[aDoIJG] A – J 💮 A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar

Entries A – J


A Dictionary of Japanese Grammar :white_flower: Home Thread

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Week
Start Date
Reading Entry Count Page Numbers Page Count
#4 Jan 27th あまり to だからと言って 7 3 - 23 21
#5 Feb 3rd だけで to どうも 7 23 - 39 17
#6 Feb 10th どんなに〜(こと)か to ほど 7 39 - 59 21
#7 Feb 17th 以外 to 上 6 60 - 79 20

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2 Likes

I like the explanations of the dictionary but also I actually love the examples sentences :grin:

私は喜びのあまり思わず隣の人に抱きついてしまった。 → omg so cute
日本語は勉強すればするほど面白くなります。 → YES :grin:
都会の生活は便利だ。だが、ストレスが多すぎる。 → also yes!
あの人の話は面白い。だが、内容がない。 → ouch :sweat_smile:

12 Likes

I’ve only read あまり so far but I really enjoyed the example sentences there, I feel like they’re a step up from the ones in the beginner dictionary (it’s like they have more personality… and are more challenging, so it feels like you’re also learning more from them)

6 Likes

Been continuing my practice of covering over the translations of the example sentences and seeing if I can translate them. Pretty good success rate so far. :slightly_smiling_face:

6 Likes

Really enjoyed getting stuck into this, it’s also really encouraging to read about grammar points that I’ve already picked up through reading immersion and then gain a greater understanding of them. As mentioned above, the example sentences were really fun and well written.

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あまり: I had forgotten about this grammar usage as a conjunction, I think because I rarely see it in comparison to other uses of あまり like 君、あまり食べないんだね? (meaning “not much” with a negative verb) or そのあまりの美しさに俺は言葉失った。(meaning “extreme, great, tremendous” as an adjective).

9 Likes

I agree the sample sentences are really interesting and engaging. They also have good vocabulary.

I’ve decided to write a couple of my own sentences using each grammar point at the end of the week, I think it will help with understanding and also increasing a bit my writing output in Japanese.

5 Likes

A+++ example sentence for 〜ば〜ほど:
この酒は飲めば飲むほどおいしくなります。

(The more you drink this sake, the tastier it becomes.)

2 Likes

My favorite part about learning/reviewing grammar I’m not so familiar with is when the morning after I encounter it in the manga I’m reading:

image

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We love to see it!

1 Like

@helloorange Probably best to make a new post in the thread when we’re starting a new week, so that aside from having a visual demarcation, it also gets bumped to the top of the thread list.

である article completely neglects to mention that there’s a whole host of conjunctions and grammar forms that are only ever used with the である form. Be nice if it did, because I never really learnt any of them. :stuck_out_tongue:

7 Likes

I’m a little behind but hopefully can catch up, I’m skipping the intro bits for now and going straight to the main entries.

While I’ve encountered most of the grammar points so far, I’m definitely having to engage my brain more than with the basic dictionary. Which means it’ll be more useful, but also take more time.

7 Likes

Week 6 begins!
Entries: どんなに〜(こと)か to ほど
Pages: 39-59
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I’m officially falling behind.

Time to try and catch up!

だけで

This one is “new” to me, but it’s one that I probably understood well enough whenever I encountered it.

image

であろう

From the manga I’ve read, this one has mostly come up when a character from olden times is speaking. Outside of that, I don’t encounter it often enough to likely remember it.

If I think of it as (for reading purposes) essentially meaning the same as だろう, I should be fine.

image

It looks like this usage of どうも basically never comes up in the manga I read.

All right, that (and the ones I didn’t comment on) brings me up to this week’s starting line.

5 Likes

I liked the idea of finding content with the actual grammar points, so I started a list from Immersion Kit. Shout out to the folks in the book club for inspiring me!

Feel free to check it out and (or if you see anything amiss, let me know!) I tried to specifically make sure that the example sentences were good representations of the intermediate entries, but I’m also still learning them. That being said, the context is SUPER helpful! I’ve downloaded them as anki cards (which I usually despise, it’s just never worked for me) and I actually feel like it’s helping a lot.

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あまり

I was totally unaware of this use of あまり as a conjunction! Now I’m wondering how many times I actually did see it and misinterpreted it as the adverb あまり… It’s neat that you can rearrange sentences using the conjunction to use the adverb, though.

I have a hunch I’ve seen すぎる a lot more often! The related expression note makes あまり seem a lot more limited. あまり is always part of an adverbial clause or phrase which expresses a cause, whereas すぎる doesn’t always express cause and can be in the predicate of a main clause, and あまり is also only used when the verb or noun represents a psychological action or state.

