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How are these two terms different? Also how about 表す and 現す?

Thank you so much!

楽しいクリスマス、そしていい正月を。

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It would be best to split the かえる part off into a separate question. –  nkjt Dec 24 '13 at 11:45
    
I'll do that now :) –  Sesseto Dec 24 '13 at 11:48
1  
お正月>正月 because you are talking about other people's New Year's. –  非回答者 Dec 25 '13 at 9:31
    
@Sesseto If you post that かえる bit as a question, it will probably get closed as a duplicate of an existing question. –  snailboat Dec 25 '13 at 15:05
    
I saw that question, with the answer, and decided not to post it :) –  Sesseto Dec 26 '13 at 5:35
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1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

This was exactly my homework back in 7th or 8th grade (in junior high school in Japan)!

Basically it is Abstract/Intangible vs. Concrete/Tangible.

The Abstract/Intangible things [表]{あらわ}れる. Those include emotions, feelings, results of efforts such as grades, etc. becoming visible.

The Concrete/Tangible things [現]{あらわ}れる. These are things like humans, animals, monsters, clouds, etc. appearing from somewhere.

表す and 現す are basically the transitive versions of the intransitive 表れる and 現れる.

You can 表す (= to display, reveal, etc.) things like your emotions on your face, your ideas in art forms, your opinions through your actions, etc.

現す means "(concrete things) showing themslves" such as the stars at night, visible symptoms on your body, your hidden talents, etc.

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