Subtle differences between two seemingly interchangeable expressions.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

5
votes
1answer
201 views

The implied meaning of 日本人

I understand that 日本人 means "Japanese person/people"; however, I am confused as to the implied meanings of this term. What are things that we can assume when someone uses this term? Can it mean: A ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Could someone please clarify if I'm translating these two sentences correctly?

I think I've translated this correctly, but I started to have doubts about a few words and decided to double-check. (person A) 結婚なんて。。。めんどくせーこと オレはやめとくか。。。 (person B) ああ。。。。。 On my first ...
5
votes
1answer
128 views

含む vs. 含んでいる vs. 含まれている

I would like to know if there is a difference in nuance between these four sentences. I am trying to say oranges are high in vitamin C. These are based off a sentence I found in Jisho. 1.) ...
20
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the difference between -さ and -み suffixes to make a noun out of an adjective?

For example, both 悲しさ and 悲しみ are glossed as “sadness” in JMdict. What's the difference? According to A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar, 〜み “is more emotive and concrete characterization of some ...
7
votes
3answers
141 views

What is the difference between “verb+て+みる” and “verb+(よ)う+とする”?

In Japanese there are words which mean "to try something or attempt at doing something", e.g. 試す, 試みる and つとめる. However, at the same time we also have two grammatical constructions "verb+て+みる" and ...
5
votes
2answers
297 views

What's the standard way of explaining reason in response to the question “why?”? Do you use からです at the end?

I'm having trouble understanding the best way to respond to someone asking "why". My study guide advised, To answer the question with "why", make a statement sentence that indicates the reason ...
6
votes
5answers
455 views

What is the meaning of のか and how does it differ from か?

What is the meaning of のか in the following sentences? Does it have the same meaning as のですか? 漢字はどう正しく書くのか、どう正しく読むのか、彼らは時々迷います。 参加するのか、参加しないのか、ここではっきり返事しなさい。 Also, I have found sentences of ...
1
vote
1answer
115 views

Difference between 「〜 時{じ}に」 and 「〜 しながら」

What is the difference between 「〜時{じ}に」 and 「 〜しながら」? I know I can say 「緊張しながら」 - means "while worrying..". Would it be correct if I write it as 「緊張時に」?
0
votes
1answer
112 views

Meaning of 「緊張しながら」 and grammar of 「〜しながら」 part

Could you explain more precisely the meaning and grammar of 「緊張しながら」? I know that 「緊張」 means "nervous" or "tension", but 「〜しながら」 - I can't understand this part.
2
votes
2answers
106 views

Difference between 「答え」 and 「回答」 and 「正解」

What is the difference between 「答え」 and 「回答」 and 「正解」? They mean "the answer", but.. when each should be used?
0
votes
1answer
127 views

Exact meaning and usage of 「またこんど」

What is exact meaning and usage of 「またこんど」? I know that is like saying "see you later", but it's not very clear to me. Should we use Kanji in this phrase?
3
votes
1answer
107 views

Analysis of いい[加減]{か・げん}[目覚]{め・ざ}めなさい

According to jisho.org and the yahoo japanese dictionary, the phrase 「いい加減【か・げん】」means roughly either 'half-baked' or 'quite-well'. I know that 「[目覚]{め・ざ}めなさい」means "wake up" or "open your eyes". I ...
13
votes
2answers
365 views

What's the difference between くる and やってくる?

Can someone explain the nuance between them? They both mean "come", but I'm unsure of when they are interchangeable. My perception is that やってくる seems to put more emphasis on the actual action of ...
3
votes
2answers
194 views

Difference between usage of ように and ようにして

包み込むようにして、彼を抱きしめる 包み込むように   彼を抱きしめる The example could either use ようにして or 包み込むように抱きしめる(albeit written differently). What is the difference between these two usages? Can anyone explain the ...
5
votes
1answer
160 views

How do you politely and gratefully reply to an invitation to be published?

Is there a set phrase for politely replying to an invitation to have your academic paper published as a journal article? I presented a paper at a Japanese academic conference, and I've received an ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Difference between 取り返しがつかない and 仕方がない

What is the nuance difference between 取り返しがつかない and 仕方がない? When would one use one rather than the other?
6
votes
2answers
502 views

Meaning of last “te” of saki ni itte te (先に行ってて)

I always hear poeple saying     先に行ってて which means 'go ahead' But I don't really understand the meaning of the last て. I know it's the abbreviation of いて but if I translate it to English, I ...
8
votes
2answers
149 views

〜くはない vs 〜くない in adjective negations

As I spend more time in Japan, I pick up habits that I'm not sure are good or bad. My question here is about nuance / occasion of usage. In formal contexts, how does the impression differ between ...
5
votes
3answers
201 views

The difference between [noun phrase]+[?・なの?・ですか?・なんですか?]

