ニュアンス. Subtle differences between two seemingly interchangeable expressions.

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127 views

Nuances of 老いる and 老ける

I return with another nuance question! Today, I learned the kanji 老. Two of the example words were [老]{お}いる and [老]{ふ}ける, which my book defined both as, "to grow old". I searched around for the ...
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2answers
1k views

What is the purpose of the suffix “さ” on adjectives?

What is the purpose of the suffix "さ" on adjectives like 美しさ and 多さ? The former is the title of an essay by Banana Yoshimoto, so I don't have much context for it. The book editors translated it as "...
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2answers
547 views

When is 酒【さけ】used to mean 日本酒【にほんしゅ】?

The fermented rice alcohol called "sake" in English is usually referred to as 日本酒【にほんしゅ】 in Japanese, while 酒【さけ】 merely means "alcohol" in general. Yet, all dictionaries list both "alcohol" and "...
9
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2answers
399 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 ...
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2answers
441 views

Likely Sentences (Nuance in use of 〜てもらう vs Passive form)

Our professor gave us some problems where you are suppose to circle which statement the person is more likely to say. Below is an example. おまわりさん よく道を聞かれます。 よく道を聞いてもらいます。 I think this means ...
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1answer
1k views

What is the difference between [利用]{りよう}, [活用]{かつよう}, [使用]{しよう} and [用]{もち}いる?

I feel 活用 has some kind of feeling of "put to the use", as a politician would use his charm in a campaign. The other three seem confusing to me, however. What are the differences?
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2answers
927 views

What's the difference between 上る、登る and 昇る?

According to jisho.org, they all have the same meanings, to climb, to rise, to ascend. Is that true? And do they have differences in usage?
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3answers
1k views

What is the appropriate size of hiragana in proportion to kanji?

I remember being told that hiragana should be the same size as kanji when writing them by hand. However, there are times when I see handwritten kana that are much smaller than the kanji. Does this ...
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3answers
218 views

Seemingly redundant 帰る in 「今日、帰りに買って帰ります」

In my textbook is the following. あの店のパンはとてもおいしいとか。今日、帰りに買って帰ります。 From what I understand, 「帰りに買う」 means "to buy on the way back (home)". However, this seems to already imply that you are heading ...
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1answer
840 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 ...
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2answers
1k views

Differences in usage between する and やる

On the surface, many Japanese-English dictionaries define both する and やる as "to do", with little extra context. Offhand, I know the following: やる and する are not interchangeable when it comes to する ...
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2answers
411 views

どうしますか vs 何をしますか

I always interpreted 何 as "what" and "どう" as more of a "How or How about?" and thus was under the impression that if one wanted to ask "What will you do?" or "What did you do?" you would say 何をしますか ...
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2answers
838 views

へ or に particle for 曲がる?

i was wondering what may be the difference in nuance between 右へ曲がる and 右に曲がる ? Example: Take a right turn and you'll see the library. 1) 右へ曲がると、図書館がある。 2) 右に曲がると、図書館がある。 As for [noun-location] ...
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2answers
202 views

“乗せる” vs “乗っける”

Good afternoon all, I was wondering when someone gives someone a ride (bicycle, car, etc), what's the difference in nuance between using the verb "乗せる" and the verb "乗っける"? For example, I was ...
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4answers
246 views

What's the difference between 勇ましい, 勇気, and 勇敢?

In English-Japanese dictionaries, they are all defined along the lines of "brave" or "courageous". Japanese dictionaries describe all of them more or less as "not fearing danger", using a phrase ...
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2answers
581 views

Come to ~: ~てくる vs. ~ようになる

Can someone please explain the fine nuances of these two? Things such as: Are there conditions/restrictions of when you can use one or the other? What are the "approximate" time periods that each ...
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2answers
926 views

How do you use 〜と知る?

I've often seen and heard the expression 〜と知る(知っている). When I think about it, it makes sense in the context of the quoatation-と, like with 〜と言う or 〜と思う. It seems like it means "Know that 〜". ...
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2answers
790 views

What is the difference between 悪い and だめ?