Oh, the line at the end of this entry explains why I haven’t seen it! すぎる is used in both spoken and written Japanese while あまり is limited in use to formal written Japanese. So, I’m probably unlikely to encounter it in a pro wrestling promo, then…

~ば ~ほど

I learned this one in Tobira and had enough trouble with it that I feel like I remember it decently well, haha.

I’m not sure I remembered that the conditional form なら was used with な-adj, though!

I wasn't sure I'd have much luck finding an example in my Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling translations, but I did find one in the 2023.10.04 press conference before Wrestle Princess! Miyu Yamashita was challenging Mizuki for the Princess of Princess Championship:

Here’s the video, though I don’t have the below part timestamped. And here’s the full transcript for context. The translation is mine and may contain errors.

――あらためてお互いの強さをどこに感じる?

――What do you especially feel is the other person’s strength?

山下「名古屋大会でも自分が攻めてるな、いけるなって時に一気にやられる感じとか、ホントに何回も闘ってきててすごいわかってるつもりでも、どこかでコロっというか波に飲み込まれてしまう強さというか、もともと負けず嫌いなところとか、蹴れば蹴るほどすごい火が付くタイプなので、それがまたベルトを持つことで、責任感が増していることで気持ちの強さが一気に増してるなって思ったので。これはやっぱり、ちょっと蹴り散らかさないと、蹴り倒さないと倒せないなっていうのは思いました」

Yamashita: “At the Nagoya show, just when I thought ‘I can attack, I can do it’, I feel like she beat me immediately. Even though we’ve fought loads of times and I might think I understand her, somehow she turns it around, or her strength swallows me up like a wave. She hates to lose in the first place, and she’s the type who gets more and more fired up the more I kick, so I think by having the belt, she has an increased sense of responsibility, and her feelings are stronger. I think if I don’t kick her around a little, if I don’t kick her down, I won’t be able to beat her.”

~ばかりか~(さえ)

I think I remember learning this point before, though I don’t remember seeing it much in native media (a quick check and it looks like it hasn’t shown up in TJPW).

Something important to remember is that before ばかりか comes something/someone normally expected and after ばかりか comes something/someone normally unexpected. If the order is reversed, the sentence becomes unacceptable.

Also, the particle さえ can be replaced by the particle も, especially in speech. (Looks like we’ll be reading about さえ in here in several months.)

The phrases ばかりで(は)なく~(も)and だけで(は)なく~も are very similar to ~ばかりか~(さえ), but the last one expresses the highest degree of unexpectedness between the content of S1 and S2, and if that unexpectedness is missing, the construction sounds awkward. (Both examples get awarded the Michelin 2 question marks).

S1 どころか S2, which is a construction indicating that someone or something is very far from a/n (un)desirable state, is very different from S1 ばかりか S2 when S1 is affirmative and S2 is negative, or when S1 is negative and S2 is affirmative, but if both S1 and S2 are affirmative or negative, the constructions are interchangeable.

べきだ

Tense and negation are expressed by conjugating べきだ, and the prenominal form is べき.

べきだ usually expresses the idea that someone or something should do something or be in some state because it is their responsibility or duty, because it is the right thing or a good thing to do, or because it is the right state or a good state to be in. It also expresses the idea that someone is expected to do something.

This one was news to me: べきだ is not used when the speaker is younger than the hearer or lower than the hearer in status. (2 Michelin question marks if you say it to your professor!)

ものだ also expresses the idea that one should do something as one’s duty, but it’s only used in a generic statement to express a social norm, so it can’t be used in a specific situation.

In order of strongest to weakest:

  1. なければならない
  2. べきだ
  3. た方がいい

はず also expresses the idea of “should”, but it’s used when the speaker’s expectation is involved.

Here's an example from the TJPW press conference on 2023.10.25 before Princess of Princess Champion Miyu Yamashita defended her belt against the Finnish wrestler Regina.

Here’s the full transcript for context.

――山下選手、フィンランドに流出する危機だが。

――Yamashita, there is a risk of the belt slipping away to Finland.

山下「瑞希を含め今までのチャンピオンたちも形は違えどそういうリスクをたくさん負ってきた中でベルトを守ってきたと思う。そこに対して焦りもないし、チャンピオンとしてやるべきことなのかなと思うので、しっかり守っていきたい。レジーナには渡さない」

Yamashita: “I think the champions before me, including Mizuki, have shouldered the burden of taking many such risks while they defended the belt, albeit in different ways. I’m not anxious about that, and I think it’s something that I should do as the champion, so I will defend it properly. I won’t hand it over to Regina.”

