The quick or short Language Questions Thread (not grammar)

I think I encountered some already, and had this doubt.

I gotta ask one more question for today, before I go to bed (in my country it’s midnight)

Studying ようだ I encountered 丸で and don’t really get what is it. I don’t see how it can be used in the way it’s used, and why 丸…? What does its use have to do with circles? :flushed:
I looked on the internet for some explanations but couldn’t find anything understandable

Think of it like Venn diagrams. Are you familiar with those? Everything in the circle is the same, so something like:

彼はまるでこどもだ
He is childish (like a child)

“彼” and “こども” are in the same circle so there’s a relation there and you’re saying one is like the other.

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I got your example and maybe with vienn circles I’m also beginning to get what it has to do with circles :joy: but I’ve seen it at the beginning of a sentence that included のような to say that something was ‘literally’ (hyperbole) like something (I just literally froze to death). Is the use in your example sentence the same thing?

So, why まるで, it’s because it means roundly, wholly, totally (or literally) ?

Edit: thinking again, if in your sentence I make the topic implicit, it’s the same (I guess)

There are two definitions for まるで

It’s easy to confuse the two. What you’re seeing is まるで used for the “completely” definition and のような used to make the comparison.

As far as hyperbole, I don’t know if it extends that far. It’s just when you have both まるで and よう in a sentence, it means “completely like that”

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I had already checked the jisho definitions but they look the same to me, maybe it’s an english concept I’m missing, would you explain the difference? by the way, that’s why I’m always asking you guys here on the forum, because you’re the most comprehensible source I can get of japanese grammar (and because you’re all awesome :wink: )

Anyway, the sentence I was referring to, was

まるでゆうれいを見たかのような顔をした

The “completely” one would be like まるでだめだ (completely “no good”). It’s not “like” or “as if” something. It’s just 100% that thing. This one is synonymous with まったく.

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Fair warning: I’m going to try to explain a concept which I understand but have not had to explain to someone else before. :wink:

Ok, so you have a sub clause here.

まるでゆうれいを見た
As if (you’d) seen a ghost

Without まるで it’s literally “seen a ghost”.

のような顔
Making a face like that

“That” refers to the whole previous sub clause.

And the thing about のように is that you can attach phrases in front of it like we’re doing here. And that’s because the second comparison is the relation to the compared thing, that is, the whole phrase.

We could rewrite it to explicitly show that:

まるでゆうれいを見た
a face as if (you’d) seen a ghost
のようなをした
making a face like that

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The explanation in the CD video is not clear?
It’s a collocation used near the beginning of a sentence to telegraph that a よう simile is coming + give a bit of a emphasis/poetic flair. Probably originally come from the wholly/entirely meaning of まるで as some kind of hyperbole like “it’s exactly like…”

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Good morning everyone

I see :ok_hand:

Apologizes if I was unclear with my question, but what I didn’t understand was, why まるで uses the word maru which is the kanji for circle? What does that で do? (Now I see it) and how does it tie grammatically with the rest of the sentence? I think I got it now

Anyway, you were perfectly clear, correct me if I’m wrong:

まるでゆうれいを見たかのような顔をした

In this sentence we have a subclause which is “ゆうれいを見た”
The か that follows is nominalizing the whole sentence so that the のよう can take it with the まるで at the beginning and put it like “totally like if you saw a ghost” (is the で a て form of だ here?)
The second part is just attached to the previous sentence thru the な in のような and it means “made a face” (I mean the 顔をした ,I know the use of のような)
So the meaning is “you made a face that looks totally as if you’ve seen a ghost”
Right?

I watched it many times and nope, I usually understand her without any issue but sometimes I get a bit lost with some english reasoning I’m not used to.
Your explanation answered my doubts

Thank you all!

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Haha, I found somebody else who likes to dissect grammar points just like you:

(because usually かのように/の/な is taught as (yet another) set expression/grammar point without dissecting it: Learn JLPT N2 Grammar: かのように (ka no you ni) – Japanesetest4you.com)

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Interesting articles, thanks for linking it! Tells a lot omitted by CD

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I guess it’s already explained in the article, but this is why I say that か is more the ‘uncertainty particle’ than the ‘question particle’. In 〜かのよう, it’s like you’re making a guess at what happened, or suggesting a possibility that seems to make sense.

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I don’t think it’s mentioned in the article (gave a quick read) but this point of view on the か particle is very helpful, thanks for sharing!

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it’s almost like you’re asking a rhetorical question :eyes:

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Question

I found the expression お元気で you use when saying goodbye and was unsure about the で role so I looked up on internet

I thought that the で was the て form of the だ copula and there was something implicit after it, such as まって(ください)
What role does the location particle で have here?

You can take it as a set phrase.

Regarding your question: I would also not describe location to the particle like your source does for some strange reason. It’s more the “means, situation” meaning of the で particle. You had something similar with the 一人で some not so long time ago.

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Oh yes, right! :ok_hand:

Tofugu has a whole article on 元気, with a section on お元気で

It’s got some examples of what the blank after the で might be as well, e.g. お元気でいて

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Wow I missed this!! Thanks for the link mate

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That’s how I would break it down at first glance. で as the location particle makes no sense. で as the “by means of” particle could be justified, though still feels like a stretch to me. I don’t have any sources to back up my belief that で is the て form of だ here, but in general て form can sometimes be used adverbially to modified what comes after, which I think works in this case as much or more than で as “by means of”. Of course, at that point it’s not that dissimilar from the “by means of” で particle, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they are actually related in origin (though again, I have no evidence of that).

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