Subtle differences between two seemingly interchangeable expressions.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

2
votes
1answer
67 views

貸してもいいですか versus 借りてもいいですか

According to my teacher who is a native Japanese, the second option cannot be used even though it is grammatically correct. What do you think? Any comments are appreciated. Option 1 ...
6
votes
1answer
161 views

Use of question particles in plain speech

I'm becoming increasingly confused about the correct way to form questions in informal speech. I originally learned that I should replace か with の. Then I learned that that was a bit girly. Then I ...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

i-adjective followed by だ

All of my studies so far have suggested that i-adjectives never take だ (です can be used to make the sentence polite). Then I came across this sentence: 私が世界で一番偉いだって?? I'm the greatest in the ...
3
votes
1answer
133 views

Difference between 遍 and 度/回 in occurences

I have known for a while about 度 and 回 when counting occurrences, but recently I found a passage that used 遍 as well, which surprised me. 一[遍]{ぺん}転べば・・・十[遍]{ぺん}転べば・・・百[遍]{ぺん}転べば・・・ If I ...
3
votes
1answer
129 views

Difference between 今{こん}後{ご} and 未{み}来{らい}

When should 今後 and 未来 be used? Both of the words can mean "future". I have noticed that 今後 refers to both present time and what will happen from now on, and 未来 is simply what will happen in the future ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

What's the difference between 信じる, 信用する and 信頼する?

What's the difference between 信じる, 信用する and 信頼する ? How can I know which one to use? According to my dictionary they all mean "to trust". Are they interchangeable? For example, I trust you.
5
votes
1answer
157 views

Add English nuances to Japanese “いいえ”

Here are some natural ways to say "no" in English (please forgive the language): No God no Hell no F*** no How to include the English nuances in Japanese? Best attempts: No - いいえ or ううん God ...
5
votes
2answers
181 views

Difference between 光る, 輝く, and 光り輝く?

What is the difference between 光る{ひかる}, 輝く{かがやく}, and 光り{ひかり}輝く{かがやく}? According to my dictionary, they all mean "to shine" or "to be bright", but I'm sure they aren't always interchangeable. Looking ...
2
votes
2answers
101 views

Can その程度 be used for a high degree or with a positive connotation?

Recently I have heard that the collocation その程度【ていど】 always implies a low degree, or rather a degree or level of something the speaker or author feels is insufficient or too low. For example: ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

What is the purpose of the renyokei form + ni part of this sentence?

In the light novel that I'm reading, the protagonist is creatively arguing with his friend to obtain more sleeping time. However, I'm a bit confused about how to handle the 起こしに in this sentence. ...
4
votes
2answers
125 views

What's the difference between 間違える and 誤る?

Is there some sort of bigger difference between the two? I tried reading some example sentences, but couldn't distinguish between them. The level of politeness perhaps?
4
votes
1answer
122 views

Difference between 運命 and 命運

To my knowledge, 運命{うんめい} is the more common of the two terms, meaning fate / destiny. 命運{めいうん} is clearly the same 漢字 reversed, and translations give the same meaning of fate / destiny. I was ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

Meaning of a conjugation of 巡らす (巡らせ)

This is from a light novel I'm reading. Here's the part that I'm having trouble with this sentence: オレは痛みを訴える頭を巡らせ Based on what I know regarding the rest of the sentence, I believe that this ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

Difference between passive and intransitive for positive verbs [duplicate]

I saw this answer for how the nuance changes between the use of passive and intransitive verbs when the verb is negative. I was wondering what the difference is with a positive verb. Here's an ...
4
votes
2answers
123 views

When does 明日辺り start and finish?

Is 明日辺り exactly the same as 明日? If not, let's say I just got told "Please do <something> 明日辺り", then: From what time today does it start to become acceptable to do it? Approximately when will ...
1
vote
1answer
100 views

でありません(でない)VS ではありません(ではない)VSでもありません(でもない)

でありません(でない) ではありません(ではない) でもありません(でもない) Can anyone tell me the differences between these three? And in what kinds of context would people use these three? Thank you.
8
votes
1answer
224 views

What do I actually call familiar or friendly language?

When writing on Lang-8, I often end up writing both formal and casual versions (for practice), with labels. I also wish occasionally to discuss formality, and thus need words to talk about the ...
9
votes
1answer
320 views

Meaning behind adding 'め' after someone's name?