I think I’ll stop there for now? If I aim to do 2 grammar points a day and post them in batches of 4 or so, I should get caught up soon, hopefully!

7 Likes
どうせ example sentences


Are the writers okay?

JK JK I know this term is supposed to have a certain “finality” to it, from my understanding. Reading these one after another was a bit funny.

6 Likes

分

Short entry! This isn’t the 分 grammar point I have trouble with, haha (I am unsure if that one is in these dictionaries?), so I don’t know if I have much to say about it!

I don’t think I knew this bit in the related expressions note, though: the suffix 前 also expresses a portion of something, but this use is limited to food.

No examples for this because 分 is too common of a kanji to search for this specific use.

だが

Me: “I don’t think I’ve seen this one before?”
The notes: “だが is not used in spoken Japanese unless it is followed by ね.”
Me: “Ah”

It goes on to say that in spoken Japanese, だが is usually replaced by けれど(も) or by でも, and I’ve seen both of those a whole lot! The formal version ですが can be used in both spoken and written Japanese.

The related expressions note elaborates on the differences between だが and が / けれど(も) / のに / しかし / だけど / でも:

Sentence initial conjunctions:

だが
だけど
しかし
でも

Non-sentence-initial conjunctions:

が
のに

(Non-)Sentence-initial conjunction:

けれど(も)

There is also a semantic difference. が and けれど(も) can be used in two senses of “but” and “and” (as I think came up in the club for the previous volume).

In order of most colloquial to least:

でも
だけど
だが
しかし

I doubted I'd be able to find this in Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling, but Shoko Nakajima proved me wrong! This is from after her tag match with Hyper Misao at Summer Sun Princess on 2023.07.08 (I think I shared this clip already):

Hard mode: here’s the video.

荒れた会見場に自転車とともに姿を見せたミサヲと中島。

Misao and Nakajima showed up with the bicycle at the backstage interview location.

ミサヲ「どういうことだ? 何かが起きたようだが、享楽共鳴が勝ったぞ!」

Misao: “What’s that? Something seems to have happened, but Kyoraku Kyomei won!”

中島「勝ったぞー!」

Nakajima: “We won!”

ミサヲ「とんでもない大怪獣映画でしたね」

Misao: “It was an outrageous kaiju movie, wasn’t it?”

中島「そうだ、だが、この試合で三大怪獣のバトルを制したのはこの享楽共鳴だということが世界に証明されたぞ! みんな見とけよ、この後も夏を制するのは中島翔子とハイパー・ミサヲだ。この世界にな、ザ・ビッグ怪獣は中島だってことをこの夏証明してみせる!」

Nakajima: “Yes, but with this match, we proved to the world that in the battle between three big kaiju, it was Kyoraku Kyomei who had the upper hand! Look, everyone: from this point onward, it’ll be Shoko Nakajima and Hyper Misao ruling over summer. I will prove to the world this summer that the Big Kaiju is Nakajima!”

中島&ミサヲ「刮目せよ!」

Nakajima & Misao: “Pay close attention!”

だからと言って

I don’t remember learning this one in any of my textbooks, and couldn’t find a single example in TJPW. So I think it might be completely new to me! I’ll have to keep an eye out for it going forward.

It frequently occurs with わけではない or とは限らない.

だけで

The choice of the tense of the verb before だけ depends on 1) whether or not the action expressed by the verb was taken in the past, and 2) whether or not the action/event expressed by the verb precedes the action/event expressed by the main verbal.

Here’s an example from 2024 TJPW! This is from their annual 1.4(イッテンヨン) show!

Yuki Arai challenged Max The Impaler for the International Princess Championship, one year to the day after Arai lost the tag team championship to Max on this very show:

Hard mode: here’s the video (might be extra hard mode because this show was at Korakuen Hall, so there’s likely background noise).

荒井「荒井が勝ちましたー! ホントにマックスがすごすぎて…何回もペチャンコになっちゃったんじゃないかなって思ったんですけど。リベンジしたいって気持ちだけで最後まで闘うことができたのかなって思います。最初から何回も逃げ出したくなったんですけど、最後にベルトを持つことができたので逃げ出さなくてよかったなって思うし、2024年、最高の年になるんじゃないかなと思います。ありがとうございました!」

Arai: “I won! Max is so amazing… There were so many times when I thought I’d get flattened like a pancake. I think it was my determination to get revenge that allowed me to fight until the end. From the start, there were so many times when I wanted to run away, but I’m so glad that I didn’t, because I was able to hold up the belt in the end. I think 2024 will be the best year yet for me. Thank you very much!”

