Short Grammar Questions


Daijirin does not have 切れる (the intransitive counterpart of 切る) as being adapted from the potential form of 切る (which looks identical to 切れる), but it does have 売れる listed as having been adapted from the potential form of 売る.

売れる is intransitive, but it’s not “merely” the intransitive counterpart, since it has that connotation of selling well, not just being sold.

To me, they’re not really quite the same kind of relationship.


My two cents in here on the original question.

So I know that these days potential forms can be transitive and take を because languages change over time - and in this case, maybe get influenced by English - but in my (old) textbooks it’s very clear that potential forms must take が, because they (originally) functioned differently than English potentials. To me their traditional use seems to mean something more like “to be —able”

Keeping that in mind, look at something like この本が読める. While a fine translation would be “I can read this book,” a somewhat more literal translation would be “This book is readable (for me, or whoever, everyone).”

Keeping THAT in mind, この本が売れる would mean that this book is sellable, which I think you can see how a natural extention of that could easily be that it “sells well,” especilly if you throw a よく in there.

Same with 知れる. “That is very knowable” = it is obvious.

That’s how it makes sense to me, anyway.


Hi, what’s the fonction of “のと” in this sentence ?



の turns the verb before it into a noun, and と is doing its normal thing.

Some possible translations:

Which is better, going to the movies, or being at home?
It is better to go to the movies, or to be at home?


thanks you


Example sentence for 自立 here on WK:


Should 強くで be 強くて? Or is this a valid grammar point separate from “い-adjective + ~くて” that I’m unfamiliar with?


At least I think this is grammar, sorry if it’s not. Watching Woman in the Dunes, I think I heard「きたないえな」- it was translated as “Man, this is foul”. But I can’t find anything on え, な, or えな in the A Dictionary of Basic Japanese that makes sense of what heard. For instance え, i.e. へ is used as “and”, な is negation, and since きたない here means “foul”, it can’t be a negation?


You may have heard きたねえな, which would be a courser way to say きたない + な

In colloquial, course language all kinds of words ending in おい or あい can become ええ


I’m reading NHK Easy News and a lot of times I keep seeing this phrasing when it defines words:


I’m not sure I really get what it means by “Morever, that word”. Is it saying it means to apologize and, also, it mean exactly what あやまる means?


It would help if you mentioned what word this definition was for or posted the article. I think it’s basically saying that this mystery word means to apologize and also the apology itself (the words used to apologize).


Assuming that it’s not a typo, the -くform of -い adjectives can sometimes be treated like a noun. I’m not sure when/why, I’d have to research it more


I did mention it. It’s defining おわび. So I guess it’s just trying to emphasize that it literally means わび .

Here’s the article anyways.


強くで is a typo! It should be 強くて.


My bad, I thought that was supposed to be part of the definition. :joy:


It’s just how dictionaries are written. The そのことば is there to show that おわび describes not only the act of apologizing, but also the apology itself.

私は詫びにきたのではありません。 → Act of apologizing, the action.

心からのお詫び。→ The apology itself. The words that make the apology.


Is there any explanation for how the meaning of verb stems are affected are affected by る and す?

For example:

浸る (To be soaked in)
浸す (To soak)


Just that in such pairs, る tends to be intransitive and す tends to be transitive.


But to be clear, they’re not different endings of the same verb stem. They’re different verbs. There’s just a noticeable pattern to a lot of the pairings.


I looked at this question and noticed that the word for lizard, トカゲ was written in Katakana. Most katakana is phonetically similar to words from other countries, but I seem to struggle what this could represent. Does anyone know? Or if this is a Japanese word, why was it written in Katakana?


Katakana has a variety of uses. One of them is writing animal and plant names. Even if they are Japanese in origin.


There’s a few answers to that question here. One of them states:

Others say it can be due to kanji complexity, or due to wanting the word to be more readable or stand out within that sentence.