I've come across this once or twice where people will say someone's name and then add 'め' in an irritable/victorious tone [e.g: ヒカルめ, マコトめ, etc.], but I've yet to find a textbook example explaining ...
3
votes
2answers
166 views

What is the difference between [新規]{しんき} and [新]{あたら}しい?

What is the difference between [新規]{しんき} and [新]{あたら}しい? Both mean "new". What are the nuances here?
3
votes
1answer
123 views

Does 'かわいそ' in this context mean 'is pitiful' or 'I feel pity for'?

This ties in to the dialogue in a previous question I'd asked, although the subject is different, so I thought it best to separate it into another question. For context, the series is in the middle ...
5
votes
2answers
169 views

Words for area/district/region: the actual difference between 地区、地帯、地域、地方 (and also 区域)?

地区 and 地方 have similar definitions, and 地帯 and 地域 are also defined similarly (at least according to JMdict/EDICT: 地区【ちく】 = district; section; sector 地方【ちほう】= district; region; area; locality ...
2
votes
1answer
71 views

Significance of と in ~からといって

From what I've read, からいって means "considering this..." 人気や知名度からいって、彼が選挙で当選するのは確実だろう。 But when you add "と" to form "からといって" it becomes "even though..." すぐにメールの返事が来ないからといって、心配することはないと思う。 ...
1
vote
1answer
113 views

What does かなり actually mean?

I'm attempting to learn some basic Japanese vocabulary through a set of Anki flash cards, but one of the cards has the word かなり on it. The definition provided says "fairly, rather." This implies to me ...
3
votes
1answer
70 views

Help with nuances of a list please? X や Y も…“X and Y, as well” or “X as well as Y”?

I'm just double-checking the nuances of a translation. The speaker is listing several people here: オレやひろしも藤岡さん【ふじおかさん】やお前【おまえ】の両親【りょうしん】だって黙まってねえ Contextually, the speaker, listener and Hiroshi ...
4
votes
1answer
199 views

“If you were to ask why, …”

In English, we have a construction like Yeah, I would never let him in. If you were to ask why, well, I guess I'd say because he's too young. My sense of the nuance is that it admits that what ...
1
vote
0answers
74 views

Are there differences in nuance when choosing to use 音読み over 訓読み? [closed]

Apart from grammatical reasons, are there any differences in nuance when choosing to use 音読み over 訓読み? For example: 上手{じょうず} vs 上手い{うま} 紅葉{こうよう} vs 紅葉{もみじ} 市場{しじょう} vs 市場{いちば}
2
votes
1answer
113 views

とする(か) VS Volitional, conjectural and と思う

The speaker just finished preparing a ring for a tournament when he says this sentence by himself (there is no hearer in the scene) : さて...テレビ局に行くとするか。 I know that とする can mean "to decide to", ...
2
votes
3answers
182 views

Difference between 便利さ and 利便性

If I understand correctly, 便利さ and 利便性 have the same meaning. Is there any difference in nuance or usage? Maybe 利便性 is more formal?
4
votes
1answer
343 views

あたり at the end of the sentence

Dear fellow lovers of the Japanese language, please bear with my possibly foolish question. I've come across this sentence in a visual novel (Fate/Stay Night): ...
3
votes
0answers
118 views

“A Hen in the Wind”?

I just watched the 1948 film "A Hen in the Wind," directed and co-written by Yasujiro Ozu. I'm guessing the title is a reference to a Japanese proverb or traditional metaphor. Does anyone recognize ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

Meaning of “でも” in “食事でもどうですか?”

I've found this sentence on alc.co.jp 食事でもどうですか and I am puzzled as to meaning this でも conveys. How does it differ from 食事はどうですか which would be my first choice; however, according to ...
1
vote
1answer
112 views

Usage of の before です

For example この中でどれが一番難しいのですか。 数学が一番難しいのです Is the の here used as nominalizer meaning "one" or is it used as explanatory/emphasizing のです? I assume the sentences translate to "Amongst these ...
4
votes
1answer
80 views

Meaning of タッグでやる

According to Wikipedia, a tag team is a two-person team of which only one person plays at a time. Speaking of a long-length work project, 小林 says: 田中とタッグでやる。 Is there any nuance difference with ...
2
votes
2answers
148 views

なんと versus どう usage

Consider the two questions: 1) せんせいの しつもんに なんと こたえました 2) せんせいの しつもんに どう こたえました I hope they both mean "How did you answer the teacher's question?" A previous question on this site suggested that なんと ...
2
votes
1answer
113 views

Is it correct to use で in this sentence if I want to convey “and”?

