用法・使い方. How to use certain words, phrases, particles, endings, constructions, and their variants.

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Why does 「やきもち」 mean to be jealous?

I've heard this word used quite a few times now, and I'm tired of pretending to understand it. Why does 「やきもち」 refer to being jealous? Is this a slang word? How do people use this word?
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“看護師” vs. “看護士”

Good afternoon all, I was wondering is it true that "看護師" is a gender-neutral way of referring to a "nurse", Whereas "看護婦" implies that it is a girl, And "看護士" implies that it is a guy? ...
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What exactly is the difference between <verb>-てしまう and <verb>- [切]{き}る?

I've read that both the ~てしまう and ~きる (18th meaning of 切る at http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi?1MUE%E5%88%87%E3%82%8B) forms are used to signify something has been ...
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524 views

Difference between (遊び)方 and (遊ぶ)方法

I'm struggling to understand the difference between the verb suffix ~方【かた】 and the noun 方法【ほうほう】. As an example, the difference between 遊び方 (which seems to mean something like "manner in which someone ...
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In what situation can I use ~かい (for interrogative question)?

One day, I asked my japanese friend how I could invite some friends to eat. He said "一緒に食べに行くかい?" I know that we could also say: 行きましょうか(行こうか)? 行きませんか(行かない)? 行きますか(行くの)? but I got interested ...
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Differences between くれます, もらいます and いただきます

I have been taught that they are used when receiving something (or a favor) from someone. But how exactly do they differ? I've searched the web for an answer and One site suggests that くれます is ...
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565 views

What is the difference between ~すぎ and ~すぎる?

When I was playing a video game a few months ago, I noticed that some of the characters (mostly young teen females, in case it matters) kept saying ~すぎ instead of ~すぎる. For example, when one of the ...
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Asking “Do you speak Japanese?” in Japanese

So, in English, we tend to use phrases like "Do you speak English?" when what we're really talking about is ability -- i.e. "Can you speak English?" My question is, does this work in Japanese? The ...
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Ending a sentence with さ

When is it appropriate to put さ at the end of a sentence? Do women say this also? I think I remember seeing a female character say it in an anime.
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How does one use the “[V ます stem] に [Vタ]” pattern (as in 待ちに待った)?

Every now and then I hear 待ちに待った, as in: 待ちに待ったライブ a long-awaited concert I started wondering if this pattern can apply to other verbs, and it certainly seems to, if Google is any indication. I ...
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Are these phrases interchangeable? に関して, に対して, において, について, における

There's already a question that discusses にかんして vs について but I found more terms that are more or less the same to me. All phrases seem to be some kind of topic marker that can be roughly translated to ...
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Difference between 「 ただ」, 「たった」, 「ただ ~だけ」, and 「ただし」

I translate these words as either "only, just, simply". I'd like to know how I could differentiate these 4 ways (i.e., when I use that one, and when I use the other). Examples: たったひとつの恋 ...
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How to use イコール to compare things? How is it different from 同じ?

I've heard sometimes that イコール is used sometimes to imply that things are similar. What would be a correct expression to use イコール? Furthermore, how is it different from using 同じ to say that things are ...
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211 views

Is a computer displaying “インストールしています” correct? Weird?

I just noticed that Windows is using "…をインストールしています" while installing something. The use of "〜います" by a computer strikes me as slightly weird, like too literal a translation leading to overdone ...
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355 views

How figurative can 姿 be?

I've always thought of 姿 as a physical form or shape, but I came across this passage from my book: 彼らの話から浮かびあがってきたのは、・・・・・{この人}の姿だった。 (I took just took out some descriptions of the woman they're ...
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How are the giongo/gitaigo double form and tto form related (きらきら vs. きらっと)

With many 擬音語 (ぎおんご, onomatopoeia) and 擬態語 (ぎたいご, mimetic words) there is a double form, where the word is repeated, and a form with っと at the end. For example: きらきら -> きらっと (sparkling) ぴかぴか -> ...
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好き【すき】でした。付き【つき】合って【あって】ください。

I found many people say 好きでした when they actually mean 好きです. I think it is short for ずっと好きでした. I know ずっと~していた and ずっと~している can well mean the same, but I still do not know the nuance between 好きでした and ...
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一応: Usage and meaning

I've never really fully grasped the meaning of [一]{いち}[応]{おう} since it seems to have no good English equivalent. What is the meaning, usage, and nuances of 一応?
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Do you also say 「もしもし」 on Skype?

Is 「もしもし」 only used when you cannot see the person you're talking with (I once heard that it's somewhat akin to "Anyone there?", which wouldn't make much sense if you could see your conversation ...
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Is “リア充” (Riajuu) interchangeable with “playboy”?

I often see phrases where Riajuu appears in situations where I think it could be translated to "playboy" without any loss in meaning, following from the context and the Urban Dictionary definition. ...
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way to use さっぱり (sappari) and すっかり (sukkari)

Maybe it's just me, but I keep mixing up As in すっかり忘れてた I've completely forgot and さっぱりわからない I haven't the faintest idea / I really don't know are there other expressions to use ...
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433 views

What's the difference between 静けさ and 静かさ?

Much to my disbelief (no, I'm kidding, it happens all the time), I found out that my handbook was wrong to tell me we must use 静けさ, because 静かさ doesn't exist. Wiki(tionary) says "For degree, ...
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601 views

How to translate: “Keep/leave something”. So, how to express intention to leave something unchanged

Consider questions like: Please leave the door open, thanks! Could you please keep the lift's doors open? Thankyou Please, leave it as it is. They all imply something common: not changing the ...
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386 views

Why is there a 分 in 自分?

