Short Grammar Questions

I was on the fence about asking about this but I figure I need to ask questions at least every once in a while: “疑いたくなるほど” is an excerpt I just discovered. At first I thought it was “the extent of becoming suspicious”, but I’m confused about like two other things here. First, I figured this was an i-adjective conjugated into the くなる form, but 疑いたい is not an adjective I’m aware of. It could be 疑う in some fancy conjugation but I don’t think so as nothing comes up in bunpro. Second, is this actually not なるほど as in the extent of becoming, but as "なるほど” as in understanding something?

~たい is an auxiliary adjective that you can attach to verbs to express desire. 疑いたい means “want to suspect/doubt.” 食べたい (want to eat), 行きたい (want to go), etc. They function like adjectives for conjugation, but they do retain some verb traits as well.


i feel like an idiot because I know all about those; I just didn’t make the connection here and didn’t remember they can be conjugated like that. Thanks a bunch.

I keep coming across this ◯は◯で, and I’m frustrated that there seems to be no official interpretation in any grammar resource. It was discussed in the first week of the コーヒーが冷めないうちに book club a little. The phrases were similar to your example: 「数は数で「あ。はぁ」と応えただけで、それ以上何も言わなかった」 and later「数も数で核心をついた返事をした」
I’ve also seen it in the phrase: 「まぁその時はその時で」here:

It seems to me like it adds some emphasis and contrast, like “on her part”, “being the way she is”, “being a separate case”. So in your case “because Mia is Mia [rest of sentence]” sounds about right. I’d really like some more definitive answer however.

Edit: Found it in the Handbook of Japanese Grammar Patterns after all:


Its a grammar point, yeah. I think its pretty easy to grasp from the parts that its saying mia stayed silent and bit her lip, but what might not be apparent is the nuance.

When you say 彼は彼で~~~ or 日本は日本で~~~ or 夏は夏で~~~ the nuance is that there is a comparison being drawn (between things of the same category, of course) and what follows is something characteristic of the repeated noun.

So 彼は彼で黙ったまま、唇を嚙みしめた means that he stayed silent and bit his lip, but under the surface its indicating that either a) other people are reacting differently, b) had someone else been in that situation they would have reacted differently. Thus most likely (although I cant know without context) mias personality or personal situation caused her to react that way and there are other people who wouldnt have stayed silent and said/done something.

The only thing I would watch out for is that sometimes the thing thats characteristic can be more specific than just one broad descriptor that follows. For example
Doesn’t really come across as “japan is interesting, compared to other countries which arent” and its more like “japan is interesting in its own way”. So its not being 面白い that is unique to japan but rather japan’s 面白さ that is different from other countries.日本は日本で判断する isn’t necessarily saying only japan makes decisions, but specifically the decision japan does make will be unique to them in the sense that they wont blindly be following some other country’s decision, yknow. So it can also be like “in their own way” and you just have to have a feel to know which one is right.

In the sentence you provided, it would not be “in their own way” and more contrasting their reaction with others.


Thanks @Vanilla! From your explanation, it sounds like my interpretation for this specific sentence was reasonable, but it’s really helpful to know more about the nuance and the difference versions that can pop up.

@omk3 What page is the grammar point on? I checked the handbook before posting the question and couldn’t find it.


Page 523. Strangely, I too had tried to look it up before with no luck.

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I found several definitions checking online, but this one sums it up best imoは…で/


It has been brought in this topic a couple years ago. Don’t know if it will answer your doubts, but there were some explanations and links by then.


Interesting, so で is a conjugation of だ rather than the particle で then.
In that case, I wonder how come my manga example above, 「まぁその時はその時で。」, ends the sentence on で.

Hmmm, I don’t feel like その時はその時で fits in the grammar pattern being discussed at AはAで。

その時はその時で feels more like a regular sentence that happens to overlap with it. I say that because when you say that, you are not saying that その時 is different from other 時 with its own characteristics. You are just saying “let’s think about その時 when その時 comes”


How is it saying “let’s think about その時 when その時 comes” though? What is で doing differently here?
I took it to be the same grammar pattern, essentially saying that that time will be different from this time/it will be a different matter altogether. No?

I agree that it’s not quite the same. まぁその時はその時で is used in “we’ll deal with it when that time comes” kind of situations.

You could end the sentence with だ, but using で at the end implies there’s more left unsaid. Just like ending any sentence in て-form.


the で here says when something is happening, and the “let’s think about” bit is left implied (it’s an incomplete sentence).

from imabi:

  1. で shows an extent which may create juncture. Juncture deals with a point in time or place. However, it is not definite in nature as the particle に. This does not mean phrases like 一秒で are impossible. The purpose of に is to show exact time. Think of the difference as “The ice fully melted in 3 hours, 4 minutes, and 32 seconds” vs “The ice fully melted in three hours”. Juncture could also be used to show at what point something happens. The vagueness of this comment is on purpose. For instance, you’d use で to show at what temperature something boils or melts.

but regardless, it’s a set expression anyway:

  1. we’ll cross that bridge when we get there; we’ll think about it when the time comes

Thanks both of you. I had thought of an incomplete sentence, and of it being a set expression, but searching for the whole thing (with で included) produced no results so I gave up. Oh well… :roll_eyes:


jisho’s sentence parsing is terrible. takoboto and yomichan find it immediately…


I guess this isn’t exactly the same thing as in その時はその時で, but I just thought I’d offer a simple phrase that I think I’ve heard a few times in anime that might make the essence of the 〜は〜で easier to remember:「君は君でいいよ」(and similar sentences) are used to mean ‘you’re fine the way you are’ and offer reassurance. (OK, actually, I still think these two phrases work more or less the same way, but that’s probably just got to do with how I personally see で.)


Thanks, that’s helpful. I also suspect that there’s a similar principle behind both phrases, but I’m curious now: How do you personally see で?

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Hm… as the て-form of だ above all, with most functions being derived from that? Or as a mix between that and a ‘means’ particle. In the case of 君は君でいいよ, I’d say either meaning works. You are good just being you, or you are good even if the basis of your lifestyle and existence is you. For その時はその時で, I guess the て-form interpretation is good if you want to focus on ‘that time being that time’ and not being presently relevant, or being different from some other time. Can we use the ‘means’ particle interpretation? Well, maybe this is technically an incorrect or imprecise interpretation, but it seems like it’s also explained by some sites as meaning ‘when that time comes’, and it certainly seems to be used that way by some people, so you could say it’s kinda like how some people explain the existence of 後で: one uses ‘that [point in] time’ to consider the issue. I think the て-form interpretation is more appropriate in this case, but I think both work.

That’s basically it. Fun fact: apparently で is actually descended from に+て in Classical Japanese, but because I haven’t had enough time to study the details of Classical Japanese grammar, I’m not sure how to interpret that, especially because に might be the particle or one of the forms of the old copula なり (basically the classical version of だ・である). I guess we can just treat that as a bit of trivia for now. Hahaha.


That’s interesting. I always secretly thought that the particle で might have been the て-form of だ originally, because in several cases (like the one we’re discussing) it seems to me that either of them would work. Not so, apparently :slight_smile:

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