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

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8
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1answer
190 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
164 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
410 views

What are the fundamental differences between the ~と一緒に and the ~とともに fragments?

I'm accustomed to saying together with using the ~ to issho ni fragment, but I've been noticing that some people I talk to phrase this using ~ totomo ni instead. i.e. 彼女と一緒に日本へ来た。 Kanojo to issho ni ...
4
votes
2answers
229 views

Usage of けど / でも

I've heard けど / でも has to be placed after the part that contradicts the other part. I never heard of it actually as I learned it by context and not by grammar rules. Is it true, or does it depend ...
6
votes
1answer
201 views

How to use いかがですか?

So I've read that いかがですか means "How about it?" and "How is it?". So if I wanted to say, "How's the coffee?" would it be コーヒーはどうですか? or  コーヒーはいかがですか? Also is there an "informal" way of saying いかがです?
9
votes
3answers
991 views

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?
1
vote
1answer
115 views

言わない VS 言わなくない A negative verb conjugated as an adjective?

While reading a text in Japanese, I came up with the phrase "何も言わなくなったから" I don't understand what the ~くない stands for. As far as know is used as the negative for of an adjective... but 言う is a verb! ...
9
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4answers
271 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
175 views

What does うんたらかんたら mean?

I recently heard this phrase being told in a show, but I just couldn't make sense of what it means...And what really caught my attention was that the listener was really surprised to hear this phrase ...
2
votes
3answers
104 views

Omitting ようだ at the end of a sentence

父はデジタルカメラの講習を受けに行ったが、あまりの難しさにびっくりしたようだ。 So this sentence is saying, "my dad went to take a short course on digital cameras, but it was difficult to the point of surprising him." Could you say ...
8
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2answers
311 views

Do people use まい?

I see the ending まい all over the place in the JLPT books and in example phrases but I can't actually think of an example of somebody saying it or writing in an email (from SMS style messages to work ...
6
votes
2answers
365 views

How do you say “Please tell your wife to get well soon”?

How do you convey that you wish someone's wife (or husband, mother, brother, etc.) to get well soon? I understand that you say お大事に if the person you speaking to directly is the one who is not well. ...
9
votes
6answers
443 views

Greeting a person over the internet

So I was wondering, how do japanese people greet each other when they are, for example, writing on a blog or recording a video? My doubt comes from the fact that their greetings will be directed ...
3
votes
1answer
174 views

Why can 髪の毛 only refer to hair on your head?

I've never really understood why there is a difference between 髪の毛 and 毛 when talking about hair on one's body. What is it about 髪 that makes it only relevant in the context of having "hair on the ...
3
votes
1answer
122 views

「のれん代」(Goodwill) and 「のれん」 of 居酒屋

Is there any relation between 「のれん代」(Goodwill) and 「のれん」 of 居酒屋? And how about those kanji, are they using same kanji for both? If there are the same kanji, I would like to know their etymology, ...
6
votes
2answers
345 views

What's the difference between 上る、登る and 昇る?

According to jisho.org, they all have the same meanings, to climb, to rise, to ascend. Is that true? And do they have differences in usage?
3
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1answer
173 views

Making sense of the N1にN2 construction (「パンにバター」=「パンにバターをぬる」)

I understand from my previous question on the N1 に N2 construction that it is usually a phrase with omission of a verb (eg パンにバターをぬる makes パンにバター, which comes from パンにぬる and バターをぬる). If this is the ...
3
votes
2answers
242 views

Is ruby text essential?

I am trying to understand whether the ruby text in ancient scripture is essential to the meaning of a verse, or if the scripture can be understood without it. For instance, can this verse: be ...
6
votes
2answers
182 views

What does 不可とする mean?

On the subject of real-time OS's, I read this sentence: 割り込みを一時的に不可(マスク)とする。 Where 不可 apparently means "to mask". I can understand that "割り込み masks something", but I can't understand "不可とする" ...
7
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1answer
202 views

Is “かいしゅん” a valid reading for 買春?

I have seen the words 売春 and 買春 pronounced "ばいしゅん". From my understanding 売春 is taken from the perspective of the "seller" whereas 買春 is taken from the perspective of the "buyer". However, when I ...
6
votes
1answer
180 views

How do we roll a ball along a street from A to B?

This question is a follow up to この道をまっすぐ行ってください。Why “を” and not “で”? posted earlier. If: 道で転ぶ = fallover on the road ボールが道を転がる = a ball rolled along the street 〜を転がす = roll something ...
7
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1answer
334 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.
4
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1answer
1k views

Are the 4-byte UTF-8 Kanji rare enough that I can ignore them?

I'm writing a programming algorithm which converts code points of Kanji characters to their respective UTF-8 octets. My problem is, if I don't include 4-octet characters, and only deal with 3-octet ...
4
votes
2answers
178 views

Meaning of 「おれば」&「大手を振る」

The following sentence and translation appear in my textbook (総まとめ 読解 N1, p114): 視聴率さえとっておれば、どんな"やらせ" をやろうとも、メディアの責任を考えればモラルに反すると思うことをやっても、大手を振ることが出来る世界 A world (media industry) where they ...
5
votes
1answer
206 views

パソコンが 得意だ/わかる/上手だ

So I was studying through this book called 日本語生中継 and there was this question where you're supposed to choose the inappropriate word among others. And I got stuck at this sentence: ...
4
votes
1answer
291 views

Usage of なんて in this sentence

”正直友達が死んだらこんなにへこむなんておもってみなかった”  I cant understand this sentence.
3
votes
1answer
503 views

Examples of when passive form in English takes active/non passive form in Japanese

Can anyone give a few more common examples (or even more insight) of when we should be "switching" from English passive into Japanese active/non-passive? (A joint effort might help a lot of us to ...
10
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3answers
612 views

In what situations can you use "ぞ” as a sentence ender

When can one use the sentence ender ぞ? I've only ever heard it anime, so I'm unsure of it's actual usage in the real world. Is it not used that often or limited to specific age/gender groups?
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3answers
372 views

Can I end sentences with ん?