My penpal and I were talking about a particular video game and I wanted to tell him: "The PC version (of the game) has its release date someday next month and I just can't wait any longer!" ...
3
votes
2answers
190 views

Difference between 英才【えいさい】 and 天才【てんさい】 (genius)

Can someone highlight the differences between 英才【えいさい】 and 天才【てんさい】? When searching their definitions, I see: 英才:1. genius;  brilliance;  unusual talent; 2. genius;  brilliance;  unusual ...
1
vote
0answers
55 views

What is the connotation of 焦点? [closed]

I'm trying to figure out the specific connotation of this kanji. Can anyone help?
4
votes
1answer
158 views

What is the difference between all the words for tools / devices?

There is too many words for 'tool' that I am having hard time figuring out when to use which, or if some of them are just synonyms, meaning essentially the same thing. So far I know at least the ...
4
votes
1answer
201 views

Difference between 怒り{いかり} and 怒り{おこり}

Both 怒り{いかり} and 怒り{おこり} are nouns and mean "anger". Even the kanji are the same! How can we distinguish these two?
4
votes
2answers
153 views

What's the difference between ~れれば and ~れば?

別に僕は周りを無視して本に没頭したいわけでもないので、見ろと言われれば見る Would it mean the same thing if 言われれば was replaced with 言われば? What's the difference if any between ~れれば and ~れば? I'm also not certain of the meaning of the ...
6
votes
1answer
126 views

朝ご飯は vs. 朝ご飯に - difference between these two sentences?

I wanted to ask my language partner what he ate for breakfast. However, I was unsure whether what I said was correct despite him telling me that it's good - I would just like some verification. I ...
6
votes
2answers
214 views

What is the difference between すみません and すみませんでした?

What is the difference between すみません and すみませんでした (or すまない and すまなかった)? If it is what the 「でした」 suggests and すみませんでした is the past form and used to apologize for things done in the past, then what I ...
5
votes
2answers
167 views

Is saying 行ってきます and ただいま appropriate for guests?

We are asked to stay at a family friend's house for a couple of days. I was wondering, given that we're guests, what are the appropriate greetings to say when you're leaving and coming back to the ...
6
votes
1answer
265 views

Desire words: When to use 欲望{よくぼう}, 欲求{よっきゅう}, 欲{よく} and 欲念{よくねん}?

Today I ran into these three desire words, which are defined: 欲 = greed, craving, desire, avarice, wants 欲求 = desire 欲望 = desire, appetite, lust And while searching dictionaries, I also found a ...
8
votes
2answers
234 views

What is the difference between all the weather words: 気象{きしょう}, 天気{てんき} and 天候{てんこう}?

Dictionary (at least Jisho and WWWJDIC) defines them as: 気象{きしょう} = weather, climate 天気{てんき} = weather, the elements 天候{てんこう} = weather They all have quite similar definitions, so I don't quite ...
6
votes
1answer
314 views

Differences between 「することはない」 and 「しなくてもいい」

Like the title says, I'd like to know the difference in nuance and usage between 「することはない」 and 「しなくてもいい」。 For example: 「謝らなくてもいいよ」 vs. 「謝ることはないよ」 To me, they both sound like "You don't have to ...
4
votes
1answer
93 views

Is 冷やかし positive/negative/neutral?

From my Japanese reading, I've learned the word 冷やかし, but only in a negative context, connoting that the window-shopper is wasting the salesperson's time. Might it also be used in a positive way? For ...
3
votes
2answers
250 views

When does it make sense to use 「〜でない。」?

「〜でない。」, which isn't particularly common as a sentence-ender, does occasionally get used. I get the feeling it is pretty curt; I often see it with 「〜べきでない。」 or 「ただし、〜は、この限りでない。」 or 「〜は明らかでない。」, etc. ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

Difference between 隠{かく}す and 秘{ひ}める (to hide)

Can someone explain the differences between 隠{かく}す (to hide; to conceal) and 秘{ひ}める (to hide; to keep to oneself) ? These definitions look too similar for me, I'm not sure in which context to use one ...
2
votes
2answers
111 views

Difference between 維持{いじ}する and 保{たも}つ (to maintain)

I've learnt two verbs which seem to mean the same thing, and I keep confusing them: 維持{いじ}する (to maintain; to preserve;  to improve) and 保{たも}つ (to preserve; to maintain; to support) Can someone ...