Prompted by a comment thread, I was curious if my understanding of the semantic differences between [nominal phrase]? [nominal phrase]なの? [nominal phrase]ですか? [nominal phrase]なんですか? is ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

で at the end of a word

What impact does the 「で」 add if placed like this: 秋の風は静かで vs. 秋の風は静か or 心配しないで vs. 心配しない
6
votes
2answers
144 views

Why does the waiter use past tense here

When I was trying to order a set meal in the restaurant, the waiter said Aランチのほうでよろしかったでしょうか I am not sure why the past tense よろしかった is used here, I personally would say Aランチのほうでよろしいでしょうか ...
9
votes
2answers
152 views

What's the difference between 静けさ and 静かさ?

Much to my disbelief (no, I'm kidding, it happens all the time), I found out that my handbook was wrong to tell me we must use 静けさ, because 静かさ doesn't exist. Wiki(tionary) says "For degree, ...
49
votes
9answers
3k views

What is the こと in sentences such as あなたのことが好きだ?

There were a lot of great answers here. I gave the checkmark to ento's answer because I felt it most completely explained all aspects of this use of こと. But many of the other answers are excellent, so ...
6
votes
1answer
243 views

How interchangeable are の/である/なる/たる when qualifying nouns?

So we know that we can qualify/equate two things with a の. 友達のジョン → My friend John 先生の山田さん → A/My teacher Ms. Yamada 勝利者の亀さん → The winner: the turtle (as opposed to the hare) It seems ...
1
vote
1answer
511 views

までに, まえに and うちに to express “before doing X, Y happens”

I've come across this sentence: 主人が帰ってくる までに 晩御飯の買い物と支度をしなければいけません.  I would have used まえに instead of までに. Is it correct? How does the meaning change? Furthermore, is it correct to say ...
3
votes
1answer
157 views

火を噴く vs 火を吐く​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

What's the difference between 火を噴いて{ふいて} and 火を吐いて{はいて}? Both seems to mean fire-spitting, like a fire-breathing dragon, but is there any difference in their nuances?
4
votes
2answers
216 views

Why do we have to use ている form of 思う with third person subject [duplicate]

I've read from many grammar books that when we are talking about a third people thinking about something, we must use 思っている, and it means "think" instead of "be thinking". For example: ...
7
votes
1answer
140 views

(Ordering food) difference between なし and 抜き

What is the difference between endings なし and 抜【ぬ】き when you want to exclude a certain ingredient from food? Aside from 凍【こお】りなし when ordering soft drinks, I thought that for most other things 抜【ぬ】き ...
6
votes
1answer
98 views

影 vs 形 vs 形状. What's the difference between them?

I've been reading a text and all three of these come up 影 vs 形 vs 形状. I know they mean shape/figure, but is there a more nuanced difference between them? I can see the logic of where they are in the ...
8
votes
1answer
124 views

Can the volitional form be used when the speaker is not intending to do the action themselves?

From what I understand the volitional form is often used to mean "let's do" something, e.g. 行こう can mean "let's go". Can this form be use when the speaker themself is not going to perform the action? ...
6
votes
1answer
117 views

「〜がする」 the extended use of する (to do)

I'm going through some basic grammar and this one website teaches the "extended" use of the word する. There is a confusing example which looks like: 波の音 がする The translation is: "(I) hear the ...
10
votes
3answers
492 views

Confusion about “Seemingly not ~”

So there are several ways to express something is "seemingly not ~": ~なさそう ~そうにない ~そうもない ~そうにもない (is this one even real?) I was always taught ~なさそう in my Japanese classes, and it was ...
26
votes
7answers
1k views

What is the most natural way to refer to someone when you don't know their name and don't have a close relationship with them?