8 Likes

Re である. I was (vaguely) interested in the concept that in written Japanese, だ is more formal than です, however in spoken Japanese it’s the other way round. Is this a historical thing or still current today?

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だらけ

Interesting note on the nuance here: だらけ is used when something is covered with something undesirable, but if something is covered with something desirable, だらけ can’t be used.

Kind of a fascinating related expression section. The difference between だらけ and まみれ (which I didn’t recognize) is that the latter means “totally covered/mixed with dirty liquid/powder such as blood, sweat, mud, or dust”, excluding intangible objects, whereas the former can be used not only with liquid/powder but also to cover holes/pimples, and intangible objects.

!! WE HAVE A 凸凹 SIGHTING IN THE EXAMPLES. Always enjoy seeing that one, haha.

I didn't remember having seen だらけ before, but I found one right away! This is from the Toyko Joshi Pro Wresting 2024.01.03 press conference the day before イッテンヨン. Daisy Monkey (Suzume and Arisu Endo) were going to face Free WiFi for the tag belts, but Free WiFi had to relinquish the titles, and it became a 3-way match instead.

Here’s the transcript for context, and the video of the entire press conference (this portion is at the very beginning after Daisy Monkey sign the contract for the match).

鈴芽「カード変更がありましたけど、私たちのベルトに対する気持ちも自信も変わっていません。東京女子プロレスの、白昼夢も爆れつ(シスターズ)も(ふりー)WiFiといった最強のタッグチームがつないできたベルトを私たちでじもんが持ちます」

Suzume: “The card changed, but our feelings concerning the belts and our confidence remain the same as ever. We, Daisy Monkey, are going to hold the belts that have been held by the strongest tag teams in TJPW, like Daydream, Bakuretsu (Sisters), and (Free) WiFi.”

有栖「相手が増えたり、パワーな人だらけだったりするんですけど、鈴芽さんも言った通り、私たちのベルトに対する思いは変わらないので、2人で獲ります!」

Arisu: “We have more opponents, and the opposing teams are chock full of powerful people, but as Suzume said, our desire for the belts is unchanged, so the two of us are going to take them!”

で

Looking at the example sentence “この翻訳は一ページで二千円お払いします。” and then looking at my 95 page (and counting) translation document for 2024 TJPW stuff alone. Boy would that be nice…

I totally thought we already got this one in the basic volume, haha.

According to the notes, で can be omitted if the relation between the basic amount and the associated amount is more or less fixed. If it’s fixed, で can also be replaced by につき (which is more formal).

No examples for this because I am absolutely not going to attempt to wade through a ctr+f search of で!

であろう

Had to read this a bit slowly to process it: “であろう is originally the conjecture form of the copula である, but it is used as an auxiliary of conjecture.” It’s only used in written Japanese.

だろう, which is a less formal auxiliary of conjecture, has the same meaning and function as であろう, except the latter can appear before a noun as part of a relative clause (I suppose because it technically comes from である?), but だろう can’t.

まい can be used to express a negative conjecture, but it can only be used with Vinf nonpast aff.

I didn't think I'd find any examples of this in TJPW, but the wrestlers proved me wrong! Here's from Ryo Mizunami's comments after she faced Suzume in a singles match on 2022.10.09 (wow, it's hard to believe this was only Aniki's second singles match at TJPW. I guess 2022 was quite a while ago, in wrestling time...)

Hard mode: here’s the video.

水波「はい、この東京女子、私2戦目なんですけど、前回は渡辺未詩選手と。今日はね、鈴芽選手と。2試合目なんだけど、どんどんどんどん私自身が東京女子プロレスの魅力にどんどん浸かっていく感じがします。このこれからの可能性、いま負けても、負けたって、それは結果として出る。そんなことはどうでもいい。これからなんだよ。これから、これをどう思って次に繋げるか。それが毎日毎日やっていく上での大事なことだと思います。私はそういう意味でこれからがんばるであろう彼女、そして私ももっと前回も言ったけど、もっと強くあり続けなければいけない。それをやっぱりね、今日また出てあらためて思いました」

Mizunami: "Yes, this is my second match in TJPW, but last time I fought Miu Watanabe. Today I faced Suzume. This is just my second match, but I feel myself becoming more and more addicted to TJPW’s charm. Your future potential, even if you lose now, even though you lost, that’s the result. It’s not worth worrying about. What matters is what happens from now on. From this point on, how do you assess this and apply it next time? I think that’s what’s important to do every day. In that sense, I think she’s going to do her best from here, and like I said last time, I must also continue to be stronger. I was reminded of this again today.”

