Short Grammar Questions

Thanks :slight_smile: So it was たい after all for passive “general” one…
But yeah, come to think of it it makes perfect sense - I forgot that ~てほしい is usually directed at someone (?) - which shows in your translations for 愛してほしい and 愛されてほしい.

Is ついでに limited in its usage to other people only? Can you use it for yourself?

How does one specify who is missed when using (さび)しがる (if you know a better word for “to miss someone,” please let me know)?

I found these example sentences



私たちは彼がいなくて 寂しがる でしょう。

Do I mark it with [person missed]がいなく[て・と]?

What exactly does it literally? “That [person] who is not here, I/we are lonely (without).”
Knowing it literally helps me to better understand the form.

Thank you in advance.

寂しがる literally means “to feel 寂しい (lonely)” and it doesn’t take an object, so you can’t directly point to someone with it. The translation of “miss someone” makes it seem like you could do that, I suppose, but unlike “missing someone”, “feeling lonely” doesn’t require any specific person to be in mind.

As you found, you can specify a person, by just saying that they are not there and causally tying that to feeling 寂しい.


To add a little more, ~がる is a suffix meaning “to show signs of ~”. You’re generally not supposed to describe other people’s feelings directly, so you use がる to make it less direct. I think the second example you posted is the best demonstration of this. The person who was dumped seems to be lonely, but the speaker can’t know definitively, hence 寂しがる instead of 寂しい.

(There’s probably more to it that I can’t properly explain, but hopefully that helps.)


Yeah, this is the only verb I could find for “to miss someone” on, renshuu, and weblio. They said it was intransitive. So no options more like the English version I suppose?

I didn’t know that, thank you for sharing! I’ll keep an eye out for it in future verbs.

This is always good to review. In this case though, I’m working on saying “I miss [Aさん].” Retroactively, I realize I probably should have mentioned that in my question. Luckily though, not directly describing someone else’s feelings isn’t something we have to worry about for this example unless it’s an invalid way for me to describe my own feelings.

It’s related, but probably a bit stronger / more poetic than we often mean by “miss someone,” but there’s also 恋しい (yearned for, longed for, missed) and 恋しがる (to yearn for, to long for, to miss). Since this one has a specific person or thing in mind, you can apply an object.


Anyway, it’s an option for some things. Probably not casual aquaintances or whatnot, for whom it might be okay to say you “miss” but not “yearn for”, but yeah.

Also, it’s about as direct and frank as possible, and Japanese people tend to shy away from that in most circumstances. You’ll see it in song lyrics or other situations like that though.


Thank you! I quite like that. Is it the kind of yearning that you can have for family or more like a lovers thing?

I’m missing some certain friends of mine, so I’ll take your advice and not use it for them at least.

I’ve seen it used for family / home.

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Thank you!

Oh… and as @seanblue mentioned, this is all for other people, since it’s ~がる.

For yourself, you need to use something like ~く思う or ~くなる or other phrasings.

I noticed, you saying you wanted to use it for your own feelings…

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You might want something like Aさんがいなくて寂しい. “A-san’s not here, so I’m lonely”. Rather than missing someone, you’re lonely because they’re not there. Not saying this is the best way of course, but I think it would get your intent across.

Is there a reason to use something like that instead of just describing yourself as 寂しい? Too direct?


And we’ve come full circle!

It seemed important to @CDR-Strawberry to have a verb expression, but yes, that’s why I mentioned “other phrasings” as well.

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I see, thank you.

Would that work for saying it to a mutual friend or does it imply that I don’t appreciate the other friend?

Not necessarily a verb. I more meant I was hoping for something with more similar arguments to the English “I miss someone.”

Question: when to use short form

I still don’t know and I’ve lived here for almost two years. Of course if the other person uses ます/です I will too. But is it okay to use it with people who are older than me (usually by 5-10 years) who use short form to me? Like at my gym or club or church? I have no idea…

No one can really tell you if it’s okay or not.

I live in Kansai, and people use casual Japanese without regard for age or superiority at my workplace quite frequently. In other parts of Japan, doing that at work would be far less common.

As a non-native speaker, people are unlikely to deeply scrutinize your choice of politeness, unless you are clearly at a native level and displaying the ability to use various registers flawlessly.

I doubt anything bad would happen if you used it. At the same time, older people who you only know as aquaintances are textbook examples of people to speak politely toward.

Experiment if you’re up for it.


I wrote this sentence the other day,


and a native gave me some feedback saying that it was kinda vague and replaced the で particle with では / においては (refer to the screenshot below). I was just wondering why(?) or how the sentence is made clearer with those two replacements.

Screenshot 2021-04-10 at 10.04.53 PM

Just at a glance, when you reach 学校のプロジェクトで, you cannot tell what function で is performing.

It could be the particle で, or it could be the て form of the copula. You have to go farther to tell.

Applying は to で instantly clarifies its purpose and presumably that feels more right to a native speaker.


I still have some difficulties to understand the sentences on nhk easy

those who “link” sentences or end them, for example




and usually they end the article with といました

If I get to know these small words I would increase a lot in understanding the sentences.