Dictionary of Japanese Grammar :white_flower: Home Thread

Previous Part: K
Next Part: N


Start Date
Reading Entry Count Page Numbers Page Count
#14 Jun 24th まだ to 〜ましょう 7 224 - 243 20
#15 Jul 1st 見える to もらう2 9 243 - 265 23

Links are to the official starting of each week. Previous weeks and future weeks can still be discussed before and after these points as long as they are covered by the thread’s letters.

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Feels funny to go with the alphabetical order and to jump from K to M, without a L :slight_smile:
Let’s enjoy it before the many weeks of N :laughing:

I’m still not used to the fact that it can mean “not yet” when by itself as in (c)B2. I met this in the very second lesson of Assimil, where the dialog goes:
ー いいですよ
(c)B1 feels much more natural to me, but I like the dictionary explaination that “something is still in the same state”, might help me remembering it.

Nice explaination for 前に VS うちに. Though I might have already read about it and might forget about it in 5 minutes. I wonder if those nuances will always be lost to me of if you do learn them as you read more, I hope so :pray:



I was a bit blown away by the related expression note which said that the concept which まだ expresses is opposite to that of もう. I’d never thought of it like that before! I did have to stare at the diagram for a couple minutes before I figured it out, haha. まだ refers to something/someone still being in a state, and もう refers to something/someone not being in a state any more.

Note 1 was also interesting. I hadn’t realized that まだ corresponds to “still” in affirmative sentences, and “yet” in negative sentences when an action has not yet been taken, and “still” in other situations.

Here's a negative sentence まだ from Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling's 2023.03.26 show, which was just four days before their show in America:

No video for this one, because this was a comment Arisu Endo made in-ring after her team won in the main event. Usual disclaimer that the transcript is from shupro, and the translation is mine and might contain errors:

遠藤「(急にマイクを渡されて)待って…勝てて嬉しかったです。メインだし。アメリカじゃないですか? 準備がまだ終わってない…ですよね? ほら! 終わってないでした。同じでした。まずキャリーからです。終わったらすぐ買いにいきます」

Endo: (after suddenly receiving the mic) “Wait, uh… I’m glad we were able to win. It’s the main event. So, America, huh? We’re so not ready to go yet, are we? See? None of us are prepared. They’re in the same boat. I’ll start with getting a suitcase. I’ll go buy one as soon as we’re done.”

Here’s an example with a negative sentence まだ (I guess technically a まだまだ…) and an affirmative sentence まだ, and an imposter that is a different piece of grammar haha.

This is from the 2023.02.22 press conference before Yuki Arai faced Aja Kong in a singles match at Grand Princess on March 19:

Here’s the video, though I’m not going to hunt down the timestamp. Here’s the full transcript for context.


Arai: “We had a match at the Nagoya show last week for the first time in a long time, and I did what I could do, but I don’t think I was able to reach her yet. If I can’t use the Finally at all, you might wonder if I’ll be alright, but I’m not going to run away, and there’s still a month to go, so I’m going to try to work hard as usual, and I want to have a match that is so impactful for both myself as well as Aja-san that when I look back on my wrestling career, I can think, ‘That match was really great, huh?’”


The note here that Xまで and “until X” do not have the same meaning when X represents a duration of time is a good thing to keep in mind! まで includes the time specified before it in the duration that it’s referring to. This is something that has caused me occasional trouble while translating wrestling stuff.

Here's an example of one まで that I had to tweak a bit to get it to work in English. This is from TJPW's 2023.04.29 show where they had a one day trios tournament:

No video for this one because this is what Pom Harajuku said in the ring after she, Yuki Aino, and Raku won the tournament:

ぽむ「やったああああああ! 勝ちましたよ! 優勝しちゃった。ありがとー! もう確実に昨日までのぽむだったらこんな3試合も…ベンベン泣いてるところでしたけど、今日は大好きなユキさんとらくさんと応援してくれるみんながいて…(涙)、泣かない! 泣かない! みんなの力もあって、優勝したー!」

Pom: “I DID IT!!! I won! We won the tournament! Thank you! It’s definitely the case that before today, doing three matches like this… I’d be crying. But today I have Yuki-san and Raku-san whom I like so much, and I have everyone who’s supporting me…” (cries) “I won’t cry! I won’t cry! With everyone’s power combined, we won!”


I remember being initially worried about confusing までに and まえに when I first learned them, but I don’t think I have any issue at all with that anymore!

