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

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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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509 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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200 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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377 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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165 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。」 - ...
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345 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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161 views

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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212 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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332 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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328 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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61 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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137 views

ている/ていた時 understanding

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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What does it mean for the 'feel' of a sentence / text when it's written in all hiragana?

When a Japanese-language sentence is written out in all katakana, it's supposed to be either stilted, robot-like speech or something to simulate ALL CAPS. How is that with hiragana? Does it make te ...
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485 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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367 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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268 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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124 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 ...
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932 views

Does 鉄拳 mean “fist” or “iron fist”?

The kanji for 鉄拳 seems to suggest that the word means "iron fist". However, various dictionaries suggests that the meaning is simply "fist". For example, Edict shows that the meaning for 鉄拳 is ...
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137 views

Difference between 可決 and 許可?

I want to know the difference between 可決 and 許可. I searched the dictionary and the meaning is quite the same: approval or permission. So, what is the difference and how to use them differently?
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254 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 ...
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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 ...
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345 views

Need clarification on a particular use of から

I saw this sentence recently and I'm particularly confused on the use of から in the sentence. まず君から殺す。 What does から mean here? What's the difference between that and まず君を殺す? How does から replace the ...
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213 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?
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130 views

just by the phrase 試験を受ける, can we imply anything on the 試験?

since 受ける is the same verb associated with "sustaining damage", "incurring losses", "suffering injury", all 3 seemingly have negative nuances, I'm wondering when we use it (受ける) with 試験, does 受ける ...
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108 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 ...
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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?
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228 views

What's the difference between 学科, 教科 and 科目

I've seen all three used in somewhat similar situations. What are the differences between them, and in which cases should i use one over another?
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63 views

Difference between 避難所 and 避難場所

This disaster response website has a map with a checkbox that visitors can click to display all the 避難所{ひなんじょ} in the area. And then there is another checkbox to display all the 避難場所{ひなんばしょ}: Both ...
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Meaning of 「これはこれで」, and the difference between it and 「それはそれとして」

I came across the following lines. ・・・俺としては、下駄箱の中に手紙が入っているみたいなほうが好みだった。でもこれはこれで、少なくとも相手が積極的だってことはわかる。 I am wondering about the meaning of 「これはこれで」 here. As one might expect, it does not have any ...
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102 views

柄にもない and its connotations

I came across 柄にもない once while reading and since the immediate look-up didn't feel like a full explanation of the phrase, I've been motivated to try and understand it connotations better. In a quick ...
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408 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): ...
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143 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?
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152 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 ...
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319 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. ...
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437 views

Difference between かおり and におい

In a TV show I am watching (孤独のグルメ, perhaps many of you have heard of it) the gentleman is about to drink some coffee but pauses to savour the aroma. He says いい かおり だ Which I translate as "good ...
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196 views

逃げる vs 逃れる What's the nuance?

This is the question I was trying to ask when I made this question, but I guess I can't type or read or think. I'm looking for the difference between 逃げる and 逃れる. I'm assuming it's something like ...
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157 views

Difference between 妬【ねた】ましい and 羨【うらや】ましい

Considering "How to define 羨ましい?", it does not seem that 羨【うらや】ましい conveys a strong intensity of jealousy. How does 妬【ねた】ましい compare to 羨【うらや】ましい then? Does 妬【ねた】ましい convey a stronger sense of ...
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166 views

The difference between 添削 and 訂正

I used to always use 訂正{ていせい} rather than 添削{てんさく} to mean "correction", but recently I haven't really seen 訂正 being used. When used in the context of correcting English translations etc, it seems to ...
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197 views

What is the nuance of この + [first person pronoun]?

For example, from the song Fare Well by L'Arc~en~Ciel: あなたは いつまでも この僕のこと 愛してくれたのかな and countless examples from manga, like: だが このオレは 死なん... こんどは このオレが きさまを 滅ぼす このオレに 勝てるわけがない My ...
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113 views

Nuance of 楽しみにしとくね?

What nuance exactly does bring saying 楽しみに{たのしみに}しとく instead of the more usual 楽しみにしています ? In this context, would the use of しとく(しておく) mean "I rejoice myself in advance about it" ? Context : From a ...
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231 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 ...
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180 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 ...
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328 views

心配なく surely it should be 心配ない?

To outline the context, this is from a Legend of Zelda videogame guidebook I am translating. I'm pretty sure the meaning below is that you should not worry about not being able to control the ...
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181 views

Meaning of auxiliary ゆく/いく in this context

While translating a song, I've stumbled upon the following sentence: 落ちた希望を拾って明日に繋いでゆけば Which got me wondering what the difference between the following two is: 落ちた希望を拾って明日に繋いでゆけば ...
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714 views

How to hope something is going well?

I would like to hope that someone's small business is going well. I know if someone's business is going well they can say: 「店は繁盛している」 but, how can I say "I hope your store is prosperous/I hope ...
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304 views

"一生懸命な”のニュアンスを説明してもらえませんか。Nuances of 一生懸命な

一生懸命な彼に申し訳ない気がしました。そこで、私は一度彼と会って面と向かって断ろうと思ったのです。 'I felt I had to do something so I decided to meet him face to face and tell him I wasn't interested.' 一生懸命を副詞として使ったら 'eagerly, with utmost ...
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129 views

Fun with synonyms - “evaluation/investigation/etc.”

Explain the differences in the following vocabulary. They all essentially mean some form of investigation, inspection, etc. Please don't just write the definitions; I'm lost on how they differ, when ...
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40 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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115 views

~場合、 vs 場合は vs 場合には

So I recently read about 場合 for the use of "situation, or circumstance". What is the difference between ~場合、, 場合は, and 場合には? My friend couldn't explain it. He just said you need to feel for which is ...
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134 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 ...