I wanted to mention to a female staff member in a shop that I visit every day that I had seen their photograph in the Shibuya shop. I was going to say: 渋谷店であなたの写真を見た。 ..but あなた seemed too intimate. ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

年休 vs. 有休/有給 as paid time off work

I have heard both terms, 年休{ねんきゅう} and 有休{ゆうきゅう} (or occasionally 有給), used to describe paid vacation time, or 年次有給休暇{ねんじゆうきゅうきゅうか}. In my situation it's always been 年休, but I know people just a town ...
2
votes
0answers
42 views

~に~があります vs ~は~です in this sentence [duplicate]

The following sentence was found in a book: 日本社会の「きまり」にかかわる例の一つに、 会社への就職活動がある。 I'm wondering, assuming the translation is "An example of one of these "rules" related to Japanese society is ...
29
votes
5answers
6k views

Usage of すみません (sumimasen) versus ごめんなさい (gomen'nasai)

There are several situations in which one of these words (phrases?) should be used but there's not usually a 1:1 mapping between any two languages. Get somebody's permission. English: "excuse me", ...
3
votes
1answer
140 views

Difference between 区別 and 差別

What is the difference between 区別{くべつ} and 差別{さべつ}? I looked them up in my Japanese to Chinese dictionary, but the dictionary defines them to be "difference", to put it literally.
11
votes
1answer
739 views

What does どうした mean and how does it differ from 何をした?

I've never really understood how どうした works and hope someone can explain or point me towards further reading. For example, in my textbook, the following question is asked in relation to a short ...
2
votes
1answer
200 views

How to say “about” as in “to read about”

I wonder how to say something like Now I'm reading about ways to get to Kyoto from Tokyo. I know the necessary words but I wonder how to say this "about". Will it be okay if I just write this? ...
14
votes
3answers
385 views

What is the difference between 蔵, 倉, and 庫?

The word 【くら】 can be written with any of the kanji 蔵, 倉, or 庫. However, WWWJDIC lists them all under one entry, defined as: (n) warehouse; cellar; magazine; granary; godown; depository; treasury; ...
8
votes
1answer
424 views

why is it that some 形容動詞 accepts の after it while some only accepts な after it?

why is it that some 形容動詞 accepts の after it while some only accepts な after it? Examples: の only: 普通、大勢 な or の: 初心、特別、特殊 Is there a way for us to tell if a 形容動詞 needs a の or な particle after ...
4
votes
0answers
135 views

What are all the nuances and uses of 至る? (に至って) (に至っては) (に至っても) (に至る)

I'm studying for the N1. And there are several not so often used structures that you really need to know the minute differences between. One of these is the uses of 至る. As far as I know, these are ...
6
votes
2answers
462 views

Are these phrases interchangeable? に関して, に対して, において, について, における

There's already a question that discusses にかんして vs について but I found more terms that are more or less the same to me. All phrases seem to be some kind of topic marker that can be roughly translated to ...
9
votes
2answers
306 views

How to Pronounce 化学 “Chemistry”?

A Japanese teacher on Twitter posted that 化学 is pronounced かがく and means "chemistry". I double-checked it on tangorin.com and it lists that pronunciation but says that it's pronounced ばけがく to avoid ...
3
votes
2answers
206 views

What's with all the possible kanji for とる?

Skimming through the options my IME presents for とる, I'm seeing a whole lot of choices, including the following: 取る 撮る 録る 執る 摂る 捕る 獲る 穫る 採る 盗る While I've seen 取る ("to take") and 撮る ("to record") ...
3
votes
1answer
85 views

Difference between 便利/不便 and 都合がいい/悪い

These word pairs both seem to mean "Convenient/Inconvenient". But what is the difference between them and usage cases? From looking at their kanji and a few example sentences, this is what I've come ...
5
votes
2answers
435 views

Is Japanese one of the Buddhist canonical languages?

The languages of oriental Buddhist traditions, be it Theravada or Mahayana, do not always provide complete and entire canonical texts. Up to now, I am aware of Pali, Chinese and Tibetan versions of ...
4
votes
2answers
433 views

Difference between そうです、 ようです and らしいです.

Here are the example sentences. デイビットは料理が上手そうです。 デイビットは料理が上手なようです。 デイビットは料理が上手らしいです。 Firstly, what does デイビット mean as based on reading alone its sounds like 'debit' to me which is a strange name ...
13
votes
4answers
739 views

Am I coming or going? 戻ってくる vs 戻っていく

A little while ago I was in a shop, and about 5 minutes after I left, they phoned me to tell me I had left my USB stick there. I said I would head back and pick it up. I used 戻{もど}って行{い}く to mean ...
2
votes
1answer
300 views

〜たい form vs. 〜てほしい

When first learning Japanese grammar, one is usually taught that to express a desire to do something one should use the 〜たい form of the verb: 東京へ行きたい On some occasions, however, I've also seen ...