Phrases with fixed words used as a single unit, many of which are idioms.

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1
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3answers
220 views

Can you say “よい夢へ” instead of “よい夢を”?

I saw this message created by a native speaker:「よい夢{ゆめ} を 」. That seemed strange to me. I would have expected: 「よい夢 へ 」. My thinking right now is that: 「よい夢を」 is a straight contraction of ...
6
votes
2answers
421 views

Is there a special way of asking hypothetical questions?

I'm not really sure there is an equivalent for hypothetical questions in Japanese, but here's hoping there is. In English, hypothetical questions are generally prefaced by "What would you do if..." ...
7
votes
1answer
189 views

後で vs. 前に- Why not the same particle?

Why don't 後で and 前に both use the same particle (I suppose I would think に would be more appropriate). They both seem to be the same kind of statement, just with different times (before/after), so I ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

どういう in Place of Other Question Words

Related: の意味は何 versus はどういう意味 I was wondering why どういう is used in situations like asking for meanings of words, or in something like どういう状況, for "What's going on here?" Does anyone have a good reason ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

On the two equivalents on maps of “you are here” (現在地{げんざいち} and 現在位置{げんざいいち})

I've noticed on my travels around Japan that on maps there are two ways of indicating the viewers position in the manner of the English "You are here": 現在地{げんざいち} is common on maps in Japan, and ...
13
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1answer
906 views

How should one respond to “お大事に”?

I came across a situation where I went to a volunteer class wearing a mask since I have a cough. My sensei told me "お大事に", and I did not know what to reply. In this case, should I just say "はい"? Or ...
5
votes
1answer
238 views

Is それが人生{じんせい} , 仕様{しよう}が無{な}い, or something else the most natural equivalent to “that's life”, “c'est la vie”, etc?

For years I have been saying それが人生{じんせい} in Japanese to mean "such is life" / "c'est la vie". In fact English has a few other ways to express the same thing, and so do the other European languages I ...
3
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2answers
130 views

Is there a way to say “crisis averted” in Japanese that retains its sarcastic meaning?

You know, as in situations that are clearly not crises. I've looked around but can't find an answer.
3
votes
1answer
268 views

Is there a Japanese equivalent of knock-knock jokes?

For those (non-natives, etc.) who maybe aren't familiar, knock-knock jokes are one of the lowest, most basic forms of American "comedy". They follow this format: A: Knock, knock B: Who's ...
5
votes
2answers
600 views

How can you express “as long as you want”?

I want to tell my friend that he can stay at my house as long as he wants. I was thinking: 泊まるのは何ヶ日でもいいです。 or 泊まりたい程泊まってもいいです。 What is the correct way?
1
vote
1answer
179 views

A word or short phrase for “Moving forward, taking the good things with, leaving the bad things behind”

Apparently there is a Japanese word for Moving forward taking the good things with you but leaving the bad things behind. Would any of you know what it is? Thanks in advance
2
votes
1answer
157 views

formality issues regarding the 「調子はどうだい?」 greeting

(1) ”元気なの?” and "調子はどうだい?" are pretty much equivalent in meaning and formality, right? The ”元気なの?” being a little feminine because of the "なの"? And, "調子はどうだい?" is rarely / never used by native ...
3
votes
1answer
172 views

End of semester farewell/thanks to teacher

We are approaching the end of this semester at my school. What is a good way to say thank you to my teacher? 「お世話になりましてありかとうございました。」 ? Other suggestions/additions? Thanks.
8
votes
3answers
310 views

Is there a set response to 『いらっしゃい!』?

So I was watching 女が階段を上る時 by Mikio Naruse late at night, and heard something that sounded familiar. Alas, I fell asleep and returned the movie before checking (yes there is still a rental store in my ...
2
votes
2answers
118 views

What is the nuance of 鬼 in 「鬼十則」?

吉田秀雄{よしだひでお} created the 鬼十則{おにじっそく} while working for 電通: 仕事は自ら創るべきで、与えられるべきでない。 仕事とは、先手々と働き掛けていくことで、受け身でやるものではない。 大きな仕事と取り組め、小さな仕事はおのれを小さくする。 難しい仕事を狙え、そしてこれを成し遂げるところに進歩がある。 ...
3
votes
1answer
312 views

The という in things like 〜ということ・〜というの・〜という感じ・〜というわけ etc

I have been trying for ages to understand the reason という is used so frequently, in other words, what does it add to the sentence and what connotations does it have in Japanese. I understand the ...
2
votes
3answers
182 views

Can ことはない be used to express something other than 'you don't have to'?