One friend of mine told me when she was living in Japan, she liked to end her sentences with ん (maybe instead of の). Examples: 明日学校にいくん? 明日学校に行かないと思う…風邪引いたん。 Actually I've never seen it! But my ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
209 views

What's the difference between 創始者、創業者、創設者 and 創立者?

I have seen 創始者 been used in the following contexts: 仏教の創始者、プログラムの創始者、儒教の創始者 創業者 probably refers to founders of businesses: 店の創業者、紀伊国屋の創業者 However, I only have a vague idea about how these are used. ...
3
votes
2answers
312 views

<動詞の辞書形> + がよい ― How is this allowed?

I've come across this form many times in my Japanese Bible. The meaning is quite obvious based on context, and seems to be one of the following: ~べきです, ~ほうがいい, ~なさい, or ~ように (let it be ~). Here are ...
1
vote
1answer
310 views

Where can I get a list of Japanese words with context? [closed]

I want to study for the JLPT with authentic sentence examples, in-context Japanese. Does anyone know a resource for this? I have searched for a long time, and I haven't found anything.
7
votes
2answers
409 views

Difference between sentence final ものだ and ことだ

My understanding is that ものだ is used to assert things which are mostly known to everyone. 誰かの家に招待されたときは、何か手土産をもっていくものだ 'When invited to somebody's home it's customary to bring presents'. On ...
6
votes
1answer
99 views

~の時 vs ~歳の時: What's the difference?

When referring to a time where one was a certain age, are there any differences in meaning, nuance or usage between saying, for example, 18の時 and 18歳の時. I always thought you needed to have the 歳, but ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

The many ways to say “and” in Japanese

In English, we just have one word for the conjunction and which works just fine for many categories, but in Japanese, there are separate words: と joins nouns together in a closed list や joins nouns ...
6
votes
2answers
311 views

Difference between verb types (verbal nouns, transitive & intransitive: eg 開始, 始める and 始まる)

All three of these words mean "to start", but what's the difference between them and where are they used?
6
votes
2answers
499 views

The difference between “follow” using についていく、「あと?」をつける、「あと?」をついていく

What is the difference between and how can we explain the grammar in the expressions for "follow" in the examples below? 子供が母親のあとをついていく

 (A child is following his/her mother) 母親の買い物についていく (go ...
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2answers
614 views

What is the difference between ちょっと and 少し?

Specifically for when they mean "a little". In what situations would they be used and are they completely interchangeable without any differences?
9
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1answer
267 views

What exactly is this ※ symbol, and what does it mean/how is it used?

I keep running into this symbol: ※ What is it, exactly? How is it used? According to this Wikipedia link on Japanese typographic symbols, this ※ is called 米{こめ} or 米印{こめじるし}. It is used in notes as ...
4
votes
1answer
186 views

Use of unit abbreviations in Japanese

Are unit abbreviations like mm for millimetres or % for percent used in Japanese? I've seen people translate those two words in to ミリメートル and パーセント respectively and that is what makes me raise this ...
5
votes
3answers
118 views

What is the つく used at the end of this sentence

What is the つく used at the end of this sentence? 友人の仕事は危険で、汚くて、おまけに きついらしい。ちなみにそういう仕事は俗に「3K」と呼ばれている。要するに「き」、すなわち「K」が3つつくというわけだ My friend's work is dangerous, dirty and tough. It is ...
8
votes
1answer
898 views

得意とするところ explanation?

As far as I'm aware this expression means "(a persons) strong points', but I'm not sure how とする is being used in this context. My best guess would be something like "the thing (a person) tries to do ...
9
votes
2answers
267 views

Why do some Japanese men use お袋 to address their mothers?

I often hear Japanese males use the word お袋 in place of お母さん when annoyed or irritated. Is this word slang? How did this word come to mean 「お母さん」 and what are the circumstances it is used in? I am ...
4
votes
2answers
238 views

Explaining cause in response to the question “why?”

Alright, lets give this another go. I'm having trouble understanding the best way to respond to someone asking "why". My study guide advised, To answer the question with "why", make a statement ...
10
votes
2answers
325 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
212 views

Is あたり used only to enumerate items?

I usually read that あたり is used to enumerate things like A あたり, B あたり. But lately I can also hear ひとつひとつあたり also used. Is this the same word? How do you use the あたり in general? A search on a ...
9
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2answers
511 views

do people actually respect the nuances of 探す vs 捜す?

Part 1 I understand 探す to be to search for something (general) and 捜す to be to search for something lost But do people actually care about the difference in nuance when they use it? I mean do ...
8
votes
1answer
316 views

Use of を and に with 頼る (to depend on)

Why is the direct object taking を in (1) and に in (2)? What are basic rules that drive these two sentence constructions? (1) 叔母は父を頼っている 'My aunt is counting on my father's help.' (2) ...
5
votes
2answers
229 views

When is it appropriate to choose にわたって or を通じて in regard to time?

I seem to have a hard time recognizing when to choose either にわたって or を通じて in the following question: この地方は一年(  )暖かく、とても過ごしやすい。 The correct answer is を通じて. My idea is that を通じて would make this ...