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

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564 views

Using な in positive instead of negative imperative (e.g. 行きな)

Putting な after a plain verb turns it into negative imperative. But I noticed that in spoken Japanese, putting な after conjunctive form (連用形) turns it into positive imperative. For example: ...
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1answer
126 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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1answer
109 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 ...
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149 views

What sort of tone/nuance does せいぜい have? Can it be sarcastic or condescending?

I understand that せいぜい has implies 'at most' or 'at best' such as: 田中:今日、8時に横浜駅ね。仕事遅くならない? 加村:大丈夫だよ。いつも通りに終わるから、せいぜい7時半までしか残業しないから。 However, in my notes I have my sensei saying that: ...
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151 views

Difference between the usage of 知恵 , 知能 and 知力

I have read the sentence "12歳の小児の知力しかない". In this sentence , I would like to know the usage of 知力 . In dictionary , it means "intelligence " Can I use 知恵 or 知能 instead of 知力. Is there ...
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1answer
206 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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286 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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1answer
133 views

Difference between 運命 and 命運

To my knowledge, 運命{うんめい} is the more common of the two terms, meaning fate / destiny. 命運{めいうん} is clearly the same 漢字 reversed, and translations give the same meaning of fate / destiny. I was ...
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83 views

Meaning of タッグでやる

According to Wikipedia, a tag team is a two-person team of which only one person plays at a time. Speaking of a long-length work project, 小林 says: 田中とタッグでやる。 Is there any nuance difference with ...
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347 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: ...
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187 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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1answer
340 views

あくまで compared to あくまでも

I never really thought about it before; but, I'm having a hard time explaining the difference concisely, and when to use which. What are the differences in nuances between あくまで and あくまでも? When is ...
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1answer
73 views

How do you say “of good stock” vs. “of weak stock” in Japanese?

I'm trying to translate into Japanese for an academic paper a quote from a 19th century eugenics book into Japanese. It contains the phrase "Those with lower ideals will continue to restrict their ...
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1answer
155 views

Additional nuance of より with time

It seems to me that より has virtually no meaning when used as shown below. Consider these: Please come before five O'clock: 五時前に来てください 五時より前に来てください Please come after five O'clock: 五時後に来てください ...
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4answers
306 views

This mother doesn't know her own child?

I have the following sentence in my JLPT practise book: 当時{とうじ}母{はは}がどんな気持{きも}ちだったのか、子{こ}どもの私{わたし}には知{し}るべくもないことだった。 My faltering translation is something like, "How did my mother feel at the ...
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3answers
309 views

Whats the difference between ぜひ and もちろん

Both mean of course, right? I always traditionally used もちろん but I increasingly seem to see ぜひ. When do you use each?
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1answer
139 views

Difference between 今{こん}後{ご} and 未{み}来{らい}

When should 今後 and 未来 be used? Both of the words can mean "future". I have noticed that 今後 refers to both present time and what will happen from now on, and 未来 is simply what will happen in the future ...
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2answers
309 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") ...
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2answers
207 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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155 views

The difference between 詳しい and 詳細 when used adverbially or adjectivally

While I know that 詳しい and 詳細 both have unique meanings, there are some cases where I am not able to tell the difference between them. Here are two I've stumbled upon: Adverbially: 我々の研究計画を詳しく述べた ...
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175 views

What's the difference between 機械 and 器械?

In which case would one be more appropriate than the other?
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81 views

Difference between 鼻先 and 鼻の頭

I've been reading the first Harry Potter book, and as one character's "tip of the nose" was referred to as 鼻先, another character's was 鼻の頭. Is there a difference between the two? When would one use ...
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2answers
258 views

How to express that you “find” something boring, interesting etc

How can I express the nuance "I 'find' studying Japanese interesting"? 日本語を勉強していることが面白い Studying Japanese is interesting 日本語を勉強していることが面白いと思う I think studying Japanese is interesting ...
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1answer
118 views

Difference between 絶叫{ぜっきょう}する and 怒鳴{どな}る (to shout)

I've learnt 2 verbs, 絶叫{ぜっきょう}する (to shout, to scream, to exclaim) and 怒鳴{どな}る (to shout; to yell) They seems to have the same meaning, can someone explain the context in which to use one and the ...
3
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1answer
143 views

What's the difference between 限界, 限り, 制限 and 限度

While 制限 seems rather straightforward, the others don't seem as easy to pinpoint to me. What are the differences, and in which cases should I one over another?
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1answer
145 views

降参する vs 諦める​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

What's the difference between 降参する and 諦める? Both seems to have the meaning of "to give up", for example: ぜったい降参しない。(I will never give up.) ぜったい諦めない。(I will never give up.) What's the difference ...
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61 views

