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To address questions and improvements for the Japanese Grammar Guide as well as topics concerning Japanese in general.

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#1 Re: Japanese: Questions and Discussions » Tai and Hoshii » 2011-11-12 00:41:59

Paul Igloto wrote:

One more thing about 欲しい : that's only when speaking directly about what you want. If someone else wants something, use 欲しがる.
But you can find in the online dictionaries examples showing that it's not as simple as one form for you and one form for others:
"がる" is used when someone shows signs of something (a feeling, a desire...) so if you talk about your grandmother acting on what you want (seem to want, from her point of view), you need 欲しがる instead of 欲しい.
You can also find opposite examples:
何が欲しいですか。 or 欲しいほうを獲れ。
In both cases you're talking to the guy who wants, so you cannot use 欲しがる, because that would translate like:
What do you think that you want?
Take what you guess that you want.

This applies for pretty much any がる. がる is more like showing an outward sign of something, so like if you use 悔しい, that is an inward feeling, something only you would know, but 悔しがる is an outward showing of this inner feeling of being 悔しい so that other people can see it as well. That's why you generally use がる when referring to other people's emotions, because you cannot know what they are feeling, you can only see the outward projections of their feelings. So you can still use がる for yourself when you want to stress the outward, opaque display of your own emotions that other people would pick up on. A good example I ran across in a Pokemon game that uses the word I just discussed was what a young female character in the game said after she lost a Pokemon battle to me: あたくしレディですから悔しがったりしませんわ! Basically, she still may or may not FEEL the emotion of 悔しい, but she won't show it outwardly, by doing things like gritting her teeth and grimacing and well... acting like a sore loser.

#2 Re: Japanese: Questions and Discussions » What is the function of this の? » 2011-11-12 00:32:29

Any time you see って, it's an informal abbreviation of と+a verb, usually 言う、 but sometimes things like 思う or 聞く. But when modifying a noun like that, it's almost always an abbreviation of という, so things like "ストレスで死ぬってことあるかな" are short for "ストレスで死ぬということあるかな".
That's why っての is short for というの.

#3 Re: Japanese: Questions and Discussions » Pitch indications in Excite dictionary -- What do the numbers mean? » 2011-10-29 05:22:11

My question was resolved in this thread a while ago but I just thought I would update with a very visual representation of the pitch notations that I found. Imagine these lines actually being transposed over the hiragana, so if the line is above it, it's high pitch, and below it, low pitch. This diagram just made me able to visualize things so much better. Hopefully that helps someone if anyone ever goes back to this thread for reference. smile

「1」  ̄|_ _ _ _ (_) =「除夜の鐘(が)」

「2」 _| ̄|_ _ _ (_) =「うどんすき(が)」

「3」 _| ̄  ̄|_ _ (_) =「初詣(が)」

「4」 _| ̄  ̄  ̄|_ (_) =「招き猫(が)」

「5」 _| ̄  ̄  ̄  ̄|(_) =「こんにちは(が)」

「0」 _| ̄  ̄  ̄  ̄ ( ̄) =「お年玉(が)」

#4 Re: Japanese: Questions and Discussions » Anki Kanji Decks » 2011-10-09 21:49:11

Khengi wrote:

The reason why his method is the best is because you learn how to write the Kanji and get a basic meaning of it. I promise you, without a shadow of a doubt, if you try to learn the readings for Kanji one by one, there is almost inevitable failure. If this was Chinese it's be different, one or two readings for each Kanji, but in Japanese there are usually 4 or more, and sometimes upwards of 7 and up. Multiply the average by 3000 Kanji and you'll have, on average, maybe 11,000 readings to memorize.

I understand where you are coming from, but I do think that in SOME cases, learning kanji readings can be helpful. I think the most ideal is to read a lot of native material and pick up kanji readings while you read naturally, but for people who that is just not clicking, I think for most kanji there is one single on-yomi which is quite common, and if you memorize just that one on-yomi you can predict most but not all 熟語. And for some kanji where two on-yomi are equally favored, maybe learning both. That's honestly not that bad. I don't think you really need to memorize EVERY reading for every kanji for it to be effective, but just knowing one on-yomi can really help for guessing how to say unfamiliar words. That being said, I do think picking them up naturally through reading is the best way to do it, but if it just isn't clicking in your head, I think it can be useful, especially when you can start to connect that certain kanji that share a radical tend to have the same on-yomi.

