How to use certain words, phrases, particles, endings, constructions, and their variants.

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8
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2answers
306 views

Is 君 (きみ) obsolete as a way to call your romantic partner?

In many love songs, the singer calls their partner 君 (きみ). But is this used by couples in real life, as of 2013? Should this word be considered obsolete, or is it still seeing some use outside of the ...
3
votes
2answers
239 views

How to refuse an invitation with a specific reason?

It is commonly taught that the polite way to refuse an invitation is "ちょっと。。。" However, how do you refuse an invitation, while giving a reason? For example, would it still be considered polite to say ...
4
votes
5answers
869 views

Difference between 忘れてた and 忘れちゃった

Who knows the difference between 忘れてた and 忘れちゃった? In what kind of situations you use each of those?
21
votes
3answers
2k views

Difference between -ていく and -てくる

Can someone explain the differences between v-ていく and v-てくる for me. I know that they both express some kind of ongoing action (like a place getting crowded). For example, what's the difference between ...
4
votes
2answers
252 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?
4
votes
1answer
271 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
299 views

Can we optionally include (or exclude) an を particle in between the noun of the する-verb and the する itself?

When we have a する verb (e.g. 支度する、案内する、心配する), is it true that we could optionally insert an を particle in between the noun and the する? Because in the example sentences here and here, we can see this ...
-1
votes
1answer
160 views

is it aite or akete for open?

I have a book and when you do the verb conjugation for "te" My book says open is aite, but other websites say its akatte which one is correct, thank you
14
votes
8answers
4k views

Are there any Japanese words as versatile as “fuck” in English?

I was wondering about this one recently. "Fuck" in English is famous for being applicable in a wide, wide range of circumstances (none of them formal). What word in Japanese covers a wide spectrum of ...
3
votes
1answer
116 views

What is the meaning of よ in the phrase 雨よ雪に変わってくれ

Read this phrase in a blog. I think the basic meaning of the phrase 雨よ雪に変わってくれ is "The rain is changing into snow." But I don't understand the usage of よ in this case. Is it a particle? Or is it a ...
2
votes
1answer
119 views

What does “へ?” mean

I've searched around and I've only found the usage of へ as being a particle meaning "in the direction of..." I'm not sure what it means as an interjectional question. Context: Girl: ねえ 三島さんが ...
3
votes
1answer
103 views

Adding でしょうか to ます to further emphasize doubt and politeness?

Let's use できる as an example. できる (I) can do (it)/possible (action/event). できるか? Can do?/Possible? できますか? Can do?/Possible? (polite) Believe it or not, できますか? still sounds too direct to me. Now ...
1
vote
1answer
155 views

How to say “in general” in Japanese?

I want to say, "I like history in general." How would I word that in Japanese? I can say, (Watashi wa) rekishi ga sukidesu, but I'm not sure how to say "in general."
3
votes
1answer
139 views

How interchangeable are の/である/なる/たる when qualifying nouns?

So we know that we can qualify/equate two things with a の. 友達のジョン → My friend John 先生の山田さん → A/My teacher Ms. Yamada 勝利者の亀さん → The winner: the turtle (as opposed to the hare) It seems ...
5
votes
1answer
93 views

What is the difference between 包む(つつむ)and 包む(くるむ)?

The verbs つつむ and くるむ and both written 包む, and according to my English-to-Japanese dictionary both have the meaning "to wrap". くるむ is glossed "おおう", while つつむ is glossed "すっぽりと覆う", but I am having ...
3
votes
1answer
207 views

Keigo: そんけいご & けんじょうご

I've started learning keigo and already having difficulty with it, with the same problem in both そんけいご and けんじょうご. In particular, I'm having trouble understanding the combination of the use of ...
11
votes
3answers
19k views

When is it appropriate to use お疲れ様 (otsukaresama)?

I know the general meaning of using お疲れ様です/でした to express gratitude for some work, but I'm a bit fuzzy about appropriate times to use it. I know it is a common saying when leaving for the day, and ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the difference between 大事 (daiji) and 大切 (taisetsu)?

