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

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What is the difference between 出す and 始める when used as a suffix?

Judging from examples I've seen, these are some differences I think there are: 始める: 1: More formal than 出す 2: When the focus in more on the beginning of the verb than the verb itself 3: When the ...
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476 views

自分の vs 自らの when used for humans

What's the difference between 自分の and 自らの? Both can be used to mean "oneself", but is there a difference in their nuances / usages? (e.g. what would be the difference between あの子は、自らの命と引換に… and あの子は、...
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475 views

Can もの be used to imply the value of something that is a こと?

I thought of this question and quickly realized that I already knew a possible example. Japanese band ZONE's most popular song is called 「secret base~君【きみ】がくれたもの~」. The lyrics can be read here or at ...
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164 views

How does one know how to read 堪える? Is it 「こたえる」、「こらえる」 or 「たえる」?

The verb 堪える has three different readings: こたえる, こらえる, and たえる, and as far as I can tell they all mean "to bear, to endure, to put up with", with slight variations. Is there a way to tell which ...
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496 views

Phoenix: 不死鳥【ふしちょう】, 鳳凰【ほうおう】, 鳳/鵬【おおとり】, フェニックス… How many lives does this bird have!?

All of the following words and kanji (and a few more obscure ones) seem to be used in Japanese, to describe a bird that is translated by "Phoenix" in English: 不死鳥【ふしちょう】 鳳凰【ほうおう】 鳳【おおとり】/鵬【おおとり】 ...
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420 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 ...
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334 views

Difference Between 僕たち and 僕ら?

Both 僕たち and 僕ら mean we. But is there any difference between them? I.e. one of them is more formal than the other, or any grammatical nuances? Edit: How is this a duplicate? The question linked by ...
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248 views

What are the differences between 選ぶ, 選択, and 選定, if any?

In Japanese, I have encountered 3 words for selecting or making a choice (so far). 選ぶ 彼はよい奥さんを選んだ。 He chose a good wife. 選択 それでも、早期の退職を選択する人は多い。 Nevertheless, many ...
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494 views

How do I interpret this question that ends with よ?

In the 7th book of the awesome High School of the Dead, there's this page: The situation is that the main characters, a group of mostly teenagers who are surviving a zombie apocalypse, are walking ...
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375 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 ...
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286 views

“きのう、何をしていた。” vs. “きのう、何をした。”

What is the difference in nuance between きのう、何をしていた。 vs きのう、何をした。? To be fair, I can't really tell the difference between these two english sentences: What were you doing yesterday ? What did you do ...
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204 views

Fun with synonyms - “freeze”

I'm a little confused on the difference between 凍る 【こおる】 and 凍える 【こごえる】. From what I've researched, it seems like 凍る focuses more on the physical process of something freezing, and the result being ...
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72 views

Difference between 行き先 and 行く先

What is the difference between 行き先 and 行く先? It seems like 行く先 has a slightly broader meaning (it is also about the road to the destination?) but I'm not sure.
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172 views

Is there something wrong with this sentence? 暑いから水を飲みました。

I was watching this video explaining から. In it (at :08 and again at 2:29), the instructor shows a scene where he is drinking water, and says ”暑いから水を飲みました。”, then a buzzer noise and a big red X shows ...
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48 views

Difference between てぶくろ and グローブ

According to jisho.org, グローブ seems to have a "sports" nuance to it, wherease 手袋{てぶくろ} seems to be more general. Is this accurate?
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105 views

「想い人」 and 「恋人」?