#5 Re: Japanese: Questions and Discussions » Furigana in fictional works? Weird usage. » 2011-09-10 04:33:38

Eh, at this point I've gotten used to furigana used for stylistic purposes. The author wants to use a certain kanji because of the feeling or slight change in meaning it gives, but wants to make sure you still read it right, so they put the furigana. The funniest one I ever saw was the word 挿話 and the furigana was エピソード. I thought that was taking it a little too far, but hey... not my call. lol

#6 Re: Japanese: Questions and Discussions » なんじゃ? » 2011-06-15 03:12:28

じゃ is either the form of the copula found in Western Japan (so じゃ=だ, NOT です) or is sometimes used in media to make someone sound "old" (so you might hear old people in video games use it). や is another form of the copula found in places like 大阪 and 福岡. So for だろう, you can also hear じゃろう and やろう respectively in regions that use じゃ and や. I've heard じゃった for だった, but mostly older people with a thicker Western dialect.... the dialects are getting thinner nowadays sad

You CAN say 何だ btw. I hear things like 何だよ! all the time. You can use だ with question words, since it is already obvious you are saying a question anyway.

#7 Re: Japanese: Questions and Discussions » Can you use dictionary forms for humble and honorific words? » 2011-06-12 09:19:44

> wildweathel wrote:

> In modifying clauses, you don't normally use ます forms, even with 敬語 verbs. 


This is true, but I would say situations when you are using 敬語 are about the only time you DO use ます forms in modifying clauses. It's still done quite infrequently, but it does up the politeness and IS used. I have a book on 敬語 written for Japanese speakers, and I did find two examples in it just now like that:



Outside of 敬語, you'd never really see something like that.

#8 Re: Japanese: Questions and Discussions » です in unfamiliar places » 2011-06-12 09:03:14

I stopped questioning these sorts of things when I heard my friends saying things like "違うくない?" Native speakers break the rules as much as they make them. If something is broken enough over time, it will eventually become the norm. ^^ In these cases either it's the above, or the speaker is playing with language, making mistakes on purpose to give their speech a certain tone (like we do with lolcats or baby talk, etc.)

#9 Re: Japanese: Questions and Discussions » だけ and しか used simultaneously? » 2011-06-08 13:20:38

It's just a stronger way to say it. It REALLY emphasises that that's all there is.

(Source: http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/leaf/jn2/136072/m0u/%E3%81%A0%E3%81%91%E3%81%97%E3%81%8B)

#10 Re: Japanese: Questions and Discussions » Wondering about this で » 2011-06-08 00:11:30

> ekerik wrote:

Also, is the であり you're referring to the same as である / であります? Can only seem to find である in Tae Kim's guide, and a dictionary search for であり only finds であります.

The more formal equivalent of the て form is just using the 連用形 of the verb, instead of 行って, using 行き, instead of 増やして, using 増やし... thus である would become であり in more formal contexts. I know Tae Kim covers it in his guide. The only curveball is いる becomes おり, not い, because い is just awkward to say, probably.

#11 Re: Japanese: Questions and Discussions » Recommendations for Learning 敬語? » 2011-06-07 02:47:26

For whatever resources you do have, if you have a high enough level in Japanese, I highly recommend only looking at books and websites about 敬語 aimed at Japanese people--written in Japanese, for Japanese people themselves. Anyone can figure out that 参る is the 謙譲語 of 来る, but the hard part about 敬語 is when to use one word or phrase over another... it's all on a case-by-case basis. Even the Japanese have trouble with it and tend to use it incorrectly without training, so it's these resources aimed for the natives themselves that will really help you with how to use 敬語 naturally. I don't have any website recommendations, but I did read a book for my "Business Japanese" class called 敬語これだけBOOK that was written for native speakers (so it's all in Japanese) and had a lot of different situations, and examples for correct 敬語 and incorrect 敬語 that even Japanese people might use, and why it's incorrect. But there is probably a wealth of information for native speakers both online and in book form, if you look around. I tried googling for some online resources for Japanese people,  which I posted below, though I can't vouch for them personally. Youtube also has some instructional videos on 敬語 aimed for Japanese people.