What is the difference between 悪い and だめ? They're not really the same, but in English they both can be translated to "bad". あの人が悪い。In my limited experience, this is bad in the sense of evil. ...
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1answer
726 views

Qualitative intensifiers e.g. とても, とっても, 超, etc. How are they different?

How are とても/とっても, でかい/でっかい, 超 (and others that I have yet to encounter) used differently? I figured that for とても/とっても-type difference is that the double-consonant(geminated) version is stronger i.e. a ...
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169 views

Changing of diphthongs at the end of words to え in exclamations

I've observed that in many cases where people are speaking informally and want to make an impact especially in exclamations, the speakers will change diphthongs at the end of words to an elongated え. ...
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1answer
271 views

What's the difference between 電光石火【でんこうせっか】 and 疾風迅雷【しっぷうじんらい】

They both seem to mean "quick as lightning". What are the nuances between them? In what sort of context would they be used? Are they interchangeable? etc.
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1answer
583 views

When can どうも be used as 'hello'?

I noticed this on few occasions. Unfortunately, I can't remember exact situations. I want to clarify if どうも in a role of 'hello' is a shortened version of some longer phrase or just a phrase on its ...
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1answer
576 views

Is it actually impolite to say ご苦労様 to a superior?

Conventional ビジネスマナー tells us that ご苦労様 is used by superiors to subordinates and お疲れ様 used by everyone, and this is backed up all over the internet and stated on some questions here, like this. But ...
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1answer
209 views

恐れ入ります correct “thank you” to use after customers make a purchase?

Is 恐れ入ります the correct form of "thank you" when used during a business transaction (for example, a sales person would say this when someone makes a purchase at his/her store)? In the context of an up-...
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1answer
354 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 ...
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1answer
237 views

Can 一杯 be used to express the fullness of things without physical volumes?

According to an answer to this question, the word [一杯]{いっぱい} can be used to expess fullness; especially in relation to the capacity of whatever is containing the quantity. This, however, tends to ...
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2answers
376 views

(noun) です vs. がある when either is appropriate

~するつもりです ~するつもりがある ~する予定です ~する予定がある These are just two examples. Obviously you can't stick in any noun, but I don't know if these fall into some well defined class either. Anyhow, ...
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1answer
600 views

How the ~にあって form works - situations, places, times, what?

I finally started going through some JLPT N1 grammar the other day, and one of the ones I'm looking at has me a bit confused: the ~にあって・~にあっても form. The book describes its usage as such: ~...
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1answer
135 views

What is the difference between に関しての and に関する?

In this question which I will paste below, the asker uses both, one right after the other. GTA5に関しての質問です。 GTA5に関する動画で、(...) What is the difference between the two?
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1answer
224 views

How do you replace 「お悔やみ」 in condolences to a Japanese Christian?

In Yosh's answer to the question What are the ways to express someone's condolences?, this link states that Buddhist terms should not be used in expressing condolences to a Christian in Japanese: ...
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2answers
267 views

What's the difference between 去年 and 昨年?

I learned 去年 well before 昨年, so I just always use 去年 out of habit. But now I'm wondering if they really are interchangeable or if there's even a subtle difference that would make one more appropriate ...
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4answers
704 views

What's the most appropriate negative potential form for this situation?

This morning my co-worker asked me if I wanted some coffee. I said, "No thanks, I can't drink coffee because it upsets my stomach." I was thinking of how I'd say this in Japanese, but I'm not sure ...
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2answers
331 views

What is the difference between 意味 and 意義?

I have learned (意味) and (意義)as "meaning". I am confused these two words. Are they same or is there any difference in usage?
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3answers
439 views

Does うるさい have a “negative” connotation?

Is it true that when someone uses the word うるさい, it means that there is a feeling of "discontent" ? Like for example, we will take this sentence: "It will be noisy in the factory" "It will be ...
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2answers
1k 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 "...
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1answer
330 views

What's the difference between 舟 and 船?

