What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

Phrase structure and particles and possible ambiguity

Hans Kamp

Registered
Joined
28 Jan 2016
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
Yesterday I went to my parents' house (actually their home). That fact I translated into:

私のお父さんとお母さんの家に行きました。
Watashi no otousan to okaasan no ie ni ikimashita.

I wonder about the order how the particles are evaluated. If の has a higher precedence than と, the phrase could be interpreted as:
I went to my father and to the house of the (not necessarily my) mother:
(私のお父さん)と(お母さんの家)に行きました。
or as:
(私の(お父さんとお母さん)の家)に行きました。
It is about the house of my father and my mother, and that is where I went to.

I wanted to say:
私の(お父さんとお母さん)の家に行きました。
Is there a risk of ambiguity?
 
Last edited:

Majestic

先輩
Joined
12 Oct 2013
Messages
2,628
Reaction score
1,864
The risk of ambiguity, that is to say the risk of someone interpreting the sentence as
I went to my father and to the house of the (not necessarily my) mother
is virtually nonexistent. Actually, it will probably be clear from the context whose parents you are talking about, so it will be more natural to leave out the 私の entirely. You might also try using the word 実家 if you are talking about the home you grew up in (but have now left).
 

WonkoTheSane

先輩
Joined
12 May 2013
Messages
1,335
Reaction score
310
I always try to get around these things by being ambiguous myself:

昨日、両親の家に行きました。

I figure my conversation partner knows it wasn't their parents I visited, and that it was me doing the visiting, and that I'd specify if it was someone else's parents... So all that's left is that I visited my parents house.

But I'm just a beginner, so I'll leave it to people who actually know the answer to reply with something reasonable.

Edit: Beat by Majestic who taught me a new word 実家, thanks!
 

Hans Kamp

Registered
Joined
28 Jan 2016
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
両親の家に行きました。

Aha that solves the problem. There is already no abiguity, as Majestic explained, and if there would still be, 両親の(実)家に行きました。 would solve it, because of using 両親. :)
 

Hans Kamp

Registered
Joined
28 Jan 2016
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
It could be even simpler (implying "home" or "house"):
両親に行きました。
I went to my parents. :)
 

mdchachi

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
6 Mar 2003
Messages
4,948
Reaction score
2,472
It could be even simpler (implying "home" or "house"):
両親に行きました。
I went to my parents. :)
This one doesn't work as well since parents is not a location. Even in English it's not correct. It only works because the implication is I went to my parents' (house). But the implied possessive doesn't exist in the Japanese above.
実家に行きました is your best, succinct solution. 実家 itself implies that it's your parents home so there's no need to add 両親.
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
17,770
Reaction score
3,965
It's not "no need to add", but "do not add". 両親の実家 means the homes your parents grew up in and they don't live in now, thus, it can't mean your parents' house they live in now.
 

Hans Kamp

Registered
Joined
28 Jan 2016
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
Mdchachi,
Couldn't 実家に行きました be misinterpreted as: I went home? For "I went home" I would expect a different Japanese sentence, then.
 

mdchachi

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
6 Mar 2003
Messages
4,948
Reaction score
2,472
Mdchachi,
Couldn't 実家に行きました be misinterpreted as: I went home? For "I went home" I would expect a different Japanese sentence, then.
No, it always refers to one's "family home" (ie where your parents are). For your own home, you would just use いえ or うち. You could preface it with 私の but usually that is implied so it's not necessary. Note, when you go home, it's more usual/correct to say return home not go home.
In other words, say うちにかえります and not うちにいきます。

Note, what Toritoribe said up above. If you say 両親の実家 it means your parents' family home (ie your grandparents home). So the meaning is not the same.
 

Hans Kamp

Registered
Joined
28 Jan 2016
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
ありがとう, むどちゃち (mdchachi) と 松葉解禁 :)
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
17,770
Reaction score
3,965
松葉解禁 is not my name, as same as yours is not "kouhai" (= 後輩).;)
 

Hans Kamp

Registered
Joined
28 Jan 2016
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
松葉解禁 is not my name, as same as yours is not "kouhai" (= 後輩).;)
住みません。 :) I thought that 松葉解禁 is the kanji version of your name. I haven't paid attention to "Kouhai" under my name and my country's flag.
 
Last edited:

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
15 Mar 2002
Messages
16,455
Reaction score
2,274
住みません。

That means "I don't reside". You meant to say すみません. It is typically written in kana. If you were to write it with kanji, the correct way would be 済みません. (Both 住みません and 済みません are read as すみません......as are 澄みません、棲みません、and 清みません....and they all mean different things).

You can't just trust the computer to select the correct kanji for you. If you don't know which is the correct kanji in a given usage, your best choice is to just use kana.
 

Hans Kamp

Registered
Joined
28 Jan 2016
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
You are right, Mike Cash. I took the wrong kanji. I know another example: hana. What does that word mean? In romaji or hiragana (はな), it is ambiguous: "nose" or "flower". But you have 花 for flower and 鼻 for nose.

hana - Jisho.org
 
Joined
5 May 2013
Messages
880
Reaction score
357
They all mean different things? I'm pretty sure 澄む and 清む are perfect synonyms. At least, the dictionaries I have access to do not distinguish between the two and the usages that I've seen don't seem to have any pattern. Mostly one author prefers one writing or the other exclusively over the other, whether talking about a clear sky or clear water. (Or in the case of すみません ... skies or liquids that don't become clear...)

A good point, in any case, but if there is a difference between 清む and 澄む I would like to know what it is.
 

Hoge

破落戸
Joined
28 Dec 2014
Messages
80
Reaction score
15
Yesterday I went to my parents' house (actually their home). That fact I translated into:

私のお父さんとお母さんの家に行きました。
Watashi no otousan to okaasan no ie ni ikimashita.

I wonder about the order how the particles are evaluated. If の has a higher precedence than と, the phrase could be interpreted as:
I went to my father and to the house of the (not necessarily my) mother:
(私のお父さん)と(お母さんの家)に行きました。
or as:
(私の(お父さんとお母さん)の家)に行きました。
It is about the house of my father and my mother, and that is where I went to.

私の(お父さんとお母さん)の家に行きました。
Is there a risk of ambiguity?
Just a side remark:

The sentence 私のお父さんとお母さんの家に行きました。 allows a third interpretation, "お父さんと" meaning "(went) together with my father".
(私のお父さんと) (お母さんの家に行きました)。
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
15 Mar 2002
Messages
16,455
Reaction score
2,274
A good point, in any case, but if there is a difference between 清む and 澄む I would like to know what it is.

You're absolutely right. They're so alike that when I looked them both up each used the other in giving the definition!
 
Top Bottom