Dictionary definitions from my EDICT based dictionary. 想い人​【おもいびと】(n) loved one; lover; sweetheart 恋人​【こいびと】(n) lover; sweetheart I was wondering, since these definitions are nearly the ...
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163 views

Difference between 意志{いし} and 志し{こころざし} (will)

I learnt both 意志{いし} and 志し{こころざし}, but am always confusing the two of them. Can someone highlight the differences between those 2 words (and other variants if any) ?
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316 views

Difference between 「答え{こたえ}」 and 「回答 {かいとう}」 and 「正解 {せいかい}」

What is the difference between 「答え{こたえ}」 and 「回答{かいとう}」 and 「正解{せいかい}」? They mean "the answer", but.. when each should be used?
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529 views

Attributive form in Japanese narration

I have recently started reading novels as a means to improve my Japanese after reaching a comfortable enough level to do so. I am familiar with the use of the non-past form (dictionary form) in ...
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354 views

Expressing a sequence of actions using 〜たとき?

I am aware that one can explain that to things happen at the same time using plain non past form + とき: 電車に乗るとき転びました。"I fell when I got on the train (I was going through the door when it happened)" ...
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182 views

勤め vs 役目​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

What is the difference between 勤め and 役目? Both seems to mean duty (something that one is expected or required to do by moral or legal obligation), but what is the difference in their nuance and usage?...
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558 views

What is the difference between 寿司, 鮨, 鮓, 寿斗, 寿し, and 壽司?

It is likely that this is due to my poor understanding, but why are there so many names for「すし」? I think for the most part I have only seen the first three (寿司、鮨、鮓). For whatever reason in some ...
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137 views

What is the difference between 義務and 本分?

Now, I try to brush up my vocabulary in Japanese. In dictionary, both 義務 and 本分 mean "duty". Is there any differences in usage? And can I use 本分 instead of 義務 in following sentence? ...
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604 views

How to decide to use どうせ or しょせん?

The dictionary translates both どうせ (WJDIC) and しょせん (WJDIC) as "anyway / in any case / after all". But what exactly is the difference in nuance between them? For example, what is the difference ...
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232 views

What's the difference between 威厳 and 尊厳?

What's the difference between 威{い}厳{げん} and 尊{そん}厳{げん} to mean "dignity"? From what I can tell, the two seem to be similar, but slightly different. In what ways do the nuances and usages of the two ...
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464 views

What does the “~ておく” mean in “任せておく”?

Good afternoon all, From what I understand, "~ておく" basically has 4 meanings: to do something for a purpose / reason used as a softener (source) to do.. for now or for the time being (source, source)...
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779 views

を vs が with use against 好き?

The difference between が and を with the potential form of a verb. and Is it true that all nouns must be able to accept a が particle and a を particle? are noted as possible duplicates; however, I haven'...
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4k views

Fun with synonyms - “perhaps/maybe/probably”

What are the differences when using the following words/phrases to mean "perhaps", "maybe" or "probably"? 多分 恐らく 蓋し {けだし} もしかして ひょっとして なかろう (negative -> probably not) だろう / でしょう / であろう かも知れない ...
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Do Japanese people tend to be vague even when talking about people their listeners know?

I've noticed that a couple of my Japanese friends, when talking about their plans, might say something like 「友達に会う」, "I'm meeting a friend", even though the unnamed "friend" is someone we both know. ...
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89 views

What nuance does 引き締まった顔 imply?

Here are several words that can be used to describe someone's face, facial expression, or attitude along with their definitions from dictionary.goo.ne.jp, which are all related to the word 引き締まった。 ...
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150 views

What exactly are the differences between 大体, だいぶ and 大部分

Okay, those three make me very confused. To my understanding だいぶ is used when it´s more than what you expected. 大体 should be more or less, but then where comes 大部分? And is 大体 a lesser percentage than ...
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602 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 ...
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203 views

Nuance between でいい and でもいい

Follow up question to this one : Sentence structure and meaning About this sentence : 「ただしお前達の相手は私一人でいい。」 It seemed to me that in Tokyo Nagoya's answer, でいい sounded a lot like でもいい : " ...
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408 views

how did 公 (こう) come to be derogatory

My dictionary says this word means something like "official; public" - how does the word go from that definition to being used as a derogatory suffix for animals and people? One example the ...
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188 views

