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As I understand, both よ and よる mean 'night'. I guess that the difference might be purely idiomatic. In this sense:

  • What are idioms where only one of them is correct?
  • What are idioms where you can use either?
  • If you can use either, is there a difference in nuance?
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As usual, explanations of downvotes are appreciated. – Tobias Apr 5 '14 at 11:28
I'm just a little interested in the etymology of る in words like よる and ひる. – Yang Muye Apr 5 '14 at 12:36
「よる」より「よ」の方が、ちょっと昔っぽい感じするよね。「秋の[夜]{よる}は・・・」より「秋の[夜]{よ}は・・・」の方が文語的っていうか。 – user1016 Apr 5 '14 at 14:02
@Chocolate 分かりました。ありがとうございました。 – Tobias Apr 6 '14 at 19:00

Both readings are kun-readings of kanji 夜 and are used in native Japanese words.

I think the main difference is that:

  • 夜{よる} is rather used as a standalone word meaning evening or night.

  • 夜{よ} is used in compound words, e.g. 夜{よ}中{なか} (midnight), 闇{やみ}夜{よ} (dark night), 夜{よ}空{ぞら} (night sky).

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