What was your recent grammar "Aha!" or "ooOOOOoooh" moment?

〜ず、〜ば、〜て、〜たり、〜たら form all can’t be conjugated any further. But from jishokei any verb can be conjugated into all those other verb-forms


To turn something into a noun, you need a nominalizer (https://www.wasabi-jpn.com/japanese-grammar/nominalizers-koto-and-no/). が doesn’t serve that function. In this case it’s 方 that turns the verb into a noun (I think, but I’m not quite sure.)

I-adjectives aren’t really verbs. They are adjectives which means that they modify nouns. Just because you can conjugate them to denote time doesn’t make them verbs. In English, you can only do that with verbs, but that doesn’t mean that everything that can be conjugated is a verb. Verbs describe actions and “good” isn’t one.

Interestingly, na-adjectives are actually nouns that become adjectives by appending な https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adjectival_noun_(Japanese)

It’s not helpful to try to make Japanese fit English grammar. If you really want to learn about grammar, I would suggest that you start with your native language (since that’s easier) and learn about parts of speech and then try to learn Japanese grammar. I think it’s very interesting, especially since it’s so different from English.

But you don’t need to do that to learn Japanese just like most native speakers don’t know much about the grammar of their own language.

ahhh, yeah i didn’t think about that. you could still conjugate potential and whatnot to other forms, something like 話せず
cool! :smiley:

That’s an interesting way to think about it. I always thought of it as the verb modifying 方, just like verb clauses and stuff modify other nouns.
I think it’s better to think of ‘公園を散歩してる’ as a modifier of 男 than the other way around.

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I saw someone mention in a thread once a particular book on grammar that gave them a lot of “aha!” moments when other big grammar books had left them uncertain of something. But I forgot to save the title of the book and only remember that it was just one author, not one of the big university books. Anyone have any idea what book I’m thinking of?

Edit: the post I was thinking of was actually talking about Human Japanese. But if you’ve got any reading materials that have given you an aha! moment I’d be interested to hear about them too. :slight_smile:

I think this is the right way to think about it.

方 is the noun being modified by the sentence directly in front of it.


True, but it’s still the addition of 男 that turns the whole expression into a noun phrase. 公園を散歩してる modifies the meaning, but not the grammatical function.

Or do you have an example where you use 公園を散歩してる as a noun?

I think I get what you’re saying, but I still think that’s going backwards.
You start with 男 and ask what kind of 男 he is. You don’t say 公園を散歩してる and then go ‘oh yeah, let me add 男’. You already knew you were talking about 男 from the beginning and simply had to add things to describe him.

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The whole discussion started because you said that が turns anything in front of it into a noun. Following that, 公園を散歩してるが好きです。would be a grammatically correct sentence. As far as I know, that’s not correct. You would have to add の after the verb phrase to turn it into a noun phrase.

公園を散歩してるが好きです。You don’t have to add the の no in your examples because 方and 男 perform that function there.

My understanding of Japanese grammar is still pretty limited, though, so I might be wrong about that. If 公園を散歩してるが好きです is grammatically correct, please let me know forget everything I said.

I didn’t think I said that, and I went back and checked to make sure I didn’t have an aneurysm and post something I know is wrong. I never said this.

edit: I see where it was posted now. Alo said it, not me, and Saida was quick to point out that wasn’t the case.

What did you mean here? I guess I misunderstood.

You see that’s a different user, right? lol. Also, read the very next post. Saida points out that line of thought isn’t correct.

Alright, I didn’t notice. I guess we had two different conversations. That doesn’t make what I said false, though, I guess.

I saw that, but thought I’d add additional information and explain why.

A different username, sure. Whether it’s actually a different user is yet to be proven. :stuck_out_tongue:


edit: i should’ve used this https://www.reddit.com/r/Overwatch/comments/ben470/dramatic_overwatch_with_sound/


Was going through voice lines on Overwatch and noticed this:

Pretty sure it’s used as a “Come at me!” kind of meaning, but…

Someone please tell me what’s up with that が after dictionary form? lol. Folk tale slang?

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A quick Google search turns up this reddit page, which seems helpful:


I strongly suggest the book Making Sense of Japanese by Jay Rubin, if you haven’t already read it. It’s a short book, not an in-depth grammar resource by any means, but it has clarified so many things for me over my many readthroughs of it.

In particular, it has a very good section on は and が, something a lot of people struggle with.


Ah, thank you! That name rings a bell, perhaps that’s what I was thinking of after all. It fits the “small Japanese book by one author” bill. Either way it looks like a great investment for $13.

Yeah that was me. And there have been so many good comments here that I’m learning quite a bit.

What I meant was that, yes, が is technically be subject marker, but a subject almost always has to be a noun or function as a noun. Now, keep in mind that I’m still learning, so there may be edge cases I’m not aware of, but that’s how I break down complex sentences. Whether you add が or のが everything before it is encapsulated as a noun thing in my mind.

Regarding い-adjectives, while they aren’t strictly verbs, they do fulfill much of the same functions and can stand as a complete predicate on their own, whereas な-adjectives are actually nouns and need the な to function as adjectives.

Again, take all this with a grain of salt, and I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to correct the finer points. This has been a wonderful thread.

Edited to add:
I actually think this is a big point in favor of Japanese as a nicely structured language. Just think of this confusing English sentence without a nice particle to separate out the clause:

The man who was charged with murdering his wife and evading police in a speeding Bronco and was represented by Robert Shapiro was OJ Simpson.


No, but, if you just use が without the の, everything before it needs to already be a noun thing.