These are two words that seem like they are basically interchangeable at most levels, as they generally are. The difference between them appears to be small, but what is the difference, if one exists? ...
7
votes
2answers
201 views

what's included in 迷信?

The J>E dictionaries I've consulted translate 迷信 as "superstition", but cross-checking in Daijirin the definition doesn't seem to explicitly reference the supernatural, instead referring to the lack ...
3
votes
1answer
172 views

「を大好き」と「が大好き」の違いは何ですか?

What's the difference in usage and meaning when using を with 大好き or 好き versus using が? I would think that using が is stating that the subject that you are talking about is loved, while using を is ...
1
vote
2answers
257 views

「ね」 vs 「な」 in 「そうだね」 /「そうね」/ 「そうですね」

Another thread stated that when expressing agreement, we can choose between 「ね」 and 「な」. 「ね」 is more feminine and 「な」 is more masculine. By that, would 「そうな」 be the masculine form of 「そうね」 ? Also, ...
2
votes
1answer
207 views

Why are most Japanese songs and poems in normal form?

You would think that sentence structure would matter in songs and poems, especially when they have directed or dedicated lyrics, e.g. to a stranger, the president, someone of higher status. ...
6
votes
1answer
311 views

Difference between chotto matte and chotto matta

I understand that ちょっと待ってmeans please wait a while. But I did hear some people using ちょっと待った for the same meaning(maybe). So what is the difference between these 2 and when should we use 待って or 待った?
4
votes
1answer
168 views

How does ダンスとかあったら全然だったと思う work/mean?

A:藤原さんは、もちろん歌だよね? B:うん。わたしにはそれしかないから……ダンスとかあったら全然だったと思う I don't get what the part ダンスとかあったら全然だったと思う is saying. 全然 is an adverb but there's no verb after it but 思う, but that's separated by a ...
4
votes
1answer
297 views

What is the meaning of りゃ in this phrase?

I came across this phrase while reading an interview. そういう時はなんて答えりゃいいんだ。 I think it means "At a time like that, such a reply/response is good." But I don't understand the usage of りゃ . I couldn't ...
8
votes
2answers
302 views

What's the substitute word for missing/unimportant part of sentence?

Sometimes there are situations when you'd like to describe someone saying something, but what exactly he says is less important than the rest of sentence and it can be easily ignored. Or in case when ...
1
vote
1answer
320 views

What's the difference between 生む and 産む?

These two words both appear to have the meaning "to give birth" or "to produce". However, what is the difference between the two kanji used? I originally assumed that 生む meant "to give birth" and 産む ...
3
votes
1answer
188 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?
7
votes
2answers
763 views

What is the difference between 見える/聞こえる and 見られる/聞ける?

In Japanese, there is a potential form to express that it's possible for something to be done. My own examples of potential form: 辛【から】い食【た】べ物【もの】が食【た】べられる。 (I can eat spicy foods.) ...
5
votes
4answers
210 views

Can 低い be used to describe “salary”?

I was under the impression that 安い is used for anything related to "cost", whereas 低い is used to mean low for all things general. However, a simple Google search shows ~99k records for 低いお給料, ...
6
votes
3answers
243 views

What does で mean when asked as a question?

I've come across several instances in manga where the simple question of "で?" is used. What could it mean? I'm guessing it means something like "Is that so?," but I'm not sure.
3
votes
2answers
245 views

かわいい meaning care for

I am learning from 日本語総まとめ which is great generally but I wonder about this example from N2 文法 (grammar): 子供がかわいいからこそ、しかるんです。 which translates to I scold my children because I care for them. ...
10
votes
4answers
383 views

correctness of い adjective + です

Generally, in all Japanese language classes, the rule you're taught is that です does not follow い adjectives. Instead, い adjectives can act like stative verbs, and as such terminate a sentence by ...
1
vote
2answers
271 views

Difference between こと、もの and やつ

I am trying to understand the following clearly: 私のこと 私のもの 私のやつ When someone is talking about us, we can use こと。 ”いいえ、それは私のことではないです” - No, that is not something related to me. やつis used when we ...
2
votes
1answer
156 views

What is the meaning and usage of 許せ?

