Short Grammar Questions


#1678

This could also work… :thinking:


#1679

Was reading the “Try To 2” chapter from Imabi, and there’s a funny bit about using you-to-suru in present/future.

Quoting:
There is a time restraint to ~ようとする that makes its non-past form ungrammatical in many instances. ~ようとする describes the moment right before an action/change occurs, namely the beginning of the “trial”, but the action is meant to be right after when one says it. The moment you utter the phrase is the “base period” for the action implied. If say you are going abroad to Japan like in Ex. 10. You’re trying to put into action some sort of change, and that change consequently is about to happen, but in doing so your attempt has already begun as you are consciously planning its execution. All of this is implied with this phrase, which is why we usually see it in the past tense or the progressive. With that in mind, Ex. 10 should sound weird. The “try” in English should clearly not match the “try” phrase being used in the Japanese.

This one really throws me off, why swap the suru with shite? Is suru always invalid in this phrase?
And

Why would the progressive tense be any more valid than the present anyway?

  1. 友子、すぐ出かけようとするんですか。X → 友子、すぐ出かけようとしていますか。〇
    Intended: Is she going to try to leave immediately?

#1680

Not too sure about this, the writing is not so clear. It doesn’t really say it’s wrong but that it sounds weird. The text says that the planning and attempt (する) is already progressing, so it sound more natural to put it into the progressive form.


#1681

I can’t explain in complete detail now, but in the sentence you used above, you are expressing what you think is the will of another person. Typically when talking about other people’s thought, volition, or other things not easily observable in Japanese, the 〜ている form is necessary. 〜ようとする implies the exact moment when one will try to do something before it’s a continuous aspect. Since only you can determine that moment for yourself, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to apply that to another person.

When I get home I can provide more links, otherwise hopefully someone who is more available can explain this in more detail.

EDIT: I tried to look for the links where this is explained in English, but inexplicably I’m not using the right search query keywords to get those sites to come up quickly. Anyway, one example referring to talking about another’s volition can be found here. Although I’m aware it’s a different grammar point being referred to, it is a good place to point out that specifically when talking about other’s thoughts, feelings, or volition in Japanese one cannot use the same forms as you would for yourself.

Here are the two point I’d like to bring your attention to:

意志形は単独で使うとひとりごとや勧誘の意味を表わします。話し手がある行為をする意志があることを聞き手に伝える場合には、意志形に「と思います」(普通形「と思う」)をつけて使うのがふつうです。意志を一定期間持ち続けている場合は、「と思っています」を使います。

English:
When used by itself, the volitional form expresses the meaning of talking to oneself or an invitation to that nature. If the speaker conveys something that has their own will to the listener it’s normal to add と思います (と思う in plain form) to the volitional form. If one’s feelings persists for a constant period of time, one uses と思っています.

「(よ)うと思います」は、一時的な意志を直接表しますが、「(よ)うと思っています」は意志の持続を客観化して表わします。ですから、「(よ)うと思います」は話し手自身の意志しか表わせませんが、「(よ)うと思っています」は、聞き手や第三者の意志にも使えます。

English:
(よ)うとおもいます directly expresses temporary volition, but (よ)うと思っています expresses and objectifies the continuation of volition. Therefore (よ)うとおもいます can only express the speaker’s own will, but (よ)うと思っていますcan also be used for the volition of the listener and/or a third party.

So in other words, it could be inferred with this that ~ている has the ability to objectify the continuation of (something) so that it turns into an observation rather rather than an assertion that the speaker actually knows the listener’s or 3rd party’s volition, etc. I think this can be seen when people quote a 3rd party, they sometimes use ~と言っていました or even talk generally about what 3rd party thinks by using ~と思っています.

So going back to example sentence, ~ようとしています is an observation of what the speaker thinks another person is going to do. If that make sense at all.


#1682

Great explanation, thank you :slight_smile:


#1683

I know から means “because”, but what does it mean it ends the sentence, but there’s nothing afterwards? Like Something-something から. Thanks.


#1684

Sometimes it’s just a sentence softener. There are a number of things that you can put at the end of a sentence so you’re not just bluntly declaring things.


#1685

Another conjugation question; I read this passage from Imabi and it really shocked me:

  1. ドアを開あけると、コウモリが入はいってきた。
    When I opened the door, a bat came inside.

Never will you see 開けるら, and never will you see 開けたと. One way to explain this is that Japanese makes a distinction between foreground and background circumstances. When something happens/is so in the background, it usually or must take -RU/U. This means that for 4, the door opening is a pretext for the bat having entered the home. The door is presumably open when the bat enters, and so that clause takes -RU. The bat entering is at the foreground of the sentence and thus takes -TA. In 3, the action of having opened the door is at the foreground when you get to closing it back shut. Therefore, it takes -TA. These examples demonstrate a need to analyze these endings far more closely.

I know Japanese doesn’t have verb tense agreement, but this is first time I heard it explained in terms of background / foreground circumstances. All the strange tense vs aspect conjugation fluidness has kind of mystified me for a while.

So if I’m in a subordinate clause, I use the tense relative to that clause?

花火を見る時は楽しんだ
I enjoyed watching the fireworks.
I’d use the present and past tenses like that?

  • Now that I write it out in English I realize I’m basically doing the same thing with “watching” using the present progressive, maybe this is nothing new?