Reading of 退く meaning “Go away”

Here is a passage from my Japanese Bible 更に、悪魔はイエスを非常に高い山に連れて行き、世のすべての国々とその繁栄ぶりを見せて、「もし、ひれ伏してわたしを拝むなら、これをみんな与えよう」と言った。すると、イエスは言われた。「退け、サタン。『あなたの神である主を拝み、ただ主に仕えよ』と書いてある。」 - マタイによる[福音書]{ふく・いん・しょ}4章:...
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365 views

What is the difference between むかしっから and むかしから?

In my book I found both むかしっから and むかしから within the span of a couple pages, in very similar contexts. What is the significance of that small-tsu (with regards to the meaning, not the pronunciation)? ...
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Nuance of 離{はな}れ

In my JLPT textbook, it has a section on the use of the term 離{はな}れ, "detachment". Some examples: テレビ離{ばな}れ (detachment from television) もの離{ばな}れ (detachment from things) 政治離{ばな}れ (...
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148 views

Differences in meanings of interrogative words

Can someone please explain to me the differences between the following interrogative type words? いくらか/いくつか いくらも/いくつも いくらでも/いくつでも いくら/いくつ/どのくらい (in questions) For example I know that いくらか and いくつか ...
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102 views

What is the difference between 収める and 納める?

What is the difference between 収める and 納める? The former is what I originally learned the word as, and it seems to be more common. But I came across the latter a few days ago and I'm not sure what the ...
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227 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 ...
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401 views

What's the difference between 以後 and 以降

I've seen these words used in the following sentences: 以後: それ以後彼女に会っていません 以降: それ以降彼は辛い一生を送った Judging from these examples alone, I guess they have some kind of overlap. When is it appropriate to ...
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340 views

What's the difference between 欲{ほっ}する and 欲しがる?

Is there one? One of my dictionaries lists them as 欲{ほっ}する → to desire/to want 欲しがる → to desire/to want/to wish for/to covet Only the latter sounds like it includes more "bad"/selfish ...
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67 views

What is the difference between とある and ある?

As far as I'm aware, とある means 'some': とある会社の従業員 An employee of some company And just ある can be used to mean the same thing. Does that give a different level of formality? A more 'direct' or ...
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220 views

ている/ていた時 understanding [duplicate]

I understand how 時 works with plain present/plain past (e.g. 食べる/食べた時) but I'm a little unsure of ている/ていた時. Also what's the difference between these two sentences: 私がお風呂に入っている時電話が鳴った。 ...
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558 views

What's the difference between 治す{なおす} and 治る{なおる}?

My dictionary says they are both cure/fix, so I am wondering what the difference is and how to use them? Is it an active/passive difference, or transitive/intransitive? Or just a subtle nuance? I ...
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148 views

Using 出る as opposed to 出かける

I have looked these two words up on WWWJDIC and there doesn't seem to be much difference. Are they interchangeable, or do they infer different things?
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413 views

How would you express “pausing to think” in Japanese?

I was wondering how would you express pausing to think in Japanese. So for example in English it would be said as "hmmmm...". I believe あのう。。。 can be used but are there any more ways to do so? I ...
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272 views

餌食 vs 獲物​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

What is the difference between 餌食{えじき} and 獲物{えもの}? Both mean "prey", so how do we decide when to use which? What is the difference in their nuances?
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139 views

Should I use ~てきた or ~て来た?

In the examples below 彼は私のところに荷物を送ってきた。 彼は私のところに荷物を送って来た。 荷物が私のところに送られてきた。 荷物が私のところに送られて来た。 would it be better to use the termination/set phrase てきた? (no kanji) because this is changing ...
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144 views

終了 and 終わり, is there a difference?

I don't think this is a duplicate . . . So can someone tell me if there is a difference between the two? I know they both mean end, but are they interchangeable? I came across this sentence ...