I thought the note here in related expressions point II which summed up the difference between them as the same as the English “by” vs “before” was interesting.

Here's an example from TJPW's 2023.02.11 show, after Yuka Sakazaki came back to Japan after an excursion to America and teamed up with Mizuki about a month before they'd have to fight each other in a title match:

Hard mode: here’s the video.


(Have you both entered title match mode?)

Sakazaki: “No, I haven’t. I’m happy just to have fun being with her now, but to be honest… I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep that motivation all the way to Ariake.”


Mizuki: “But it really hurt a lot last time.”


Sakazaki: “No, no, not now.”


Mizuki: “In any case, it was fun teaming up with you today.”


Sakazaki: “It was too much fun.”

I couldn’t recall having ever formally learned までで (related expressions note III) before, though a search turned up an example of it in one of my translations earlier this year, haha. Though 今までで specifically might have its own nuance? I’m not entirely sure.

This is from the 2023.03.02 press conference leading up to Miu Watanabe defending her International belt against her tag partner Rika Tatsumi at Grand Princess:

I think I’ve probably linked to this presser before, haha. I’m including this whole answer because I think the context helps clarify what she means, but it’s SUPER long, sorry. I’ve bolded the grammar point in question for convenience.


Miu: “Ever since I won this belt, I’ve been thinking as I fight alongside it that I want to see new scenery and experience a lot of things. Moka (Miyamoto), my first challenger, was an opponent I’d yet to experience in the sense that she was challenging for a belt for the first time. And with my second and third challenges, I was facing foreign wrestlers for the first time, so I was able to experience something new there as well. Rika-san, who is always beside me and who is probably closer to me than anyone, came forward to challenge, and I thought she was the most known to me, but after our preview match (2.25 Ota City Industrial Plaza), I started to think that Rika-san might actually be the biggest unknown. Her fighting style is such that you can’t predict what she’s going to do, and you never know what will happen. It’s a lot of fun, and I’m also fighting alongside her day after day to get stronger together as Daydream. So in that sense, I can see the most unknown scenery that I have seen up to now, and I hope we can have the most not-yet-known match, and the most international match. I want to see more and more scenery through this belt, and I want to fight Rika-san, beat her, and then see what kind of scenery lies beyond that point. It’s different from when I challenged Rika-san two years ago, because I want to confront her with this version of myself that has gotten stronger. I will do my best to successfully defend my belt this time as well, so that I can achieve V4.”

Funnily enough, I googled 今までで to see if there was some specific nuance to it, and the second result that came up was trying to help people express " 今までで一番〇〇!" in English, so maybe " 今までで一番" is itself a bit of a set phrase, haha.

I guess this fits the explanation given in ADoBJG, because “the best/most [blank] up to this point” is something that can stop at 今 or continue beyond 今, so までで is appropriate.


The thing that tripped me up the most when initially learning this is that sometimes it’s used to refer to when a specific event happened, like when two people met.

Minna no Nihongo example (from 第18課):


When did you get married?
…[I got married] three years ago.

Here's an example of this sense of it from TJPW's 2023.05.05 show, after Maki Itoh challenged Mizuki for the Princess of Princess championship:

Hard mode: here’s the video.


Itoh: “So the Princess of Princess title challenge, Maki Itoh vs Mizuki, is set for July 8 at Ota City General Gymnasium. Two years ago, I got a direct win over Mizuki in a singles match, and won the tournament. At the time, Yamashita was the champion, and precisely because of that, I challenged her at Ota City General Gymnasium, but I lost. So I’m definitely winning this next one.”

I also didn’t know that 前に is only used when the speaker knows when something is going to take place (and うちに is used instead when the speaker doesn’t know exactly when something will happen).


The entry for まま is surprisingly long and full of examples of different variations for a word that in my head I don’t think of as particularly grammatically complicated…


Finally managed to catch up. :smile:
Hope I will be able to read along with you now. Would definitely be much more fun… :wink:

While I am well aware of the difference between まで and までに (at least theoretically, when speaking I sometimes choose one or the other and realize too late it was the wrong one), I think I was not aware of までで at all. I am pretty sure I am not actively using that one.

I am wondering now what I would (possibly mistakingly) say instead. Probably the following, i.e. without まで.


Would this work instead of ex. [4] in the までに entry?
Or is it ungrammatical resp. has a different meaning?



