Is there a tool for parsing long phrases into grammatical components?

I encountered the form 行けなくなった and it took me a while to figure out that the last part is actually なる.
Is there an online tool where I can type 行けなくなった and it will tell me something like:

  • 行く - go
  • 行ける - potential
  • 行けない - negative
  • 行けなく - continuative form
  • なる - become
  • なった - past
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I think what you’re looking for is行けなくなった&r=htr


Perfect, thank you! Bookmarked.

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I use ChatGPT for that. I don’t think it can be trusted for subtle grammatical explanations, but for breaking sentences apart and translating it very rarely fails in my experience.

Here’s what it gives for 行けなくなった:

The phrase “行けなくなった” in Japanese can be broken down for a clearer understanding of its structure and meaning. This phrase is composed of the verb “行く” (to go), combined with a sequence of grammatical elements that modify it:

  1. 行く (いく): This is the basic form of the verb meaning “to go.”

  2. 行けない (いけない): This is the negative potential form of “行く.” The potential form of a verb indicates the ability or possibility to do something. In this case, “行ける” means “can go” or “able to go.” When it’s made negative, as in “行けない,” it means “cannot go” or “not able to go.”

  3. 行けなく (いけなく): This is a further modification of “行けない.” In Japanese, adjectives and verb forms like “ない” can be turned into adverbs by changing “ない” to “なく.” This adverbial form is used to modify another verb or adjective. Here, “行けなく” means “not able to go” in an adverbial form.

  4. なった: This comes from the verb “なる,” which means “to become.” “なった” is its past tense form, so it means “became.”

Putting it all together, “行けなくなった” translates to “became unable to go.” This phrase is used to express a change in state – specifically, a transition from being able to do something (in this case, to go) to no longer being able to do it. This is a common grammatical construction in Japanese and is used to describe changes in capability or possibility.

And of course you can feed it much more complicated sentences, like yesterday I struggles with つまり基本的に俺は社会に何ら影響を与えていないという事だ, here’s what it told me:

The sentence “つまり基本的に俺は社会に何ら影響を与えていないという事だ” translates to “In other words, essentially, I am not having any impact on society.” Let’s break it down:

  1. つまり (tsumari) - This means “in other words” or “therefore”, often used to summarize or conclude a point.
  2. 基本的に (kihonteki ni) - This translates to “basically” or “fundamentally”.
  3. 俺は (ore wa) - “I”. “俺” (ore) is a casual, masculine way to say “I”, and “は” (wa) is the topic marker.
  4. 社会に (shakai ni) - “To society”. “社会” (shakai) means “society”, and “に” is a particle indicating direction or indirect object (in this case, the entity being affected).
  5. 何ら影響を与えていない (nanra eikyou o ataete inai) - “Not having any impact”. “何ら” (nanra) means “any kind of”, “影響” (eikyou) means “impact” or “influence”, “を” is the direct object marker, and “与えていない” (ataete inai) is the negative form of “与えている” (ataete iru), which means “to be giving” or “to be having an effect”.
  6. という事だ (to iu koto da) - This is a phrase used to state or conclude an explanation. “という” (to iu) is like saying “called” or “known as”, and “事” (koto) means “thing” or “fact”. “だ” (da) is the casual form of “です” (desu), the copula used for stating or affirming.

Altogether, the sentence expresses the speaker’s realization or assertion that they are essentially not making any impact on society.

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In addition to the tools that others have mentioned, Satori reader includes this kind of parsing which I found really helpful in the beginning. Each verb you click on shows the dictionary form and states which form it has taken in the reading.

But I came here to say actually you will learn this pretty quickly, and taking part in an ABBC book club read (with humans!) is really helpful and enjoyable for getting better at grammar parsing. Not quite a tool like you’re asking for, but the solution that came to my mind first when I saw your question.

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Thanks for this new resource. Aside from the detailed additional information it provides as compared to Google Translate, how does the accuracy of translation compare with Google Translate? How about other resources in general, in other words how would you rate its accuracy in general?

1 Like is just pulling words out of the J-E dictionary, not actually translating. It can occasionally misparse things, yes, but as far as accuracy goes, it’s as accurate as the dictionary is, but it’s up to you to properly re-parse the English into a translation.


GOOD to know, thanks!