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Some things that are not covered
As we near the end of section 5, we are essentially picking up different useful types of grammar here and there. In writing this section, I considered
a large number of things that are on the border between vocabulary and grammar. In the end, I decided to leave everything out that can be looked
up and easily learned with examples. Some examples of grammar that fall under this category are 「にとって、に対して、に関して、について」.
When you come across such grammar in the course of learning Japanese, you can look them up at the
WWWJDIC and take a look at the example sentences.
That's all you should need to get you started. In the meantime, I've decided to go over two types of grammar that deserve some explanation,
「わけ」（訳） and 「とする」.
Coming to a conclusion with 「わけ」
The first type of grammar is, in actuality, just a regular noun. However, it is used to express a concept that deserves some explanation. The noun
「わけ」（訳） is defined as: "meaning; reason; can be deduced". You can see how this word is used in the following mini-dialogue.
- No matter how much I study, I don't become better at English.
- So basically, it means that you don't have ability at language.
- How rude.
As you can see, Jim is concluding from what Naoko said that she must not have any skills at learning languages. This is completely different from the
that anyone might be able to arrive at given certain information.
A very useful application of this grammar is to combine it with 「ない」 to indicate that there is no reasonable conclusion.
This allows some very useful expression like, "How in the world am I supposed to know that?"
- There is no reasoning for (me) to be able to read Chinese.
While grammar dictates that a particle is required for the noun 「わけ」, since this type of expression is used so often, the particle is often dropped to
create just 「~わけない」.
- Have you ever gone to Hiroko's house?
- There's no way I would have ever gone to her house, right?
- Do you understand (differential and integral) calculus?
- There's no way I would understand!
Although not as common, 「わけ」 can also be used as a formal expression for saying that something must be done at all costs. This is
simply a stronger and more formal version of 「~てはいけない」. This grammar is created by simply attaching 「わけにはいかない」. The 「は」 is the
topic particle and is pronounced 「わ」. The reason 「いけない」 changes to 「いかない」 is probably
related to intransitive and transitive verbs but I don't want to
get too caught up in the logistics of it. Just take note that it's 「いかない」 in this case and not 「いけない」.
- This time, I must not lose at all costs.
- After coming this far, I must not give up.
Making hypotheses with 「とする」
While this next grammar doesn't necessary have anything to do with the previous grammar, I thought it would fit nicely together. In a previous
We will now learn several other ways 「とする」 can be used. It may help to keep in mind that 「とする」 is really just a combination of the quotation
particle 「と」 and the verb 「する」 meaning "to do". Let's say you have a sentence: [verb]とする. This means literally that you are doing like "[verb]" (in quotes).
As you can see, when used with the volitional, it becomes: "Doing like making motion to do [verb]". In other words, you are acting as if to make a motion to
do [verb]. As we have already seen, this translates to "attempt to do [verb]". Let's see what happens when we use it on plain verbs.
- Assume we go tomorrow.
In （１）, the example is considering what would happen supposing that they should decide to go tomorrow. You can see that the literal translation still makes
sense, "Do like we go tomorrow." but in this situation, we are making a hypothesis unlike the grammar we have gone over before with the volitional form of the
verb. Since we are considering a hypothesis, it is reasonable that the conditional will be very handy here and indeed, you will often see sentences like the
- If we suppose that we go from now, I think we will arrive at 9:00.
As you can see, the verb 「する」 has been conjugated to the 「たら」 conditional form to consider what would happen if
you assume a certain case. You can also change 「する」 to the te-form （して） and use it as a sequence of actions like so:
- Received favor of allowing to participate as spectator.
- As a victim, was extremely fortunate.
- Even assuming that you ate breakfast, because it's already noon, you're probably hungry, right?
The same idea applies here as well. In （３）, you are doing like a "spectator" and doing like a "victim" in （４） and finally, doing like you
ate breakfast in （５）. So you can see why the same grammar applies for all these types of sentences because they all mean the same thing in Japanese (minus
the use of additional particles and various conjugations of 「する」).
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