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Both of them mean fire. But what are the difference between the two ?

For the sentence : There is a fire in my room. Can I use both of them ?

And what about for the sentence : Fire is part of the 5 elements.

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I think we normally use 火事 to refer to the condition where something not meant to burn is on fire. And.. you can say「~~が火事だ。(~~is on fire)」but not 「~~が火だ。」 (We'd say 「~~が燃えて(い)る。」instead). –  Chocolate Aug 18 '12 at 16:21
    
Please check your favorite dictionary, or Wiktionary if you do not have one. Wiktionary shows appropriate translations of different meanings of noun “fire” to Japanese (somewhat surprising to me…), and it also answers your question. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Aug 18 '12 at 19:08
    
Of course, that's my first step, then my second is google and my third is this site's search bar. –  BabyAzerty Aug 19 '12 at 0:21
    
“Of course”? Apparently you did not check a dictionary before asking this question, did you? If you had checked a dictionary, you should have known the answer. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Aug 19 '12 at 0:29
    
I always study and check with "Japanese", an iOS app based on Jmdict and Kanjidic2 with sentence examples of Wwwjdic. But the sentence didn't really help me. I had "The fire burned up brighty" with 火 and "The fire was soon extinguished" with 火事. –  BabyAzerty Aug 19 '12 at 0:45
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1 Answer

up vote 13 down vote accepted

火事 means "fire" like what you shout when a building is burning down. Or when we say "my house was lost in a fire", it's that "fire". The big kind that burns things it isn't supposed to.

火 is a more generic word for fire. It's what's on a candle or a torch or in a fireplace.

For your first sentence...it depends on if the fire is burning down your room(火事), or if you have a candle or a fireplace that's lit(火). So, yes you can use both, but it means (very) different things.

For your second sentence, I believe you could use 火. I seem to recall my Yu-gi-oh! cards using 炎{ほのお} which is "flame, blaze", but I'm not sure what meaning you can derive from that...

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I've always thought of 事 as adding the meaning 'situation' or 'event' to the compound. So a candle flame is not much of an event, but a part of your house on fire certainly is an event. –  taylor Aug 20 '12 at 14:30
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