Glossary of Japanese grammar and language terms

Some have been studying Japanese for a long time but have never stopped to analyze the words or terms used to refer to Japanese grammar or the classification of words in the language and the like. In this article, we will share a complete glossary of grammar terms in the Japanese language. You will know how to say verb, adjectives, nouns and other similar words in the Japanese language itself.

The word we use to talk about grammatical terms or classes of Japanese words is hinshi [品詞] which can indicate the part of a speech, a lexical class or category, similar to the English word Parts of Speech.

Main terms of Japanese grammar

Below we will see a complete list of Japanese grammar terms:

Responsive Table: Roll the table sideways with your finger >>
EnglishJapaneseRomaji
Word; language言葉kotoba
Phrasebun
Grammar文法bunpou
Language; language言語gengo
Verb動詞doushi
Noun名詞meishi
Temporal noun時相名詞jisoumeishi
Pronoun代名詞daimeishi
Personal pronoun人称代名詞ninshoudaimeishi
Adjective (-i)形容詞keiyoushi
Adjective (-na)形容動詞keiyoudoushi
Adverb副詞fukushi
Particles助詞joshi
Bonding particles係助詞kakarijoshi
Marking particles; cause格助詞kakujoshi
Conjugation接続詞Setsuzokushi
Form~形~kei
Numeral数字suuji
Abbreviation; acronym略語ryakugo
Place name地名chimei
Classification; category分類bunrei
Interjection感動詞kandoushi
Counter助数詞josuushi
Subject主語shugo
Predicate述語jutsugo
Plural form複数fukusuu

Terms related to Japanese speaking and writing

Below we will see some words and terms related to Japanese speaking and writing:

Responsive Table: Roll the table sideways with your finger >>
EnglishJapaneseRomaji / Kana
Kanji; Ideograms漢字かんじ
Hiragana平仮名ひらがな
Katakana片仮名カタカナ
Kana仮名kana
Radical部首bushu
Roman lettersロマ時romaji
Stroke order筆順hitsujun
Number of strokes画数kakushuu
Vertical writing縦書tategaki
Horizontal writing横書yokogaki
Punctuation句読点kudouten
Circles and marks半濁点handakuten
Vowel母音boin
According to子音shiin
Dialects方言hougen
Accent訛りnamari
Pronunciation発音hatsuon
Common language共通語kyoutsuugo
Colloquial language口語kougo
Polite language丁寧語teineigo
Humble language敬語keigo
Casual languageタメ語tamego
Slang俗語zokugo

To understand more about circles and brands read our article on dakuten and handakuten.

Glossary of Japanese grammar and language terms

Talking about Japanese verbs

The word verb in Japanese is pronounced doushi [動詞] which uses the movement and change ideogram [動] and the words or part of sentences [詞] ideogram. Fortunately, in Japanese there are not a million verb conjugations in Japanese, we will list the ones below:

Responsive Table: Roll the table sideways with your finger >>
EnglishJapaneseRomaji
Intransitive verb自動詞jidoushi
Transitive verb他動詞tadoushi
Potential verb可能動詞kanoudoushi
Static Verb状態動詞joutaidoushi
Causative form使役形shiekikei
Passive form受け身形ukemikei
Imperative form命令形meireikei
Unreal shape未然形mizenkei
Continuous form連用形ren’yōkei
Terminal shape終止形shūshikei
Attributive form連体形rentaikei
Hypothetical form仮定形kateikei
Dictionary form辞書形jishokei
Group 1五段godan
Group 2A上一段kami ichidan
Group 2B下一段shimo ichidan

The terminal and attributive forms are basically the same, and both are dictionary forms or simple forms.

The group 1 is a group of verbs that end with consonants like kaeru [帰る]. O group 2A verbs that end in iru as miru [見る]. O group 2B are verbs that end in eru, but they have 2 hiragana as taberu [食べる]. That was a pretty basic explanation without mentioning exceptions or going into detail.

Other terms related to the Japanese language

In 2015 I had done a similar article, but without any organization. I also decided to share the table of that 2015 article that has many interesting words. So there may be some item repeated in the table below.