Here are some videos that might help:

Here are some websites that might help:

#12 Re: Japanese: Questions and Discussions » Meaning of a word in this sentence » 2011-06-06 05:00:45

> Lyrencropt wrote:

> I have a question, and perhaps the answer is staring me in the face, but why is it "食べてはない" and not "食べてはいない"? Both seem to be in frequent use, but the former appears to be more common. Is it the same as saying 食べてない instead of 食べていない?

I always assumed they were the same, it's just that the い is dropped so much with 〜ている. It just feels like too much hassle to say it. Just like 食べてる is easier to say than 食べている. It's not いない vs ない, it's (い)ない, the い just being dropped a lot.

> ekerik wrote:

> I was sitting here for a while trying to type up how I still wasn't able to wrap my head around はしない used in comparison with the 連用形 form of a verb. Was having a hard time explaining what I wasn't understanding about it. Then I reloaded the replies and saw that you had posted something, ViolaGirl, and the explanation was just what I needed. Originally was just looking at 食べはしない and trying to think of a way that could be comparing to another verb and came up blank, but the example about not PUNCHING him, but possibly doing another thing really clicked. Can also envision comparisons with 食べはしない now, like I won't EAT but I might do something else, like drink.

Just to stress, はしない isn't always a comparison. It's often the emphathetic negative too. You can usually tell from context, or tone of voice. Basically the difference between, in English, "As for PUNCHING him, I didn't do it" which sounds like you may have done other things, and "As for punching him, I DIDN'T do it" which sounds like you're really stressing that although it might have been taken as a given that you punched him, you are completely denying that, saying you did not. It's like telling someone you can speak 2 languages, and they say "すごい!" and you can reply, saying "すごくはないよ!" It's like saying although the すごいness is taken as a given, you're DENYING it, saying it's quite the opposite. Does that make sense?

In your case, with いやしない, it sounds much more like the latter, saying that although you might take such children as existing as precedent, in actuality, they don't exist. It's not so much saying "They don't EXIST, but they might (...)" and making a comparison here, it's moreso emphasizing the negative part of it. は is a very useful particle with multiple uses. ^^

#13 Re: Japanese: Questions and Discussions » Meaning of a word in this sentence » 2011-06-06 03:49:05

> ekerik wrote:

> I'm not really picking up what you mean by using it for contrasting but I'm still pretty new to Japanese so I haven't even really seen many example of using は for contrasting on its own. That may be why I don't understand. If you happen to have a quick example of this off the top of your head would you mind posting it?

は has a sort of contrasting nature, comparing two things. If you want to say I don't like apples, but I do like oranges, you could say りんごは嫌いだけど、オレンジは好き。 You mark both things being compared with は. Or like, I don't go to the movies, but I do go to the park. 映画館には行かないけど、公園には行く。 This also leads to implicit comparisons.. if you don't have the second object, it can still feel like a comparison, just an implied one. That's why although things like 今日はかわいいね can just mean You look cute today, the は can also give it a feeling of "You look cute TODAY, but other days you aren't cute." So if you say something like 彼を殴りはしなかったけど and it's like... "I didn't PUNCH him but..." sounding like maybe you might not have actually PUNCHED him, but that doesn't mean you didn't do anything to him.. you might have pushed him, or kicked him, or something else instead.

What Lyrencropt says about taking the thing before as a given works here...  With 殴りはしなかった, instead of neutrally saying you didn't punch him, you're saying "As for punching, I didn't do it." That doesn't mean you didn't do anything ELSE, but as for the PUNCHING, THAT you didn't do.

