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

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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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202 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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170 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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100 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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160 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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298 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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520 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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337 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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181 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 ...
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530 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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136 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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556 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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227 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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454 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, ...
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757 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 ...
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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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86 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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568 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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202 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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396 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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175 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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353 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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163 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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128 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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138 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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88 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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2answers
217 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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377 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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338 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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64 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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181 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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1k views

What's the difference between でしょうか and ですか at the end of a question?

I am having a little trouble understanding the nuance of でしょうか in comparison to ですか. People say it makes it more hesitant and polite, but that doesn't explain the nuance enough for me. Why would you ...
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3answers
529 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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3answers
105 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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2answers
396 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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271 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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115 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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138 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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1k 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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1answer
138 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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285 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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243 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 ...
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348 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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131 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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239 views

Is there a difference between 'futari' and 'futari-domo'?

What is the difference between 'futari' and 'futari-domo'? Also, is 二人共 the correct way to write 'futari-domo'?
4
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1answer
217 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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111 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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2answers
221 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?
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1answer
239 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?