The quick or short Language Questions Thread (not grammar)

This remind me of a joke on a Youtube video.

Little girl : Look mom… aliens
Mom : Don’t point at them sweet heart it’s rude. (She thought her daugther is talking about Mexicans)
Little girl : but momm they are aliens
Literally aliens overthere :alien: :alien: :rofl:


Once I’m done with Tobira what is the next text book I should get? Shin Kanzen Master N2?

I’m still far from getting there but it would be nice to know what my next goal would be.

強請(ねだ)る = to plead, to beg

Is this word in the same category as 大人(おとな) in regards of kanji use? Both of the kanji in that word doesn’t seem to usually have those readings.


They’re both jukujikun, if that’s what you mean, yes.


oh, so that’s what they’re called. Thanks for the reply!

Hehe, it’s almost like reverse ateji.


My recommendation after Tobira would be one of these two:

I think the second one is a little easier. However, just be aware that there really are a lot of technical words in there, and everything is in Japanese aside from the translations in the vocab list. To give you an idea… in the first sentence of chapter 1, there are at least three kanji compounds I’ll need to look up, and I think every single sentence after that is the same. (I took a quick glance a few months ago, and I’m currently waiting to get back to my physical copy so I can get started.)

You can of course try working with newspapers first, which are honestly probably a little easier because they’re not as saturated with technical terms (provided you pick a domain you’re familiar with, that is), but if we flip that logic around, well, that means that studying with that textbook will get you to improve much faster.

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Not entirely sure if it fits here or in the grammar thread but I guess here fits better

Is the 〜ている conjugation in any way related to 居る? I’ve gotten into humble and honorific speech with Bunpro and noticed that in both 〜ている conjugations and when using it as a verb, いる can be replaced with いらっしゃる, which suggests to me that rather than just being a conjugation, 〜ている might actually (originally) be something like 〜て with いる tacked on as an auxiliary verb, maybe. Is that actually the case?

And if yes, does the same hold true for 〜てある (to indicate a continuous state) and 有る?

And if yes (this is a lot of hypotheticals for something that may well be a nonsense conclusion) could that be replaced with ございます (ある and ございます seem analogous to me the same way いる and いらっしゃる seem to be) to make something like 開いてございます? Bunpro doesn’t list it as a grammar point, but I’m not under the illusion that Bunpro lists absolutely everything that ever has been a part of the Japanese language :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


Yes, the いる in ている is just いる, the verb of existence for animate things. I didn’t think this was especially secret or anything.

In Japanese linguistics, even て is not a part of the word in question, it’s a particle. It’s [verb stem] + the particle て + いる.

てある is て + ある but has a meaning nuance beyond just て + ある and so I don’t think you can slot something else into it like that.


It probably isn’t, it’s just never been explained as such in the sources I’ve used for learning.

Is this specific to the continuous/perfect form or is this true for every every conjugation using the て-form? Or even for every conjugation, full stop, maybe? I’ve never really taken a dive into Japanese linguistics, so I’m probably missing a good bit of the fundamentals in that regard.

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It’s true of the any て-form you see. The reason we can’t see the stem at times is because of a phenomenon called 音便=‘euphonic change’, which means that it changed because it was easier to pronounce. In other words, for example, stuff like 聞いて used to be 聞きて, and 笑って used to be 笑ひて. It’s also true for all the た-forms too, which underwent exactly the same sort of transformation. However, given that a lot of other conjugations exist that don’t use the masu-stem, but instead use other stems, I wouldn’t say that ‘all’ conjugations use this. Just for your reference, the six stems in Modern Japanese are
未然形 (irrealis form, used for negation)
連用形 (declinable-joining form, which is the masu stem and appears in compound verbs)
終止形 (sentence-final form, identical to the next form in most Modern Japanese words)
連体形 (noun-joining form, used in relative clauses)
仮定形 (hypothetical form, used with ば)
命令形 (imperative form, used for orders)

The godan stem-ending vowels for these are A, I, U, U, E, E. (For the Classical Japanese forms, replace 仮定形 with the 已然形=realis.) Ichidan verbs, in contrast, only have one stem, so they don’t change much at all.

I personally just guessed that it had to be the 居る we all know because the て-form is something standalone that doesn’t need to be followed by いる. I broke things down so that it made sense: 〜ている=’to do 〜 and exist (in that state)’. Therefore it’s definitely the continuous tense, whether in the progressive sense or in the ‘current state’ sense. I felt that the existence of 〜てある confirmed it, and so I wasn’t too surprised when I saw いる transforming with keigo. If you’re seen or heard おる replacing いる in this structure, in anime, for example, you’ll realise it’s probably the existence verb. (Relevant VTuber joke:「ポルカおるか?」)


That’s interesting, I’ve never caught it as such (I may have heard it, but if I did, it didn’t register, at least). I was aware of おる as a verb but since I never connected the dots between いる and the progressive I never really considered that a possibility, but it’s helpful to know that this is something that’s done sometimes.

Is there any nuance associated with that substitution? Or is it just a stylistic choice?


Perhaps I’m misremembering, because admittedly, I think it’s not that common to use 〜ておる in anime, even if I’ve definitely heard おる instead of いる as an existence verb.

OK, so, apparently, it tends to lower the status/esteem associated with the person doing the action or the action itself. That means that using it as(〜て)おります is polite – to describe your own actions, I think, or those of your in-group. Interestingly though,(〜て)おられます is an honorific form for describing someone else’s actions, so it doesn’t exclusively lower the status of the person doing the action.

That aside, I always had the impression that おる is preferred in non-standard dialects of Japanese from how I’ve heard it used. Turns out I’m right: おる is apparently preferred over いる in Kansai:


To add another usage to the humble speech (kenjougo) and dialect ones that @Jonapedia already mentioned:
In written language, one can connect two sentences with the masu-stem of a verb (it’s used in roughly the same way as て-form in spoken language). Now if that verb in question happens to be in ~ている form, the masu-stem would be ~てい, and that probably felt a bit weird so in these cases ~ており is used. Here is an example sentence (it’s from Murakami’s 1Q84 in case you wonder):


Other than the first two examples, this does not alter the meaning at all.


Could I get some help identifying this kanji


Must be Chinese.


What does the following mean? It’s from Hyouka’s first chapter.

The preceding context was:
Screen Shot 2021-06-12 at 11.58.54

It helps someone give an explanation if you give some more info about what you don’t understand.

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I was pretty confused at the にも, にも structure, and I completely didn’t understand what とにかく & 示さない meant.

I assume this is the Manga version of 氷菓?
I’ve only read the book, but it looks way too similar to be something else, lol.


  1. 「興味を示す」means “to show interest” in something. Pretty close to the English expression, actually.

  2. To understand the first sentence (にも、にも) you must realize its conclusion is in the second sentence, becoming:
    Not showing interest either in study, in sports or in “love affairs”
    The にも is then just a に asked by the verb and a も to mean “and also”, no special grammar construction.

  3. とにかく works like an “anyway” of sorts. Here it’s being used to make clear that the first sentence was just a couple of examples, but his actual point is that there are people who show interest in nothing (ありとあらゆる)

In the end it’s just Hotaro being fancy to say he is not “pink” as the other high school students who are young and full of life. He is a “gray” soulless person with none of the interests people expect from high school students.
(ok, I added the soulless by myself)


So I’ve run into 七色 twice now and the jisho definition is… long winded? Would it be reasonable to just refer to this idea as a “prismatic” or “rainbow” like coloration, or even just “colorful”?