は can go after just about anything, but it really always does add the same nuance. It's used with ない a lot too, you will see. You can say things like 行こうとはしない, or 食べてはない, or 見捨てたりはしない. With the plain verb, it just so happens it's formed with 連用形+はしない or, for the positive, 連用形+はする. You'll also see a はない or はある construction followed by けど、が、etc., a lot, because it's used so much in comparisons, like this I stole off Google: などと考えて頑張りはするものの、予定通りにいかなくなってくる。  (ものの is another, formal way to say "but" or make comparisons).

#14 Re: Japanese: Questions and Discussions » Meaning of a word in this sentence » 2011-06-06 03:15:55

Do you know of the negative conjugation using wa?
For example, 食べはしない or 許しはしない? You just take the 連用形 of the verb and then add はしない. I don't know how to explain it well, it's just using は with verbs in the negative. Anyway, I see はしない morph to やしない a lot... so it seems like what you actually have here is similar to どこを探したってそんなに出来のいい子はいない (no matter where you look there isn't a better child). いない and いはしない/いやしない are different in nuance, いやしない emphasizes the ない part more, or can be used in comparisons... just what は always does, except with a verb, in the negative.

#15 Re: Japanese: Questions and Discussions » Are there any specific "unwritten rules" for when to write in Kanji? » 2011-06-05 08:11:27

A lot of it is stylistic too. Like for ていく and てくる, people tend to leave いく and くる in hiragana most of the time, but in a novel I was reading by 赤川次郎 that used a more formal tone, he had them in kanji every time. Some people have a tendency to do things one way, and others another, depending on who they learned it from. I see さっそく often but it's not that uncommon to see 早速, especially in more formal contexts. Overall, the more formal or official something gets, the more kanji you will see overall.

#16 Re: Japanese: Questions and Discussions » 久しぶりに (hisashiburi ni) in a sentence » 2011-06-04 12:10:48

> bizt wrote:

Since a long time (of not meeting) I had not met with my friend (but implying that now I have??)
hisashiburi ni tomodachi ni aimasen deshita

I'm a little confused by what you want to say here. 久しぶりに友達に会いませんでした does sound like you meet your friend a lot, but for once, for a change, you didn't. If you just neutrally want to say "I hadn't met with my friend for some time," something like しばらく友達に会っていませんでした would work.

#17 Re: Japanese: Questions and Discussions » Problem with でも » 2011-05-26 08:50:14

> Lyrencropt wrote:

> >Occasionally you'll even hear some horror story about some juku teacher telling students not to waste their time or money studying with a native teacher because it won't help a lick on their exams. 

In all fairness, I think they're right, unfortunately. Every Japanese person I speak to seems to be floored at the Japanese I can speak (which really isn't a hell of a lot all things considered) despite having studied for "only" 5 years, because they all study for 8 years or more and can't hardly get a single sentence out. It's never about creation or understanding, mostly just overloading on vocab and reading comprehension. So what good will learning from a speaker do? You never actually speak it.

When I studied abroad in Japan in high school, they had me attending classes with the regular students, so I took English class as well. My class put a lot of focus on memorizing entire sentences. Not necessarily comprehending them, but being able to write them back down WORD FOR WORD. Like there would be a Japanese sentence and you would have to write the English equivalent. Those always killed me. I'd be able to understand the Japanese and translate it to natural English just fine, but I always got them wrong because I worded them differently than how they were in the textbook, and they wanted them written word-for-word the same. It seemed absolutely bloody useless to me.

#18 Re: Japanese: Questions and Discussions » 2 completely unrelated grammar questions » 2011-05-25 13:04:17

> Pfolder wrote:

日本語を話せる? (you can speak Japanese?)
はい、難しいのにだ。(yes, despite it being difficult.)

I couldn't tell you why, so native speakers, feel free to chime in, but for your first sentence, I think the null particle sounds most natural (aka not using any particle)... like this: 日本語話せる?