Is 許せ【ゆるせ】 something that's said? I heard from a friend that it is used to mean forgive me, but I find the use of the imperative in such a way to be strange.
7
votes
1answer
170 views

What's the difference between 下りる and 降りる

My current understanding is that 下りる means to go down, for example, 階段を下りる (Go down the stairs); while 降りる means to get off some form of transport, for example, 飛行機から降りる (Get off from the aeroplane). ...
0
votes
2answers
197 views

What is the literal meaning of 'マスコミにバラして'?

The sentence is, 'マスコミにバラしてもいいんですよ?' What does this mean, literally? Also, is this figure of speech frequently used? If it is, could you please give me some instances when it is used in daily life? ...
30
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the difference between the nominalizers こと and の?

As Derek mentioned in his postscript, both こと and の are nominalizers that can turn a verb into a noun. ピアノを弾く【ひく】。 I play the piano. ピアノを弾く【ひく】のが好き【すき】です。 I like playing the piano. ...
20
votes
3answers
24k views

でも (demo) versus けど (kedo) to mean “but”

I learned that you can use でも (demo) at the beginning of a sentence to mean "but," and that you can use けど (kedo) at the end of a sentence to mean "though." However, I don't see a difference between ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

What's the difference between 働くvs 勤める

I was wondering if someone could explain the difference between 働くvs 勤める. They seem to both be used to indicate work. As in "I work at Nasa" or something like that. But they have different ...
4
votes
2answers
147 views

Questions about 背負う

背負う is pronounced せおう, but many dictionaries also list a second pronunciation as しょう. I've never heard it pronounced as しょう in practice. In what situations does it have this pronunciation? Is ...
13
votes
2answers
318 views

What is the subject when time passes in a narrative (eg 1ヶ月を経る)

(This might be a quick easy question but sometimes the answers to these are unexpected.) What is the subject in the following sentences? I've given my best efforts for the examples 1-4 below. (I am ...
5
votes
1answer
140 views

What does り have to do with this?

So I asked some Japanese guy if he really meant something (about speaking in certain language) with 本当ですか and I got this as an answer: 実はしゃべれるわけじゃなかったりする I understand what わけではない means, but ...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

Help with this passage

Well I didn't know how to title this question, but I'd like help with this passage. It is from the workbook 日本語総まとめN2 ...
10
votes
4answers
633 views

is it offensive to say あなた?

My teacher says that we should avoid あなた, like わたし, which could be taken off. Following this, I try to refer to the second person by the name: 加藤さんの趣味は何ですか. But there are situations where we forget ...
9
votes
5answers
356 views

When is a door a ドア and when is it a [扉]{とびら}?

I've been in Japan for the summer and noticed that the announcement for the closing doors (in the Kansai area, at least) is always 扉が閉まります. However, the equivalent announcement on buses appears to be ...
1
vote
1answer
158 views

“Possession” of time: 時間 or 時?

I'm a bit confused in the usage as "possession" of time. I know 時間 is time and 時 would be more like when, but... Some thing's time would be Jikan or toki? If it was someone, would it still be the ...
11
votes
1answer
458 views

歩{ある}く vs 歩{あゆ}む

I always know that 歩く is the verb to use when talking about walking. But I'm aware the kanji 歩 has another verb 歩む. In WWWJDIC, the example sentence given is: ビルはあの会社の社長になるまで成功への道を歩み続けた。 Bill ...
2
votes
1answer
143 views

Simple questions on 明け方

So 明け方 means "dawn," but if looked at more closely, is the literal meaning of 明け方, "in the direction of dawn"? I think this is wrong, but I can't remember which meaning of 方 is taken here. Is it ...
2
votes
2answers
240 views

Difference between 〜っぽい, 〜がち, and 〜やすい?

From what I understand, 〜っぽい, 〜がち, and 〜やすい all seem to suggest that someone has a general tendency towards doing something. It seems that 〜っぽい and 〜がち can attach to a noun or to the 連用形 of a verb, ...