[aDoIJG] N 💮 A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar

Finally got back to ADoIJG! Not caught up at all, just skipped about 50 pages.

Can someone explain to me when to use なさそう vs. ないそう? I picked it up as なさそう, but always felt like it might be wrong. But now I saw the book use both forms and I’m a little confused.


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This is two separate grammar items:

  • i-adjective-stem plus そう : a judgement or guess based on visual information, “seems like”. おいしそう = “looks tasty”
  • a plain form i-adjective plus そう : hearsay. おいしいそうだ = “I hear it’s supposed to be tasty”

I think these are both in the Basic volume if you need a refresher. (You can also use them with other things like verbs, I only list the formation rule for i-adjectives for brevity.)

ない the negative verb ending works like an i-adjective. So できないそうだ is hearsay, “I hear he cannot ~”. And 問題なさそう is “seems like”, “there seems to be no problem”.

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の上では

I like the note telling us の上では is not the same as の上で. I flipped ahead to compare them, and how are two grammar points so similar in composition and so different in meaning…

の上では = as far as ~ is concerned; as far as ~ goes; from the viewpoint/standpoint of; according to; in terms of

の上で = upon~; after~

The related expression note tells us that 上は (why a different reading…) is used with some nouns in the same way as の上では.

No の上では examples in Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling (unless Namba is hiding another one in some non-transcribed speech that doesn’t come up in my search).

~のは~のことだ

I cannot believe it, but there’s a ゲラ刷り sighting in example (c):

ゲラ刷りが出来るのは来月の終わりのことになるだろう。

(It will be around the end of next month when we get galley proofs.)

Throwback to this tanka that convinced me that "case particle" was maybe actually a valuable concept to learn after all:

…That’s not really the matter at hand here in this entry, though. It’s just really funny to me because the only time that word has ever come up in this forum before was for this very club, haha.

The very brief note for this one says that this structure is a special form of ~のは~だ and is used when a particular time is under focus.

I think this one is nigh un-ctrl+f-able, so I’m not going to attempt to find a TJPW example.

ぬ

This is one that I understand now! It gave me trouble for a while, but eventually I got used to it, haha.

ぬ is an archaic negative marker that corresponds to ない, but is used only with verbs. The archaic ぬ is used in very stiff written Japanese, which is why there are quite a few proverbial phrases in which ぬ is used exclusive of ない. There is no past tense form for ぬ.

Except in idiomatic phrases, ぬ can be replaced by ない, but the reverse is not always the case.

The difference between ぬ and ず is straightforward: the latter can be used as a continuative form or before に to mean “without”. The former can be used at the end of a sentence or before a noun, auxiliary, or a conjugation.

The only example I found was actually from a promo I shared upthread! I'm a bit surprised that it came from Kamiyu of all wrestlers, haha. This was from the 2022.09.03 show leading up to Mahiro Kiryu and Yuki Kamifuku's tag title challenge (I've changed which grammar point is bolded from the above quote):

Hey, look at that! I’m finally done with the N’s!! :partying_face:

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Oh, thank you! I think I got them mixed up at some point, and because they’re so similar it took me until now to realise… らしい and みたい also still give me trouble😅

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