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

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1answer
154 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
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1answer
122 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 ...
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1answer
347 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."
5
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1answer
118 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 ...
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1answer
329 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 ...
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3answers
34k 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 ...
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3answers
4k 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? ...
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2answers
207 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
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1answer
185 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 ...
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2answers
448 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, ...
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1answer
294 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. ...
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1answer
1k 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?
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1answer
198 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 ...
6
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1answer
470 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 ...
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2answers
383 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 ...
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1answer
360 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
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1answer
250 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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4answers
288 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, ...
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3answers
288 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.
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2answers
294 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. ...
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4answers
429 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 ...
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2answers
412 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 ...
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1answer
168 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.
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1answer
245 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). ...
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2answers
231 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? ...
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1answer
4k 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. ...
3
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1answer
163 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 ...
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2answers
160 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 ...
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2answers
361 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 ...
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1answer
151 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 ...
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1answer
97 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 ...
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4answers
782 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 ...
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5answers
400 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 ...
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1answer
288 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 ...
10
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1answer
543 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 ...
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1answer
158 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
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2answers
354 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, ...
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3answers
410 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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2answers
654 views

Why are Japanese song lyrics often so seemingly ungrammatical?

For example, Natsukawa Rimi's 島唄 has this has most of the verbs in plain 連用形 with no apparent reason: でいごの花が咲き 風を呼び 嵐が来た でいごが咲き乱れ 風を呼び 嵐が来た くり返す悲しみは 島渡る波のよう ウージの森であなたと出会い ...
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2answers
543 views

Making sense of transitive usage of 行く and 来る - 「を行く」 and 「を来る」

I think it's known that some intransitive verbs can take を particle and be used as transitive verbs such as for example 「私のことを分かってくれない」. While using 分かる transitively would require specific scenarios ...
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1answer
403 views

What are the various uses of あまり?

I'm a beginner and I would like to know how あまり is used.
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1answer
173 views

About the conditional と

I'm wondering if と, that the Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar says lead to a uncontrollable event, is, in addition to this, used with the meanning of a fact that will for sure happen if the ...
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2answers
199 views

What's the difference between these two instances of “yearning”?

I have these two sentences in my JLPT practise book. They are in different sections, so the book isn't making a deliberate comparison, but I couldn't help but wonder about the similarities. ...
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2answers
183 views

What is 坊 in 朝寝坊する?

I always thought that 坊 in 朝寝坊する was a bit weird. At least in Chinese, 坊 means "small factory". Thus I assumed it was a pun about "went to work at the morning sleeping factory" though it seems a bit ...
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3answers
406 views

What kind of verbs can the suffix たて (立て) attach to?

Why can -たて attach to some verbs and not others? What is a more precise definition of how to use it? I had been aware of the suffix -たて as meaning 'an action just/newly completed/occurred' for a ...
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1answer
102 views

Why the き and さ in the 送り仮名 of 大きい and 小さい?

I've always been puzzled over why 大きい isn't 大い and 小さい is not 小い. Is there some etymological reason? (I'm suspecting historical conjugations that changed the き and さ too, just like why 食べる has the べ ...
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1answer
138 views

Acceptable use of 黄

I've noticed there appears to be a class of Japanese colors which are denoted by -色. Most of these literally translate to "noun-color" (brown = "tea color," grey = "ash color," etc.) It makes sense ...
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2answers
351 views

Difference between 移る, 引っ越す and 引っ越しする

I originally learnt 引っ越す to mean "to move house", but my textbook recently told me "移る" was also "to move house". Flaw also mentioned that 引っ越しする meant that too in chat, but that just looks like ...
5
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2answers
267 views

Very confused about “には” in indicating relationships

I read a very detailed and useful answer explaining the difference between "に" and "には" but am still confused about a sentence I recently encountered. 私たちには息子が二人います。 I do not understand the function ...
2
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1answer
108 views

Questions with 辞書形 and raising tone and 辞書形+の?

I was tonight with japanese friends and I noticed they rather used a simple 辞書形 form along with a raising tone to ask a question, although we learned in class that "non-polite" questions were formed ...