They both mean "ship/boat". Are they completely interchangeable? Do they signify boats of different sizes or uses (people, cargo, etc.)? Is only 船 used in compounds to describe metaphorical "boats" ...
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2answers
1k views

What's the difference between 触る and 触れる?

These two seem to overlap almost completely. The only thing I can really tell is that 触れる seems that it can also be used in a metaphorical sense ("touch on" something; feel; perceive). I'm ...
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1answer
590 views

must/need [必要]{ひつよう}がある vs. なくてはいけない and [必要]{ひつよう}だ vs. [要]{い}る

This is a two part question, both pertaining to expressions involving "必要". What is the difference between 必要がある and -なくてはいけない/ -なければならない? The difference between the latter two expressions is ...
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1answer
155 views

What is the difference in usage between [問]{と}い[合]{あ}わせ and [依]{い}[頼]{らい}

Both 問い合わせ and 依頼 can mean to ask, but my co-workers are using both words in the application we are working on as if they are two different words. I have a suspicion one is transitive and one is ...
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1answer
2k views

How to ask for a refund?

I want to ask for a refund? For example, if I want to refund a train ticket. How do I ask the train master? I think it is not a 返品。 Do you need certain politeness?
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1answer
497 views

ねばねば食べねば, relation between ねば and なければ

I would like to know a bit more about the "ねば" grammatical construction. Every now and then, I hear people say sentences like 東京に行かねばならぬ 粘々丼を食べねば倒れる なんとかせねばいい It's quite clear that ねば ...
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1answer
420 views

How to ride an escalator

I came across this phrase in a story book: エスカレーターを乗りつぐ It puzzled me because I thought 乗りつぐ meant 'to connect with (flight/train etc)'. Is this the normal way to talk about getting on/riding ...
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1answer
125 views

Attributive だろう

I came across this sentence (下町ロケット, p.239): 「どうだ、そろそろウチに戻ってこないか」 そんなことをいいはじめたのは、六十五歳を過ぎ、体力的な衰えを感じはじめただろう頃だ。 Meaning-wise, it seems hard to imagine it means anything other than 感じはじめた頃だろう. ...
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500 views

What's the difference between まだ and いまだ(に)?

My intuition wants to believe that いまだに is more formal, but all the examples I've seen do not indicate that. Are they freely interchangeable? Can't say I've ever heard いまだに in spoken context (or ...
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1answer
218 views

What's the difference between 平行 and 並行?

They both seem to mean "parallel". In my プログレッシブ dictionary, it seems to point to the former being the more mathematical sense of the definition (two co-planar, non-intersecting lines), while the ...
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458 views

What kind of a thing is a “やつ”?

I've been seeing やつ used for "thing" reasonably frequently in Manga/online etc, for example: ほとんどは本とか食玩とか細かいやつかな。 "It's virtually all stuff like books, those small toys sold with food and small ...
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1answer
122 views

Placement of adverbs

I was working through my N5 sentential grammar (sentence composition) practice book, and there was a question with an adverb, おおごえで (大声で): 山を のぼりながら おおごえ ___ ___ ___ ___ 人も いました。 1 うた   2 うたう ...
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2answers
362 views

Meaning of 「〜のと〜ので」

My questions are regarding portions of the following sentence in bold: 幸{さいわ}いナイフが小さいのと、親指の骨が堅{かた}かったので、今だに親指は手に付いて居る。 More generally, I am wondering about the 「〜のと〜ので」 construct presented here. ...
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2answers
254 views

自分 and 自身, what's the difference

I am having some trouble telling the difference between the two. Don't they both mean "myself"? And so does 私自身, right? I don't get the difference, when you would you use any of them and how to choose....
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1answer
2k views

Differences between いよいよ / やっと / ようやく / ついに and とうとう

I've come across these words which can all mean "finally". What I'd like to know is how they differ in usage [nuance and formality]. Below are their respective entries in the 研究社 新和英大辞典 第5版. いよいよ 1 〔...