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

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Differences between words for “idiot”

Recently I've been reading the Spice and Wolf manga and came across two words for "idiot" I've never seen before: たわけ and 間{ま}抜{ぬ}け Previously I've only encountered 馬鹿{バカ} and 阿呆{あほう}, with the ...
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What's the difference between そうかな and そうなんだ?

I've always thought that they both mean something like "I see" or "Is that so?" and I was told that they have different meaning. Is that so?
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492 views

Difference between うまい and 美味しい when talking about food

What is the difference between うまい and 美味{おい}しい when talking about food? I suppose they can be used interchangeably in most cases, but when should I prefer one to the other? I've seen a number of ...
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553 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 ...
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Is ほんの一瞬【いっしゅん】だけ redundant?

When using the phrase ほんの一瞬, I somehow feel compelled to insert だけ afterwards. This seems to be somewhat common (over one million hits for "ほんの一瞬だけ" on Google), but does it seem silly in terms of ...
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609 views

低い鼻 vs 短い鼻 and 高い鼻 vs 長い鼻 ?

After reading this thread: When would you use 低い vs 短い, I'd just thought of something. I once heard that a long nose (witch / Pinocchio) is called 高い鼻 and not 長い鼻 whereas the opposite (short nose) is ...
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90 views

Etymology of お負け

In my flashcard studying of JLPT1 vocabulary I've across お負け with three English definitions (from JMdict): freebie, price reduction, exaggeration. Now my question is how adding an honorific ...
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287 views

What connotation does the ending -n to a Japanese female name have?

The Japanese female names that end with "i" can be altered by adding "n" in their end. E.g.: "Konami" -> "Konamin" "Mizuki" -> "Mizukin" "Narumi" -> "Narumin" "Chinami" -> "Chinamin" I would like to ...
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278 views

(Ordering food) difference between なし and 抜き

What is the difference between endings なし and 抜【ぬ】き when you want to exclude a certain ingredient from food? Aside from 凍【こお】りなし when ordering soft drinks, I thought that for most other things 抜【ぬ】き ...
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220 views

What may be the difference in the usage of 自尊心, 誇り and 自慢?

I read a paragraph and it contains the word 自尊心. I want to know the meaning of 自尊心. Dictionary says 自尊心 = pride. Is it the same with 誇り? or 自慢? What may be the differences in the usage of these words?...
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198 views

Does the use of は or omitting は affect the listener's reply?

This is a question taken from a JLPT excercise workbook. Person A: 新聞をよく読みますか。 Person B: そうですね。毎日は[Fill in this blank]。 I am given 4 choices, of which only 2 are conjugated correctly. ...
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164 views

What is the difference between 殺{さつ}人{じん} and 殺{さつ}害{がい}?

What is the difference between 殺人 and 殺害? As I know, both of them mean "killing". I found the words in these sentences: 秋田運転手刺殺事件、男を逮捕 強盗殺人容疑で。 金品を奪い取る目的で殺害した疑い。
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What is “Almost” in Japanese

I have never actually seen the words for almost used in Japanese. Below are the various translations for "Almost" that I came accross: 「大方」 「粗」 「九分」 「殆」 「もう少しで」 Could you ...
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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 ...
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208 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 ...
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770 views

Concretely, on what scenarios should I say either お世話になっています or いつもお世話になっております?

Furthermore, what is its different in meaning between the both? When I was in training as a fresh graduate at a Japanese company, they told me to use いつもお世話になっております all the time and so I did. But ...
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139 views

What is the difference between 「進行」 and 「進歩」?

What is the difference between 「進行」and「進歩」? In what situations are they used ?
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Question about usage of 「のでは」

In one of the grammar questions for N3, I saw one for which I couldn't understand the reason why のでは is used. この英会話講師のアルバイトに応募したきっかけは、先輩からの紹介です。私の専門は言語学ですので、その知識が生かせる「 」、と思い、応募いたしました。文法に詳しいので、...
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393 views

How to use やんの?

Here is an example from the comic GANTZ. (This should be fair use of the image at least in the US as it's for scholarly commentary.) It's easy to tell that emphasis is being added, and the speaker is ...
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866 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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what is the difference between 暖かい and 温かい?

what is the difference between 暖かい and 温かい?
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943 views

How is 〜んじゃない different from 〜じゃない?

Is it possible to say ~んじゃない? If it is, how it differs from ~じゃない? In what situation I should use ん/の for it, and what does ん/の express? Examples: [~い + ん] いいんじゃない 行きたいんじゃない 吸えないんじゃない ...
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205 views

Can 物 be added to any word to make it mean “things?”

I keep seeing examples of words where 物 is tacked on the end to mean "things." 食べ物, 飲み物, つまらない物, etc. Are there any restrictions as to what can precede 物? Can I, for example, say something like 青い物, ...
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289 views

What does 意外と mean?