I understand that ことはない is used to state that something does not have to be done, such as: 時間は十分あるから急ぐことはない。 However, I am currently translating a survey from Japanese to English for a friend and ...
2
votes
1answer
133 views

What is the difference between しかも and それどころか?

しかも is pretty straight forward: 今度、「一番」ってお店のランチに行こうよ。あそこ、すごくおいしんだよ。しかも量もおおいよ。 Let's go get lunch at Ichiban next time. The food is great, also the servings are big. ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What is an equivalent phrase to the colloquial “I know, right!?”

What are the Japanese equivalent phrases for the phrase "I know, right?!" The scenario is my friend said 「PS4には最高だね」, and I'd like to respond with something akin to "I know, right?!" 「でしょ!?」 comes to ...
7
votes
1answer
243 views

What's the difference between 心, 念, and 意?

I can say that after much research on this, I'm more thoroughly confused than before I started. I'm talking mostly about when they are used as suffixes, but the concept applies when they stand alone, ...
2
votes
1answer
275 views

Why are こんにちは and こんばんは used for greetings?

If they are translated literally it gives "today is" and "tonight is". Is it some sentence that got shortened ? (Also not sure how to classify this question so forgive me if I used the wrong ...
3
votes
1answer
129 views

What is the background of the phrase 背中で教える, and where does the meaning “to teach with one's back” come from?

I came across this phrase today while doing a lookup on 背中. 背中で教える I checked several sources, and all listed the meaning, amongst others, "to teach with one's back". It seems related to ...
3
votes
1answer
270 views

How do you break down “かといって”?

In the phrase かといって or かと言って, meaning having said that, on the other hand, I'm not sure what the か and と are. My first guess is that these are the generic particles (か+と+いって), but I couldn't find any ...
2
votes
2answers
173 views

Is there a Japanese saying like その頑張りは、すべてむだというかそういう気持ちになる , related to the working conditions of doctors in a hospital?

On NHK NewsWatch 9 yesterday, they were talking about the shortage of emergency room doctors, and the resulting situations lately where hospitals were forced to turn away emergency patients. In many ...
2
votes
1answer
113 views

Is 「お礼を言う」 considered formal?

I can only think of formal occasions when I have heard "thank you" spoken this way. Is this the case? Could it perhaps also be spoken sarcastically to have the opposite effect?
4
votes
2answers
653 views

興味が湧く vs 興味が沸く​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Which kanji should we use for the phrase 興味がわく (to mean that something has caught our interest)? Some quick googling shows that both 興味が湧く (~11m hits) and 興味が沸く (~9m hits) are widely used. Is one of ...
2
votes
1answer
470 views

Fast Food Conversation - Any Practical Guides?

I looked up for fast food conversation but I could not find anything very practical. While most guide always emphasize on how to order, I never found it prepares one to understand what a fast food ...
4
votes
1answer
341 views

Can someone further explain the difference between 一緒に and 共に?

This is a follow up to the question “What are the fundamental differences between the ~と一緒に and the ~とともに fragments?” Someone suggested that I post my question as a separate thread. Well, something ...
5
votes
1answer
196 views

Function of に in 怒るに怒れない

In the book I'm reading, I came across the following sentence: あたしは[怒]{おこ}るに[怒]{おこ}れなくなった。 (furigana added by me) My translation is something like "I couldn't stay angry [at him]". ("My anger ...
7
votes
1answer
133 views

Understanding the particle や in the phrase “今や”

(Moved from Insertion of "y" sound between vowels since it appeared to be unrelated.) In the following quote: 私の世界へようこそ。 *今や*この世界をコントロールできる唯一の人間だ。 What is the function of the particle ...
7
votes
2answers
947 views

Expressing the “after [verb]-ing”, using 後で, -てから, 後に, 後から?

It's my understanding that when telling what you did after an action can be said using: た後で てから た後に For instance, さおとめさんが泳いでから私たちはお祭りで会いました。 さおとめさんが泳いだ後{あと}で私たちはお祭りで会いました。 ...
1
vote
1answer
146 views

Is there a difference between ことがある and ものがある?

This has been split from this question.. So what are differences between two? Are there times where they can be interchangeable or can they only be used in certain situations? I saw this about ...
1
vote
1answer
123 views

How is ものがある used?

So I came across this sentence: あなたをむかえるものがある。 My take on it is: There is a thing that will meet you. I know that's wrong. So how is ものがある used? ADDED: Is there a difference between ことがある and ものがある?
8
votes
3answers
286 views

Can のほうが be omitted when answering a question?