である

I have a fun example of this I wish I could share haha because I wrote a very short piece of Japanese fiction for submission to a magazine, but we’re not allowed to publish it anywhere else in the meantime, so I will wait, haha.

In order from least to most formal (in writing):
です
であります
だ / である

The polite forms of である are sometimes used in formal speech, like in public speaking. In order from least to most formal (in speech):
だ
です
であります

The related expression section touches on the same thing from the previous entry, where Nだ can’t be used as the prenominal form while Nである can.

{N/Adjなstem}だ also can’t appear before expressions of uncertainty such as らしい and かもしれない, but である doesn’t have this restriction.

I have no idea how actually correct this is, but the impression I get is that です is really a politeness thing more of a formality thing (it’s showing politeness to the listener), so when used in writing, it tends to come across as less objective/softer, whereas だ states things plainly and objectively.

The book I’m reading right now, Saki Akai’s autobiography, is written in です form because she’s personally narrating her life, and it reads like she’s talking to you. Articles and fiction books might prefer だ because I think です can sound patronizing when it’s about factual information, like it’s talking down to you, and it can also feel like it’s softening the words.

There’s an essay called どう書いても嫌な奴は嫌な奴 by Machida Kou (it’s one of the essays in Read Real Japanese Essays) where he at one point puts Sex Pistols lyrics into です form haha and the result is pretty funny.

I’d actually recommend both Read Real Japanese Essays and Read Real Japanese Fiction if you want to see lots of examples of how authors use です, だ, and である to change the tone of their writing, often using multiple styles within the same piece. The translation notes go into a lot of detail about what kind of effect these choices have on the writing. (If I recall correctly, several of the pieces break the rule in this entry that says that the である and the だ style cannot be used with the です style.

Here are some である examples from TJPW's 2023.10.09 show, Wrestle Princess, where Miyu Yamashita defeated Mizuki for the Princess of Princess championship:

Hard mode: here’s the video.

山下「やったよー。4回目、取りました。ギリギリ。ホントに今年の3月に瑞希がこのベルトを取って、あの日から絶対に…もう何十回も言ってきているんですけど、瑞希が持つこのベルトに挑戦したかったんです。その後3カ月間アメリカ行ったり、トーナメントもありましたけど。そこを頑張れたのって瑞希とタイトルマッチをするっていうモチベーションで。やっぱりめちゃくちゃすごかったし、もうすごさは分かってたけど、ベルトを持ってる瑞希はよりすごかったです。チャンピオンの瑞希がすごく好きで、悔しいくらいカッコよくて。だからそんな瑞希に勝てて、ホントに今日嬉しかったです。でもね、チャンピオンになってこれからこのベルトを持って。アメリカにもあるので、3冠のチャンピオンとしてしっかり世界飛び回っていきたいと思います。明日からもアメリカなので、しっかり東京女子のチャンピオンであること、EVEのチャンピオンであること、SPARKのチャンピオンであることをしっかり背負って、世界を回りたいと思います。そして今日みんな会場…めちゃくちゃお客さん来てくれて、ホントにすごく嬉しかったです。これからも頑張るので応援よろしくお願いします」

Yamashita: “I did it! I won it for the fourth time. Just barely. Mizuki won the belt this March, and ever since that day… I’ve said it dozens of times already, but I wanted to challenge for the belt that Mizuki had. After that, I went to the U.S for three months, and I had the tournament, too. I was able to do my best there because I was motivated by the desire to have a title match with Mizuki. She’s so amazing, and I already knew that about her, but she was even more amazing with the belt. I really like Mizuki as a champion, and she was so cool, I felt frustrated. That’s why I’m so happy that I was able to beat her today. But now that I’m the champion, I’m going to take this belt with me. I’ll be in America, too, so I want to fly around the world as a triple champion. I will be in the U.S. starting tomorrow, so I want to go around the world carrying on my shoulders the weight of being TJPW champion, EVE champion, and SPARK (Joshi Puroresu of America) champion. And everyone at the venue… I’m so happy that so many people came to the show today. I will continue to do my best, so please support me.”

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