I have to say that some of the example sentences were a bit… confusing for me. I think it’s mainly because grammar such as ~ておくisn’t really my strong point (I really need to revise/relearn that), and it keeps coming back in the examples. The key sentences were fine, but I struggled with the following examples:

(c) 聞いたままを友達に話しました。

For me it feels weird to associate 聞いた and まま… I do understand that it would translate to I told my friend (exactly) what I heard (without any changes to what I heard), but I wonder if there would be an alternative, more natural way to say it.

(e) 高山さんはアメリカへ行ったまま帰らなかった。

I understood this sentence as Takayama did not return while he was in America (=アメリカへ行ったまま), but the dictionary translated it as “went to America never to return”. Maybe I don’t understand the nuance of the english translation, but I don’t understand how “did not return while he was in America” became “never to return”.


For example c, I think what the dictionary is trying to say is that 聞いたまま is the natural way to say “just as I heard it”. Googling around suggests 見たまま 聞こえたまま 感じたまま are also common similar uses. For example I found a web page telling Japanese English learners


i.e. try to speak just the way you heard it, rather than mentally translating into a katakana loanword and then saying something influenced by the katakana spelling.

For example e, the Japanese is saying (1) Takayama remains in the state of having gone to America (2) he did not come back. The English is a natural translation of that. Item 2 in the “notes” section about it being OK to insert で without really changing the meaning applies here. If the sentence is


is the relationship between 行ったまま and 帰らなかった clearer?


Good to know! I guess it’s just a case of getting familiar with the way japanese expresses certain terms that may be different in english or other languages.

I think that did help indeed. These usages of まま are getting clearer now, but it’s clear that I might need to spend a bit more time practicing/letting it sink in and review it again. Thank you for your help!



I don’t think I have any examples to share from my translations that are particularly interesting, haha.

I did want to say that the ごとに connection hadn’t even occurred to me until I read this entry (I checked the ごとに entry again and it doesn’t even mention 毎, which is kind of funny). It’s good to know that ごとに is what is used with nouns of time preceded by numbers or specific dates.


What’s funny is that I don’t think I’ve formally learned まま from any textbook, and as a result, it’s something that I feel like I’ve repeatedly struggled with in my Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling translations, haha. So I really appreciated the amount of examples here.

Here's a fun example from TJPW Grand Princess on 2023.03.18, after Mahiro Kiryu teamed up with a bunch of freshly debuted wrestlers against some rookies who were wrestling their very first match:

Hard mode: here’s the video. There’s some background noise, but Mahiro is decently understandable.


Kiryu: “I won! Being able to wrestle all of the brand new wrestlers making their debut at Ariake, I felt so giddy today.” (laughs) “That joyful feeling carried me to a win today. I’m really, really happy.”

I had fun translating that “そのうきうきのまま勝てて” line because I feel like I was able to convey something of the buoyancy of うきうき.



Out of curiosity, I looked for any examples of the negative volitional ending まい in my Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling translations, but didn’t find any (unsurprisingly). I’m not sure I had even heard of there being a negative volitional ending, haha. Has anyone personally encountered this in the wild? If it had already fallen out of favor in colloquial Japanese by the time of this book’s publication, I’m assuming it’s probably mainly in older works or in newer works that are trying to sound old, haha. I wonder if it’s used in the Shakespeare deathmatch wrestling shows that I have…

I also looked for のはやめましょう, よしましょう, and ないでおきましょう and didn’t find any in my TJPW translations, either. Not super surprising.

As far as regular ましょう goes, most of the uses of it in this setting boil down to wrestlers saying variations of “let’s have a match”, “let’s do our best/fight with all our might/make it an amazing show/etc.”, or wrestlers inviting the other wrestlers and the crowd to yell out something specific when closing the show.

Here's one example that I liked because it's a little bit different! This is from TJPW's 2023.01.15 show after Raku and Yuki Aino failed to advance in the tag team tournament.

Hard mode: here’s the video. No background noise this time, but Raku speaks really quietly, so it can be a bit difficult to hear her, haha.


Raku: “I went into the match today with the spirit of the title match that I hadn’t been able to do with Yuki-san hanging over it. When Yuki-san worked hard and finally managed to tag me in, I also carried her feelings with me. In the end, I was determined to give it my all, but… it didn’t go well. Today, Pom was seconding us, and it felt like we were fighting 3 on 2. But I’m still here at (the bottom of) the mountain in 2023. We couldn’t climb up together in the tournament, but let’s go up that mountain.”