I didn't find anywhere why is the minute's kanji there in 自分? Is it because a meaning of 分 is "part". Please clarify.
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Are the usage of 上 and 下 as labels only limited to items that come in pairs of two?

I have some untranslated mangas that come in pairs of two, and each of them is labeled with 上 or 下 to denote which is the first volume and which is the second. I'm wondering if these labels are only ...
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567 views

What is the meaning of 〜たりして?

I've just come across "〜していたりして" at the end of a sentence in a post on Facebook, so it's probably very casual. Does anyone know the correct meaning and typical usage?
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Seemingly redundant 帰る in 「今日、帰りに買って帰ります」

In my textbook is the following. あの店のパンはとてもおいしいとか。今日、帰りに買って帰ります。 From what I understand, 「帰りに買う」 means "to buy on the way back (home)". However, this seems to already imply that you are heading ...
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How do you say “just curious” or “out of curiosity”?

In English, I often say "I'm just curious, but...". The best phrase I've come up with for this in Japanese is 「[好奇心]{こうきしん}だけですが・・・」 but I've never heard a native speaker use this. I recently ...
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716 views

Usage of noun-modifying である

I'm pretty sure I understand the usage of「である」 here: ピアニストである私の姉は、いつも手に怪我をしないように気をつけています My sister, a pianist, is always careful not to injure her hands. (My translation) But I'm wondering if ...
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Are 終{お}わる and 済{す}ませる synonyms?

I know that they both mean "finish". But I wonder if there are situations or contexts where you can use one but not the other.
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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). ...
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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 ...
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Why is it that ~かねる can refer to oneself, yet ~かねない must refer to another person?

When I tried to use ~かねない to express my own feeling about a situation, I was told by a native that it sounds incorrect and strange. However, ~かねる is appropriate and fine. For example, this is the ...
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631 views

Usage and meaning of [passive verb]-てみれば

I am familiar with the set phrase 「言われてみれば」 as a way to say "Now that you say that", but as I examine the phrase further, the phrase structure strikes me as strange. The 〜てみる conjugation is commonly ...
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Are there various ways to use ~し?

The many ways to say “and” in Japanese thread showed me that ~し, ~し can be used give reasons for something. この部屋は綺麗だし広いし間取りもいいから人気がある。This room is clean, wide and also good partition, so most of ...
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Adnominalisation (Relative clause - noun - copula structure): What does it mean? How can we translate it?

I have two examples of this structure which does not obviously correspond to a pattern in English although it is quite common. I'd like to know what it means, why it is used and how it should be ...
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770 views

What is the difference between 悪い and だめ?

What is the difference between 悪い and だめ? They're not really the same, but in English they both can be translated to "bad". あの人が悪い。In my limited experience, this is bad in the sense of evil. ...
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991 views

What is the meaning/usage of いざ?

Will someone please explain what this word いざ means? I've found several definitions, but I'm very unclear on what it really means and its usage. I've heard it mostly in the following ways: ...
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Qualitative intensifiers e.g. とても, とっても, 超, etc. How are they different?

How are とても/とっても, でかい/でっかい, 超 (and others that I have yet to encounter) used differently? I figured that for とても/とっても-type difference is that the double-consonant(geminated) version is stronger i.e. a ...
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Difference between 下る、下りる、下がる?

I cannot, for the love of my life, understand the difference between 下る{くだる} 下りる{おりる} 下がる{さがる} Don't they all mean the same, basically? Is there a difference, and if yes, how could I proceed to ...
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Using くれる for doing something bad

Today I heard the phrase なんてことしてくれた, as in: 君!なんてことしてくれたんだ! which I learned means "Look what you've done". I thought くれる was only used when someone does something nice for you. Is this just a ...
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恐れ入ります correct “thank you” to use after customers make a purchase?

Is 恐れ入ります the correct form of "thank you" when used during a business transaction (for example, a sales person would say this when someone makes a purchase at his/her store)? In the context of an ...
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135 views

Using 嫌い and 嫌う

In elementary Japanese, you are taught to say you dislike something with が嫌いです. For example: 国の状態が嫌いです。 I've also seen 嫌う used to express dislike, like: 昨日を嫌った。 Are they both ...
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Meaning of にまで?

A long time ago, I came across this example sentence in Jisho: 彼{かれ}の仕事{しごと}は井戸掘{いどほ}りからゴミの処理{しょり}にまで及ぶ{およぶ}。 His tasks range from digging wells to getting rid of garbage. Why does this ...
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233 views

Can 一杯 be used to express the fullness of things without physical volumes?

According to an answer to this question, the word [一杯]{いっぱい} can be used to expess fullness; especially in relation to the capacity of whatever is containing the quantity. This, however, tends to ...
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Verb volitional form (動詞の意志形) - usage

I have a couple of questions about the volitional form of verbs that I've become unclear on lately. Here is a Bible passage containing the grammar in question: (Note that I'm using a Bible passage ...
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島人{とうじん} vs 島民{とうみん}

I was looking for a word to say islander, i.e. someone that lives/was born in an island. I've come across 島人 and 島民 and asked two native speakers about their user meaning. While they both agreed that ...
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521 views

When to use 頂戴します instead of いただきます?

In rather formal situations, when would you use 頂戴します ? I use いただきます all the time to express the fact of receiving something, but I just heard a colleague using 頂戴します over the phone. If I understand ...
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201 views

Is “先生 / せんせい / sensei” haughty or overly-formal

If I were to tell my Japanese friend that I plan to become a teacher, would I literally say that I will become a sensei? I have always thought of this as an honorific title, and it feels odd to call ...
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I dont understand ~ような in this context

I know that ~ような means "looks like". In this context: ここで立ち止る ような 時間はない。 does it mean: "It appears it cannot stop here, there is no time"? What I do understand is that ような is followed by a ...