#1686

I guess I need to read more Imabi, because 4 seems wrong to me. I mean, would these be wrong?
ドアを開けてから、…
ドアをあけた時、…

To me using と somehow makes it seem like opening the door caused the bat to enter, when really it just allowed that to happen. But maybe I’m mixing up the several different conditionals.


#1687

Describes some different usages of と as a clause connector. The one the imabi sentence is talking about is not interperated as a conditional. It is convered in the second and third sections of this text from:

…と: Constant Results and Actual Conditions

春はるになる と 桜さくらが(咲さく / 咲さきます)
Condition Constant Result
If it becomes spring, cherry blossoms will come out.

The first function is to express constant results . The conjugation is just to attach the plain (dictionary) form to と. When you use nouns and na-adjectives, you need to attach だ like 春だと. By constant results, we mean that it’s an unchanged fact, e.g. one plus one is always two. You can use this for natural phenomenons, habitual actions, programmed actions, etc.

雨あめが降ふる と 涼すずしく(なる / なります)。
If [it] rains, [it] will get cool.
お腹なかが空すく と パンを(食たべる / 食たべます)。
If [I] become hungry, [I] will eat bread.
Siriシリに話はなしかける と 返へん事じを(する / します)。
If [I] talk to Siri, [she] will reply.
美び人じんだ と (モテる / モテます)。
If [you] are a beautiful woman, [you] will be popular.

The second function is to express actual conditions . This might be rather close to “and then” or “when” in English. In this context, と is often used when you introduce something that happened in the past.

新幹線しんかんせんに乗のる と 富士ふじ山さんが見みえ(た / ました)。
When [I] took the bullet train, Mt. Fuji was visible.
祭まつりに行いく と ボブが(いた / いました)。
[I] went to the festival and then [I] found Bob (Lit. Bob was there).
質問しつもんする と 先生せんせいはすぐに教おしえてくれ(た / ました)。
When [I] asked, the teacher taught [me] [it] right away.

This has another function which is to express sequential actions in the past . When you compare the usages between と and the te-form (sequential actions), と is more suitable to describe other people than yourself while て can describe yourself. Note: these are not conditional.

魚さかなを 買かって 、寿司すしを(作つくった / 作つくりました)。
[I] bought fish and made Sushi.
魚さかなを 買かうと 、寿司すしを(作つくった / 作つくりました)。
=> Unnatural!
ボブは魚さかなを 買かって 、寿司すしを(作つくった / 作つくりました)。
=> Natural!
ボブは魚さかなを 買かうと 、寿司すしを(作つくった / 作つくりました)。
=> Natural!


#1688

I have a few questions about this sentence (part of a reading about public toilets across the world):

世界にはヨーロッパやアジアといった国々があるのではなく、「トイレ金とり国」と「トイレただ国」とがあるだけだと。

  1. Is といった from という? If so, why isn’t it という?
  2. What does the と at the very end of the sentence do?
  3. What does the whole sentence mean? My guess so far is “It’s not that there are countries (with public restrooms), it’s that there are countries with pay restrooms and countries with free restrooms.”

#1689

I found another interesting aspect in DOJG:


#1690

といった with a list of nouns implies that there are more items in the list that aren’t explicitly mentioned.

The と at the end is the quotative particle and implies some unspoken continuation with a verb that is usually paired with the quotative と. You can imagine several that make sense.

Your general understanding seems fine.


#1691

日本に亡くなます
Would this translate into “to pass away in japan”
I am working on a project where this would be the title. The project talking about cremation and funerals in japan.
Maybe there is a better way to express that statement as a title.


#1692

Besides the incorrect conjugation 亡くなります I believe this would fit better: 日本で亡くなります。
I don’t think you can use に in that sense here. に used as in 公園に行く specifies the location that you’re going, where で specifies the location that something takes place 図書館で本を読む. I hope this makes sense why it would use で instead of に.


#1693

Oh okay that makes sense. I’m still learning all the particles and verb conjugations
ありがとう😊


#1694

に can also specify where something takes place. It kind of depends on the activity, or the kinds of activities that usually take place in that location. For example:

うちに住んでいる
図書館に宿題をする
公園に花見する
公園で運動する


#1695

Could you point me to any resources that explain this use of に?

I mean, I understand

from Genki teaching that you use に with this verb.

But from what I’ve learned I would have expected
図書館で宿題をする


#1696

Yeah, に marks location-of-existence - which is to say, only for verbs like いる, ある, and 住む.

These two should both use で
図書館に宿題をする
公園に花見する

(Amusingly, the Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar specifically uses 図書館で勉強する as example of a sentence where に absolutely cannot be used.)

に can also be used to indicate the surface on which an action takes place, which could be the source of your confusion. 紙に書いてください = please write on the paper.


#1697

Hey guys, maybe you can help with a question I have?
I’m looking at the N3 grammar point of ほど.
Just looking at the amount of different uses it has made me a little dizzy, but I’ll stick to my main question for this post.
In one of Maggie-sensei’s examples, she writes:
そんなに怒るほどのことじゃない。
Yet in the example before that one, she didn’t use のこと. --> 彼の怪我は心配するほどじゃない。
My question is this: when, using the grammar point ほど、do we also use のこと? When do we not use it? It doesn’t seem very clear to me.