> Pfolder wrote:

薬を使った。(I took the medicine)
なのにまだに病気がある? (and despite that youre still sick)

I'm pretty sure 薬を使う, when used in the context of TAKING medicine, is used more like a long-term thing (like, I'm taking blood pressure medication), that you don't just do once. Usually, to take medicine (like one time) is 薬を飲む (even if it's solid!). So I might change it to this (but again, not a native speaker, so feel free to correct, anyone!):

なのにまだ病気なの? or なのにまだ病気か。
(second one has a slightly different tone though, sometimes can sound exasperated, or like you're talking to yourself, depending on how it's said)

And if the previous sentence had been something like 薬を飲んだら?, then the most natural sentence to follow would instead by 薬は飲んだよ。 or something, like I DID take the medicine.

#19 Re: Japanese: Questions and Discussions » 「あるがかい?」 » 2011-05-17 15:35:18

> blutorange wrote:

> >Thinking about this leads to a more fundamental understanding. Given that for many major languages, there is a commonly accepted speech style, considered as "standard" or "educated" and that it also this style most commonly taught to foreigners, this may to the illusion that there is such a thing as "no dialect". There is not "no dialect", in fact, every expression is based on some dialect., everyone speaks some dialect. For example, the current "standard speech" is based on the Tokyo dialect.

Or another way to think about it, what would it mean to you that "it is not based on a dialect"?

No, that's not quite what I meant. I do think of all speech having a dialect in modern Japanese, it just never occurred to me to think of ancient Japanese having dialects too! I just thought of it as one category of "old Japanese," without it occurring to me that even old Japanese differed from region to region. It makes sense, I just never thought to classify it any other way than "old Japanese."

#20 Re: Japanese: Questions and Discussions » 「あるがかい?」 » 2011-05-17 14:12:12

Wow, thank you for your help! I never would have guessed that not only is it old, but that it's also a dialect too! I was able to deduct the meaning of おまん fairly easily, but it never would have occurred to me that that is a dialect either.

Also, Yokohama, I really wanted to email you with a request, but you don't currently have the option to email you, and it looks like PMs are also disabled. Is there any way I can contact you privately?

#21 Re: Japanese: Questions and Discussions » change to double consonants » 2011-05-17 12:09:23

The numbers are a special case, because 一, 三, 四, 六, 八, 九, and 十 often change or the counter after them changes. You can see a chart in Tae Kim's guide: http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar/numbers

For all other kanji, when one kanji ends in つ and the next kanji starts with an unvoiced consonant (k, s, t (including ち), p), the つ usually becomes a little っ. That basically makes the consonant double. There are a few exceptions, but since this almost always happens, it's best to assume it will unless proven otherwise. For example, 密計 (みつ+けい=みっけい), 列車 (れつ+しゃ=れっしゃ), or 月日(がっぴ)). There are also rare cases of kanji ending in つ becoming little っ when following by a kanji starting with voiced vowel too (g, d, etc.), but it is VERY exceptional. The only example I can think of is 仏陀 (ぶつ+だ=ぶっだ), and that might have foreign origins.

There might be a similar rule for all kanji ending in ち becoming small っ when followed by a kanji starting with an unvoiced consonant, but the more I thought of it, other than the numbers, I couldn't think of any kanji with on-yomi ending in ち. Can anyone else?

Also, when a kanji ends in く and the next kanji starts with k, it usually doubles up, like in 学校 or 厄介, because it's easier to say. Again, there are some exceptions, but like the っ rule, these are not too common. This doesn't happen with g, because g is voiced, so with words like, 食後, it's しょくご, not しょっご.

The last kanji rule I can think of off the top of my head is that if one kanji ends in ん and the next starts with h, that h will probably turn into a p, such as 新品 (しん+ひん=しんぴん) and 前方(ぜん+ほう=ぜんぽう). Also, if one kanji ends with つ and the next starts with h, that h will probably turn into a p, and then then because of this, the つ will become a small っ, so it will get doubled. For example, 発表(はつ+ひょう=はっぴょう) and 物品(ぶつ+ひん=ぶっぴん).

The main exceptions you will see to the above rules is when a kanji is added to the end of an already formed compound. Then these changes in voice don't happen so much. For example, 奨学金 (しょうがくきん), is really 奨学+金, so since the 金 is following not another kanji, but a kanji compound, it doesn't change to しょうがっきん. Or, 一般法 (いっぱんほう) is really 一般+法, so it doesn't become いっぱんぽう. This rule isn't fool-proof, so sometimes you will see such compounds and the change in voice still occurs, such as 洗濯機 (せんたっき), which is 洗濯+機, but it works as a rule-of-thumb.

#22 Re: Japanese: Questions and Discussions » Dictionaries that show verb transitivity » 2011-05-17 09:54:37

I'm going to address your problem first, and then an explanation of word classes, so if that is not relevant to you, you can just read the first part.

I don't know of an online dictionary that has verb classes. However, the monolingual dictionary goo and yahoo uses has example sentences, and trust me, if a verb can take を, they will have example sentences using it. The sentences are intentionally short, used to demonstrate what particles the verb takes. I personally prefer goo over Yahoo, as I find it to often be more detailed for some reason.

For example, see this entry for 閉める: http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/leaf/jn2/10 … %E3%82%8B/ See how every definition has a sample sentence or two? In this way, you can easily see if the verb takes を, and also whatever particles it may take.

The Japanese to English entry also has example sentences, if you find that easier to understand: http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/leaf/je2/32 … %E3%82%8B/

Also, as a last note, you say it's important to study because even many native speakers get it wrong... that's because native speakers do things by what is natural; they don't follow rules, they just use things correctly. Even many native English speakers couldn't tell you if a verb is transitive in English or not! You don't need to focus too much on the rules, but try to see verbs IN CONTEXT, in sentences, to see how they are normally used. ^^

You might find these two articles the guy at AJATT writes on grammar explain better what I am trying to say:
http://www.alljapaneseallthetime.com/bl … no-grammar
You seem to be struggling with this concept, so I suggest you read them; it might make everything clearer.

Hope that helps. Everything that follows is explanations of how word classes are typically listed in Japanese dictionaries. Feel free to read it if it's helpful, and ignore it if it's not.


To understand what the dictionary is doing when it even says parts of speech, you need to understand the categories, some of which are different than how we describe them in English. I will detail them (mostly verbs), in case anyone finds it useful.

My electronic dictionary's dictionary has the transitivity listed, but I don't think it's online. It first lists the transitivity, then the verb class. Verbs are not classified in Japanese like they are in English, so if you are not familiar with the Japanese system, it takes a little explanation.

五段動詞 (group 5 verbs) are all verbs that become 「anai」in the negative tense, such as 行く (行かない), 湿る (湿らない), etc., and 一段動詞 (group 1 verbs) are all verbs that become 「nai」 in the negative, such as 食べる (食べない), いる (いない). As I'm sure you already know, all group 1 verbs end in iru or eru, though group 5 verbs can end in anything. ^^

So group 1 verbs are further divided into 2 categories, 上一段(かみいちだん)動詞 and 下一段(しもいちだん)動詞. 上一段動詞 are all the group 1 verbs ending in iru, such as 生きる, and 下一段動詞 are all the group 1 verbs ending in eru, such as 食べる. So... dictionaries typically indicate verb class with the following abbreviations of the above terms: 五, 上一, or 下一.

Also, 来る is not a group one or group five verb, but is instead listed as カ変 and する is listed as サ変, short for カ行変格活用 and サ行変格活用 respectively (irregular k-row verb and irregular s-row verb), so all する verbs like 愛する will say サ変 for the verb class.

My dictionary indicates transitivity by simply putting the transitivity before the verb class, using 自 for intransitive (short for 自動詞) and 他 for transitive (short for 他動詞). So for 生きる it say [自上一] (intransitive upper group one verb), for 食べる it says [他下一] (transitive lower group one verb), and for 盗む it says [他五] (transitive group five verb). A verb like 愛する says [他サ変] (transitive irregular s-row verb).

For verbs that can be transitive for some uses and intransitive for others, it says 動 (short for 動詞) to indicate it's a verb, and then the verb class (for example, [動五]). Then, there are subsections under this which are headed with[他] and [自] and have definitions.

Dictionaries not listing transitivity usually just put something like [動マ下一] for 閉める, 動 as short for 動詞 (verb), then the row its last syllable is in (マ is short for マ行 here, an m-row verb, because it's shiMeru), then the class (下一). ^^

As a final note, in case anyone needs to know, nouns are listed as [名] (short for 名詞), i-adjectives as 「形] (short for 形容詞), na-adjectives as [形動] (short for 形容動詞), and adverbs as [副] (short for 副詞). Adverbs that can optionally end in と (such as ゆっくり(と)), are listed as [副(ト)]. Some dictionaries don't put the (ト) part and you have to figure it out yourself. You may also see [副]スル, meaning the adverb can be used by itself with する to become a verb, such as しばらくする, but again, not all dictionaries are kind enough to indicate this. There are a few more word classes but don't come up as much as these main ones. ^^ The only ones I can think of now are conjunction[接] (short for 接続詞), interjection [感] (short for 感動詞), auxiliary verb (aka helping verb) [補動] (short for 補助動詞), and particle [格助] (short for 格助詞), but I'm sure there's more.

#23 Re: Japanese: Questions and Discussions » Difference between また and さらに? » 2011-05-17 04:26:00

さらに really has a feeling of "even more so" or "more and more," "furthermore," etc., such as 「さらにもう一度」 (yet once more), 「さらに一歩踏み出す」 (take another step forward), 「さらに多くの人を雇う」 (hire still more people), 「さらによくする」 (make <something> even better), 「悲劇的な事故が、家族をさらに結束させた。」 (The tragic accident bound the family closer together.)
It really has a sense of building on something that happened previously and making it even more so, or that the degree of something is increasing.

また just neutrally means again, or a second time, such as 「また近所で火事があった」 (There has been another fire in the area), or 「連絡しようしようと思いながらまた1年がたった」 (While I was encouraging myself to get in touch, another year  passed).

To me at least, また feels like the more neutral word, just saying something happened more than once, while さらに has a similar meaning, but is not necessarily saying something happened again, but also that the degree of something has increased, has become even more so. When the degree of how often something is occurring increases, that means it has happened more than once, which is how it is similar to また. So you could probably say さらに近所で火事があった, but it would be probably more like, yet again, there was a fire in the neighborhood, perhaps hinting that it is happening quite often? I am having a hard time explaining it so maybe someone else can chime in.

#24 Re: Japanese: Questions and Discussions » let's not do in 日本語 » 2011-05-15 21:05:31

> spin13 wrote:

>Don't you think that comes from what "volition" means in English rather than what the Japanese actually means?  After all, あろう and あるまい (and であろう) are perfectly fine.

Yes and no. It's not so much the information not being there, but how he presents it. I think that although some people can make the leap from volitional to 〜ろう and 〜まい being connected, not everyone will when he uses a word in English for two meanings which only really has one meaning, when even the dictionary has no problem listing them as separate definitions. I think just saying it can mean volition or probability would have cleared that right up. After all, although まい can double-function for both, we don't usually use 行こう and 行くでしょう to mean the same thing. I do think it was mostly a wording issue, but one that could have been easily resolved with an extra sentence or two.

#25 Re: Japanese: Questions and Discussions » let's not do in 日本語 » 2011-05-15 15:11:03

> wildweathel wrote:

> My impression is that するまい is literary/dialectical.

〜まい was one thing in Tae Kim's Guide that confused me every time I came across it in context, until I looked it up in my monolingual dictionary. I hardly ever come across it being used to mean volition, like he makes it sound in his guide, but rather almost always meaning probability: …ないだろう。 (An example given is このままでは助かるまい。). In fact, in my dictionary, …ないだろう。 is actually the FIRST definition, and …ないつもりだ。/…ないことにしよう。 is the second. Tae Kim may have been trying to implicitly lump and explain the two meanings together, but for me at least, his explanation just ended up being confusing. Especially when I kept coming across あるまい and was wondering how ある could possibly have volition. =P

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