Responsive Table: Roll the table sideways with your finger >>
EnglishJapaneseRomaji
accentアクセントakucento
accent強弱アクセントkyoojaku akucento
characterization adjective属性形容詞zokusee keeyooshi
feeling adjective感情形容詞kanjoo keeyooshi
adjective-iい形容詞i keeyooshi
adjective-naな形容詞na keeyooshi
adjective形容詞keeyooshi
name連体詞lentaishi
concordant adverb陳述副詞tinjutsu fukushi
adverb of intensity程度副詞teedo fukushi
mode adverb状態副詞jootai fukushi
adverb副詞fukushi
Latin / Roman alphabetローマ字looma-ji
antonym反義語hanguigo
part of speech品詞hinshi
nominal complement連体修飾語lentai shuushokugo
verbal complement連用修飾語leny00 shuushokugo
complement修飾語shuushokugo
conjunction接続詞setsuzokushi
consonant子音shiin
context文脈bunmyaku
contextual demonstrative文脈指示詞bunmyaku shijishi
demonstrative指示詞shijishi
colloquial / informal style普通体futsuutai
polished / formal style丁寧体teeneetai
sentence structure構文koobun
grammatical / phrasal structure文型bunkee
euphonia, phonetic contraction音便onbin
expression of gratitude恩恵表現onkee hyooguen
treatment expressions待遇表現taiguu hyooguen
Bend活用するkatsuy00 suru
phonogram仮名kana
ba shape; conditional formば形bakee
basic / infinitive form辞書形jishokee
bending form活用形katsuyookee
intentional form, verbal inflection that expresses possibility / ability可能形kanookee
intentionally意向形ikookee
masu shapeます形maçukee
form naiない形naikee
ta shape; conclusive / past, informalた形takee
form youて形tekee
affirmative sentence肯定文kooteebun
causative voice phrase使役文shiekibun
passive phrase受身文ukemibun
interrogative phrase疑問文guimonbun
negative phrase否定文hiteebun
phrase短文tanbun
future未来mirai
namesake同音異義語dooon’iguigo
ideogram, grass logo, kanji漢字kanji
interjection感動詞kandooshi
letter, spelling文字moji
respect language敬語keego
polite / formal language丁寧語teeneego
mimesis擬態語guitaigo
Arabic numeralアラビア数字arabia suuji
Arabic numeral算用数字san’yoo suuji
numeral in kanji漢数字kan suuji
ordinal numeral序数詞joçuushi
numeral数詞suushi
onomatopoeia擬音語guiongo
main sentence主文shubun
subordinate clause従属文juuzokubun
word of Chinese origin漢語kango
word of foreign originかたかな語katakanago
word of foreign origin外来語gairaigo
word of Japanese origin和語wago
hybrid word混種語konshugo
polysemic word多義語taguigo
independent word / expression独立語dokuritsugo
composite particle複合助詞fukugoo joshi
connective particle接続助詞setsuzoku joshi
highlight particle取立助詞toritate joshi
final particle終助詞shuujoshi
particle indicating case / function格助詞kakujoshi
pause marker particle間投助詞kantoo joshi
particle助詞joshi
past過去kako
coordination period重文juubun
period consisting of複文fukubun
simple period単文tanbun
prefix接頭語settoogo
gift現在guenzai
indefinite pronoun不定代名詞futee daimeeshi
interrogative pronoun疑問代名詞guimon daimeeshi
personal pronoun人称代名詞ninshoo daimeeshi
pronoun代名詞daimeeshi
pseudo-noun形式名詞keeshiki meeshi
Japanese syllabary五十音図gojuuonzu
synonym類義語luiguigo
contracted sound拗音yooon
long sound長音ty000n
occlusive sound促音sokuon
sound濁音dakuon
deaf sound; “clear” sound清音seeon
abstract noun抽象名詞tyuushoo meeshi
common noun普通名詞futsuu meeshi
proper noun固有名詞koyuu meeshi
noun名詞meeshi
flexional suffix; verbal assistant助動詞jodooshi
numeral suffix助数詞joçuushi
suffix接尾語setsubigo
subject (of prayer)主語shugo
auxiliary term (functional)付属語(機能後)fuzokugo (kinoogo)
independent / lexical term自立語(内容語)jiritsugo (naiyoogo)
modified term被修飾語hi shuushokugo
tonicity高低アクセントkootee akucento
modesty verb謙譲動詞kenjoo dooshi
respect verb; auxiliary verb or verb expressing gratitude恩恵動詞onkee dooshi
respect word尊敬動詞sonkee dooshi
intransitive verb自動詞jidooshi
verb that expresses possibility / ability可能動詞kanoo dooshi
transitive verb他動詞tadooshi
verbs that express give and take; benefit verb授受動詞juju dooshi
open vowel開口母音kaikoo boin
closed vowel閉鎖母音heeça boin
vowel母音boin

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