Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Let's say you were comparing/contrasting two concepts e.g. in a title of an essay/article.

Concept A vs. Concept B - Which is Better?

The above is just an example.

Can 対 be used? Also, how would you put 対 in a sentence? I am guessing like this:

ConceptA 対 ConceptB

So, is there a Japanese equivalent of "versus"? Are there different ones depending on the context?

Thank you in advance.

share|improve this question

Here in Japan these days, I actually see and hear 「[vs.]{バーサス}」 as often as or even more often than 「[対]{たい}」.

「対」 would tend to suggest a physical fight or conflict, so we tend not to use it in other contexts.

share|improve this answer
Would バーサス be a bit informal? When/in what kind of situations would you use it? I understand if it's used in a more informal context, but what about a more formal one? – Cherry_UW Apr 10 '14 at 0:52
To kind of rephrase that question, what would the term be in academic writing to compare two competing ideas? – ssb Apr 10 '14 at 6:03
I use それに対して in my academic writing or phrases like 他方. When would we use "versus" in English academic writing? – virmaior Apr 10 '14 at 9:35

Yes, it's used very much like Versus. However!

As Tokyo Nagoya pointed out, バーサス is usable sometimes, too. Plus, occasionally クロス (that is, "X", usually a sign of collaboration) will be used like "Versus" depending on the context.

For example, it's "Capcom vs. SNK" in both Japan and the US, but it's "Street Fighter X Tekken" in both territories.

share|improve this answer

You answered your own question, pretty much. 対 is used more or less exactly like vs. is in English.

share|improve this answer
Thank you. I just wasn't sure, and didn't know where to look. – Cherry_UW Apr 9 '14 at 23:18

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.