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Author Topic: Japanese particle questions  (Read 288 times)

KingMike

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Japanese particle questions
« on: May 11, 2018, 02:44:51 am »
One of the things that has been most bugging me is ん used after the end of words.
Like, I don't know, just throwing out something randomly, いくんだ.
The dictionary I have says it could be a negative ending (so is the ん like a ない?), thought I think it specified an ending for ぬ verbs (though another dictionary says that しぬ is actually the only ぬ-ending verb when it describes... I think it was called One-Line and Five-Line Verbs. "One Line" being basically the -eru/-iru verbs (the "Vowel-stem" verbs, as my grammar book calls them) and Five Line being practically all others ("Consonant stem" as my grammar book calls them)
But anyways it also says ん after a verb could be a substitute for の or に as well?

Been starting to watch out for the って forms and using my understand of how they are constructed to narrow down what the base verb is (should only be at most a few possibilities for the verb ending which the "te" form replaces)
And remembering that "っている" is actually a って verb + いる, yes? A helpful thing to remember when it throws other verbs like おる or おこる in place of いる?

Another unusual ending I see is りゃ like "ありゃ!" which I had assumed it a form of "ある!"

If I have a modifier like そう, then would the correct thing to do to apply it to a verb be like taking the -ます form and replacing -ます with -そう to say "seems like ..."?
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BRPXQZME

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Re: Japanese particle questions
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2018, 05:52:22 am »
Mastering what the なs and んs actually mean is a tough one, since some of them affirm the statement and some of them negate the statement, often with seemingly overlapping usage. No resource other than context and lots of exposure will help with the distinguishing there, I’m afraid.

ん is versatile as a contraction, but when you see it in front of a d-row copula (like だ or で), it’s likely a contracted explanatory の (as opposed to possessive の), which doesn’t translate well to English, but the way I like to think of it is that it means the speaker is explaining or perhaps rationalizing something, so it’s there to soften the blow. Thing is, it’s thrown out so liberally it’s more of a “feel” to the statement than a literal meaning. The second most likely case is a rather lazy negation (most commonly 知らない → 知らん), and usually the mizenkei verb form is enough to go on. Usually.

て form is very common. ている (often casually contracted to てる) is indeed like a tense (active present), and for some verbs (most notably 知る) simple present tense is not present enough. There are other helper verbs used with て form (〜て-おく, to do beforehand, is a particularly nifty one), but without checking actual stats usually I see て form in the middle of a sentence, where it functions as the end of basically a complete sentence without fully closing it off (so, like one of several verbal semicolons in the language, but really an “and” most of the time). って outside this context, however, tends to be a form of と, and that’s a whole different kettle of fish.

The ゃ can be a contracted particle は (e.g. といったらありはしない → といったらありゃしない), but unless there’s some context I’m not aware of, ありゃ! on its own is an interjection, either of surprise (like あら, あれ) or of exertion (e.g. a kiai).

そう is also versatile, and I don’t think I could cover it properly myself. It generally does mean “seems” in that usage but sometimes it may not be the most pertinent “seems like” on the menu (especially if what you really mean is that there is a resemblance). The same usage also means “I heard that, rumor has it, apparently”.

So, IMHO, that’s the 80/20 version of what’s going on with those, to keep a once-every-few-years post as short as I can manage. Probably someone has a legitimate disagreement.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2018, 07:20:12 am by BRPXQZME »
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730

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Re: Japanese particle questions
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2018, 07:23:41 am »
One of the things that has been most bugging me is ん used after the end of words.
Like, I don't know, just throwing out something randomly, いくんだ.
The dictionary I have says it could be a negative ending (so is the ん like a ない?), thought I think it specified an ending for ぬ verbs (though another dictionary says that しぬ is actually the only ぬ-ending verb when it describes... I think it was called One-Line and Five-Line Verbs. "One Line" being basically the -eru/-iru verbs (the "Vowel-stem" verbs, as my grammar book calls them) and Five Line being practically all others ("Consonant stem" as my grammar book calls them)
But anyways it also says ん after a verb could be a substitute for の or に as well?

The ん in that specific example (いくんだ) is the same as いくのだ. It only means negative when the verb is actually inflected like a negative verb (for example, for いく it would be いかん, like いかない), though that kind of speech is used by specific kinds of characters (assuming we're just talking about fiction and not actual japanese people for now), like old men, because it sounds more "ancient", so to speak.
What you mean by One-Line and Five-Line verbs is ichidan and godan verbs. Ichidan verbs all end in る and are inflected like 食べる or 寝る, where for example, you don't add a small っ on て forms, and the た for the past form just replaces the る at the end (食べた, 寝た). Godan verbs are all the rest, which ALSO include some verbs that end in る (like 眠る, 知る, or 掘る). These all have their own rules on how to inflect them depending on the kana they end with, and the only way to know whether a る verb is Ichidan or Godan is through seeing them being used and memorizing them (maybe there's a pattern, I don't really know anymore though, I don't get them confused a lot).

Another unusual ending I see is りゃ like "ありゃ!" which I had assumed it a form of "ある!"

Like he said, the りゃ is just slurring of other stuff, most of the time that りは in -りはしない.


If I have a modifier like そう, then would the correct thing to do to apply it to a verb be like taking the -ます form and replacing -ます with -そう to say "seems like ..."?

edit: nvm what was written here i got it mixed up with the volitional.
Basically yeah, the root of the verb + そう

At any rate, you should read all of this: http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/
It doesn't seem like you've been through an actual text explaining grammar before (at least not a good one) so it's probably gonna help a lot.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2018, 07:29:35 am by 730 »
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