So when people are doing comparisons, do you use のほうが colloquially or even in text? I've seen AとBとどちらのほうが速いですか? and also AとBとどちらが速いですか? And the answers be: AのほうがBより速いです。 AはBより速いです。 Aのほうが速いです。 ...
2
votes
3answers
104 views

Why does 「頭にきた」signify being mad at something?

Is there any source or explanation for the phrase「頭にきた」and why it means to be angry? For example: 彼の言ったこととその言い方にはイライラして頭にきた。 Why does "what he said and the way he said it came to my head" mean ...
0
votes
1answer
177 views

How to say “It's not a lie if you believe in it” in Japanese [closed]

Eijiro doesn't have the definition so I thought I'd ask here
2
votes
1answer
98 views

What does コミュニケーションがとれる mean?

I tried looking up what 「コミュニケーションがとれる」 means, but from the examples that I've seen, all I can understand is that it just means "to communicate". Is there something more to this phrase that I'm not ...
3
votes
3answers
436 views

“Opposite” of `和製英語`

Is there an "opposite" of 和製英語 (meaning Japanese words/phrases invented by English speakers)? Maybe like {英・米・欧?}製日本語? Because I always see/hear Japanese words in English and they drive me nuts! ...
5
votes
1answer
652 views

How to say “Little did I/he/she/they know”?

I found a few examples at ALC, but still not sure about the best way to say it.
13
votes
1answer
331 views

Why does 「目がない」mean “something you like”?

I came across the phrase 甘いものに目がない which roughly translates to "having a sweet tooth". Then I wondered why 目がない refers to "something that you like". Is there an explanation for why "having no eyes" ...
7
votes
1answer
129 views

The expressions 後へ引く and 後を引く

What is the logic behind the similar sounding expressions 後へ引く and 後を引く? Are they idioms? Apple dictionary lists these examples: 後へ引く もう後へは引けない 'It's too late to turn back now.' 'We're in ...
6
votes
1answer
171 views

Can I say 行ってきます if I don't plan to come back?

When can I safely say 「行ってきます」when leaving home or another place? How loosely can this phrase be used? Can you use it even if you don't plan to come back until a day/week/month later? If it is going ...
3
votes
2answers
194 views

根も葉も火種も — is it proverbial?

I suspect「根も葉も火種も」 is an allusion to something I do not recognize. To what does it refer? Consider this couplet from an amusing song released in March by IOSYS called 「ステマの女」(CD and promotional ...
12
votes
4answers
962 views

Difference between 気をつけて, お大事に and お元気で

What is the difference between 気{き}をつけて, お大事{だいじ}に and お元気{げんき}で. How and in which context(s) are they used?
4
votes
4answers
248 views

Why is 一緒に needed when it's already clear two people will be together?

A father is talking to his kid about their plans tomorrow and says, けんしんくん、お父さんと一緒に買いに行きましょうか? Why not: けんしんくん、お父さんと買いに行きましょうか? (The sentence is supposed to say, "Kenshin, would you like ...
5
votes
2answers
269 views

What does the phrase らしいと言えばらしい mean?

I am reading a book where one character describes another's reading habits, and the person she is talking to says 「らしいと言えばらしいな」. From context, he seems to be saying that her reading habits are ...
7
votes
2answers
185 views

Does バラの寝床 come directly from the English expression “bed of roses”?

I came across this phrase in a Haruki Murakami short story, and I was wondering if this is just a literal translation of the English phrase? I tried googling the Japanese phrase, but I could only ...
6
votes
1answer
168 views

What does 勝つべくして勝った mean?

I came across this phrase while looking at the meaning for べく: 勝つべくして勝った It seems to be a set phrase, but I'm not 100% on the meaning. To win in order to win? To try really hard to win? To be ...
0
votes
1answer
123 views

Different permutations of 気 [closed]

Lots of words/expressions/phrases use 気 in one way or another. For example 気をつけて, 気味, 気になる, 気がつく, 気がする, 天気 etc... Is there a reference somewhere for the seemingly more "interesting" phrases (like the ...
7
votes
0answers
4k views

What is the difference between お元気に、お元気で、気をつけて? [duplicate]

I want to say hello to a friend I haven't seen for a long time, and end my message with "take care". All of お元気{げんき}に, お元気{げんき}で and 気{き}をつけて mean "take care", so which one suits my case? How should I ...