I definitely have trouble sometimes figuring out if ましょう is indicating the speaker’s volition or an invitation. Maybe the setting of pro wrestling makes that extra difficult haha because often the wrestlers are doing things together or are making an appeal to the crowd, and it can be a bit hard to separate out the “I’m doing this” from the “let’s do this together”. I think I’ve gotten better at it, though.


It still exists, but it’s almost exclusively a written-only form that you’d tend to find in non-fiction, essays, etc. For example, the 2018 pop-science book on archaeology I’m currently reading is written in (a fairly chatty and informal) である style, and it will occasionally throw in a まい. There’s also one in the “reminiscences about Miyazaki by his editor” column in the back cover of volume one of the Nausicaa manga. I think it was probably mostly-written back in the 80s too.

The Xじゃあるまいし pattern (eg 子供じゃあるまいし “you’re not a kid, so [do your own laundry/quit whining/etc]”) is used in spoken Japanese, I think (you can find a few examples in Youglish for it).


This is where the second (and last) week of M starts: 見える to もらう2, 9 entries.



The usage of this grammar in the sense of くる is new for me (or I never payed attention)

Example from the book


I liked the note about difference between 見える and 見られる, after rereading feels intuitive. The thing that I stumbled upon is a sentence about blind people: 僕は目が見えない。. It caught me off guard, but it seems to be a special case (見える (JLPT N4) | Bunpro – Japanese Grammar Explained), so ok, I can live with that.


Same. I tried a bit looking for examples but I gave up, it was too hard to tell if it was this usage or not!


Mmm. I found some by looking for the keigo version – I think お見えになる is pretty much always going to be “to come, to arrive” and not “to be visible”. For instance the photo caption on this page about a walking group says it shows the 一番最初にお見えになった参加者 “the first participants to arrive”.


Love the custom diagram the authors made for まだ. Heh, I guess that’s one way to visualize the difference!

(I wonder if it’s these table layouts that need so much work to turn into ePub that the publisher just hasn’t wanted to do the work? You’d think a book held in such high regard would make it back in profits in a matter of days.)



It took me a while to break down でもある, so it might be helpful for others as well.

Example sentence: そして先生でもある。

I couldn’t find it anywhere in the aDo(B/I/A)JG, in Tobira it is listed just as a separate entry for this particular case but doesn’t explain much. But Bunpro has a link to japanesestackexchange, and finally it makes sense to me grammar - Sentence ending with でもあった - Japanese Language Stack Exchange


My head is finally back out of ‘vacation mode’, so let’s read some grammar again!

I never have much to say about grammar points because I feel like I’m still too inexperienced - I haven’t come across many significant cases yet where the grammar was especially memorable. Thank you everyone who is sharing their thoughts!

まだ to 〜ましょう
見える to もらう2
aDoBJG Bunpro
見(み)える 見(み)える
みる ~てみる
も¹ も
も² ???
もう もう
~も~も ???
もの(だ) ものだ
もらう¹ 貰(もら)う
もらう² ~てもらう

Just blasted through this section. It’s humbling to learn so much more nuance about grammar constructions you thought you already had a solid handle on. So much better to read about this explicitly rather than relying only on coming fuzzily aware of these through years of osmosis.

But first, the use of もちろん as not to mention in examples was a surprise to me. I guess I’ve never translated it that way myself. I’ll have to keep my eyes out for this one.

まで entry really surprised me with the casual note that it is supposedly denotes a closed interval rather than an open one, unlike until (or asti in my native Finnish).

私は来週の月曜日まで休みます (I will rest until next Tuesday)

This is explicitly a closed interval.

Somehow this doesn’t sit quite well with me. In fact, I had to reread this a couple times to make sure, since just in the next entry for までに it seems to be used again in the non-surprising open interval way:

山田は来月までいる (Yamada will stay here until next month)

Just to make this crystal clear, this means that 山田 is staying until the start of the next month, not for the whole duration of next month, right? What didn’t I undestand? (This is the kind of ambiguous language developers see nightmares about… just screams off-by-one error even when it’s just two humans speaking to each other.)

前に, I most definitely didn’t know the different usage between this and うちに. Duly noted.

(Random aside: why is 台風 written like that and not 大風? I’ve now learned to write it with 台 instead but have no idea why.)

も 私は漢字をまだ一千も知らない :pensive:

もう feels like it’s missing the colloquial “jeez”, “come on” part of the description.

もの being about emotions and feelings is something I’ve picked up organically, but good to read a confirmation like this.


Got me curious too, so I checked and there is an explaination on Wikipedia, 「台風」の語源 section :slight_smile: