Short Grammar Questions (Part 2)

Yeah you can pretty much just plop a verb in its dictionary form in front to make a relative clause. Sometimes the が gets replaced with の in relative clauses as well.

走る人. A person that runs
走ってる人. A person that is running
ピアノがある部屋 room where there is a piano
猫がいる部屋. Room where there is a cat

I don’t know if it helps, but a basic and somewhat narrow description of a noun is a person, place, thing, or being. Cat, people, park, pencil, etc. Nouns can be more abstract concepts too though.

5 Likes

If it helps, which it may not, the Japanese definition of a 名詞 (めいし), which is to say a noun, is:

  • a complete freestanding word (i.e. not something that only appears attached to another word, like a particle or an auxiliary verb)
  • which doesn’t have an ending that changes (i.e. not a verb or an i-adjective)
  • which can be the subject of a sentence (something you can mark with が)

The 50,000 foot view[1] of relative clauses in Japanese is that they are a little mini sentence (ending in a verb) that goes in front of the word you modify. The mini sentence has to be correct Japanese in the same way as a main sentence does. So because 溢れてがある isn’t a grammatical main sentence, it doesn’t work as a relative clause either.


  1. at 50,000 ft I skip some of the detail like the “can mark subject with のif you like” that @Voi notes ↩︎

6 Likes

Like truth, justice.

The American Way.

4 Likes

A useful thing to remember is that both halfs of the sentence should make sense on their own:

ピアノがある - There is a piano.
ピアノがある部屋 - A room with a piano.
部屋にいます - (I) am in a room.
ピアノがある部屋にいます - (I) am in a room with a piano.

For the previous sentence:

猫が溢れている - Cats are overflowing.
猫が溢れている部屋 - A room where cats are overflowing.
部屋にいたい - I want to be in a room.
猫が溢れている部屋にいたい - I want to be in a room where cats are overflowing.

6 Likes

Could someone please help me break down what’s going on at the end of this sentence?

これを懲罰と呼ぶならぬる過ぎだ。

1 Like

ぬるい = lenient
ぬる過ぎだ = is too lenient

5 Likes

昨日、かぞくで花火大かいに出けました。
I went to see a fireworks display with my family yesterday.

Not sure if this was already asked before. When reviewing my burned items, I came across this example sentence for 花火 (level 4). Why is it 家族で instead of 家族と? Is it ok if we use 家族と in this sentence?

1 Like

家族で is like “as a family” (setting aside how the translation has to work with the subject of the sentence)
家族と is like “with my family”

I don’t think anyone would take it to be some big difference or anything, but で is totally normal.

7 Likes

Thank you, it’s clearer now :grin:

1 Like

当日はお気をつけてお越しくださいませ。

How would you translate the meaning of this sentence?
Is it just a polite way of saying “See you at the visit on this day”, or more “Please be here at the visit”(do not miss it)?

“Please be careful on the day of your visit”.

But yeah, it’s polite language. Context would probably help - context always helps for Japanese. What is being visited here?

3 Likes

Thanks!

It’s for an apartment visit. Not sure if it’s just a formal greeting or if the realtor is worried I’ll forget the date

Is there something about it that gave you the impression this was more forceful or accusatory?

Not really