Nuance between 天, 空 and 大空 and between 地, 大地 and 土地

I was wondering the nuance between those words. 天 seems to have a more mystical flavour (like in the word 天上). I don't get the nuance between 空/大空 and 地/大地. 土地 seems to be a smaller/more localised ...
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1answer
155 views

とする(か) VS Volitional, conjectural and と思う

The speaker just finished preparing a ring for a tournament when he says this sentence by himself (there is no hearer in the scene) : さて...テレビ局に行くとするか。 I know that とする can mean "to decide to", ...
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2k views

〜くてform from a verb

I ask here my question because I couldn't find anything on internet. My problem is about 〜くて form for a verb. I asked to a japanese friend what does mean "会いたくて" for example. She told me that there is ...
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2answers
263 views

“俺が一番” vs “俺が最高”

I was reading through " How do I say "I am the best" ? の,は or が and 私 or 俺? ", and I was wondering what's the difference between "俺が一番" and "俺が最高"? From what I know, both roughly equates to ...
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2answers
175 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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181 views

なんと versus どう usage

Consider the two questions: 1) せんせいの しつもんに なんと こたえました 2) せんせいの しつもんに どう こたえました I hope they both mean "How did you answer the teacher's question?" A previous question on this site suggested that なんと ...
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2answers
263 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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162 views

Translation help with this sentence? 何人も触れること能わぬ- everyone or no one?

何【なん】人【びと】も触れる【ふれる】こと能わぬ【あたわぬ】才媛【さいえん】 I'm having trouble with this sentence. I'm just confused as to whether '能わぬ' counts as a negative verb that affects 何人も or not. Since I know 何人も means ...
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1answer
126 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 ...
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Is 年寄り “neutral” or “positive”?

In English, we can refer to an old person using "elderly", or "aged person". Comparatively, "aged person" would be more neutral than "elderly", which carries positive connotations. As for Japanese, ...
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304 views

the difference between 世界 and 世

Sometimes I see a character say この世 and I'm not sure why they don't just say この世界? Is it just an old way of saying it or is there a specific reason?
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1answer
559 views

What is the difference between 有用(yuuyou) and 便利(benri)?

As far as I know both words could be used to describe usefulness/handiness/conviniency of something. What are the main differences between them? In particular, what are the use patterns for these ...
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1answer
155 views

What's the difference between 見解 and 意見

I've been unable to find the difference from example sentences online. Is it a matter of formality? Something completely else?
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1answer
61 views

Security guard nuances: 警備員 vs. 守衛

In looking up a few words for security guard, I came across four words: 守衛{しゅえい}, ガードマン, 警備員{けいびいん}, and 警備人{けいびにん}. From what I can tell, ガードマン seems to be similar to 'rent-a-cop' - that is to say, ...
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1answer
149 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.
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1answer
202 views

Nuance: Using the negated adjective versus using the opposite adjective

As far as I understand, the following two sentences functionally mean the same thing, "It's not easy" and "It's hard" やさしくないです。 むずかしいです。 My question is, do these statements have any subtle ...
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2answers
686 views

How does the addition of のか to the end of a sentence affect the meaning?

I've always had trouble understanding か (question particle) in casual speech. I read that in casual situations, か can be used to give the sentence an exasperated or sarcastic tone. Like in: 負けっかよ! ...
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3answers
280 views

What is the difference between 覚える and 見覚える?

I only have basic 和英 definitions to go on, but I'm guessing the nuance is that 覚える has more to do with things you learn or study, and 見覚える is more like remembering experiences. Or is there something ...
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1answer
386 views

What's the difference between 理系{りけい} , 理科{りか}, and 科学{かがく}?

In my dictionary, 理系{りけい}, 理科{りか}, and 科学{かがく} are defined simply as "science". What, if anything, differentiates them? Especially in terms of the feeling or nuance when used in everyday ...
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1answer
216 views

Can 彼 be used as an indefinite pronoun like やつ or 男?

気取らない彼が好きです。 I like him, who doesn't put on airs. My first reading of this sentence was to assume that 彼 was referring to the boyfriend meaning of 彼, and thus my interpretation was "I like an ...
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1answer
154 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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1answer
150 views

Difference between passive and intransitive for positive verbs [duplicate]

I saw this answer for how the nuance changes between the use of passive and intransitive verbs when the verb is negative. I was wondering what the difference is with a positive verb. Here's an ...
3
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1answer
135 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 ...
3
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2answers
132 views

In technical usage, is there any difference between 間投詞 and 感動詞?

デジタル大辞泉 gives the following definition of 間投詞: 《interjection》「感動詞」に同じ。 It also gives the following definition of 感動詞 (emphasis added): ...