I heard the expression [意]{い}[外]{がい}といい in a video. I know that 意外に expresses something you didn't expect: 意外においしいよ。 It's delicous! (and I didn't expect that) Why did I hear 意外と instead of 意外に?...
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161 views

When do you use -san about a company?

I assume you don't -san about the company or organization that employs you, on the grounds it'd be akin to using it about your own family members. But when is it usually used? Is it merely when you'...
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what is the difference in the nuances / usage of 気に病む and 心配する ?

I was wondering what is the difference in the nuances / usage of 気に病む and 心配する ? (E.g. If I want to tell my friend not to worry about a test (albeit an important test), is it more appropriate to use ...
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292 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" ...
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97 views

Difference between 土日 and 週末

Well just as the title indicates, I've heard in a game the word "土日" used and translated as "weekend", and wanting to learn the word since I realized I didn't know it yet, I checked on Jisho, but the ...
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165 views

Is 忝い(かたじけない) used in contemporary language?

I'm currently watching Rurouni Kenshin, and Kenshin says 忝い(かたじけない) a lot to express his gratitude. I looked it up a little and based on this it seems like it's old Samurai language, but I wonder if ...
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391 views

Is there any difference between 意外に and 意外と?

I hear 意外に and 意外と used frequently to mean "moreso than I thought." They seem to be interchangeable. Example: 意外と簡単でした = Easier than I thought Are they both grammatically correct? Is there a ...
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the difference between じゃん (jan) and だろう/でしょう (darou/desho)

I would like to know what's the difference of じゃん and だろう/でしょう. the meaning I know it's similar, but when I should use each of them? Is it same to say: これはすごいじゃん! = これはすごいでしょう! = これはすごいだろう! ...
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224 views

Does “keigo” cover only the use of honorific/humble/polite elements, or does it cover the full range and choice of what to use and not use?

I'm having trouble putting this question into words, especially short enough to use as the question title, basically I'm confused about what the term "keigo" applies to: Is it just the addition of ...
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72 views

Can お[邪魔]{じゃま}します be used in cases of long-term stay?

So I need to write an email for an assignment where I am an exchange student who is going to Japan and staying at someone's house for a period of time. I want to begin with "thank you very much for ...
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252 views

What's the difference among [停]{と}める、[止]{と}める、and [留]{と}める?

How are they different in meaning and usage? I also would like to see samples of how each can be used in a sentence.
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Difference between 向かう, 向く, 向ける

From my understanding 向ける is transitive and means to face/turn something towards something. 安藤は日本国内から世界に目を向けたのです。 -Andou turned his eyes from inside Japan to the world. 向く on the other hand ...
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947 views

I am struggling with the sometimes conflicting uses of 先

Rikaisama's definition of 先 includes meanings like previous; prior; former; some time ago. However it also includes meanings such as front; ahead; the future; destination. I am struggling to make ...
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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 ...
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translation for “It serves as a good reminder for me”?

After I've say watched a film with some friends (or read a fable or something) and learned something from it, i want to say "It [the teachings of this fable/film] serves as a good reminder for me". I'...
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〜ということ and just 〜こと

I've been trying to learn when to use 〜ということ or just 〜こと, for example: 彼が金を貸してくれた{ということ/ こと}は私は彼に信用されている{ということ/こと}だ。 (The fact that he lent me money means that I am trusted by him.) With the above ...
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そんなの (sonnano), あんなの, (annano) and the like

Several years back, I learned from a free Japanese podcast that referring to something with 'sonnano' or 'annano' is a way of looking down on it / speaking of it as an undesirable thing. There have ...
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572 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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783 views

What does 私たち imply?

I know that 私たち means "we", but in what sense? Does it simply mean the last two people talked about? Or does it always mean the speaker and the listener? So say I'm talking to Shota about Sawako, and ...
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462 views

Do you need です before から at the end of sentence?

バスに乗りましょう。タクシーは高いですから。 or can you simply say タクシーは高いから without the です?
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What is the difference between んじゃない and んだ?

I came across the following sentence: 「…あの犯行予告、俺がやったんじゃないんだけどな。」 I also have English subtitles which translate this phrase as: "I wasn't the one who issued that threat, but no matter." What's the ...
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How to say “Hey hurry up! you'll be late!”?

When we want to say "Hey, hurry up! you'll be late!", which would be more appropriate? : 遅刻するぞ! 遅くなるぞ! any other suggestions?
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Is だ (plain form of です) omittable?

After studying copula verbs だ and です in japanese grammar books by myself a couple of months ago, I was under the impresion that だ is omittable as it is implied by the context. Moving on, I recently ...
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373 views

What's the appropriate 挨拶 for e-mails to a friend and for e-mails to customer service?

Most of the time when I'm composing e-mail in Japanese it's either: A friendly, informal e-mail to a friend A request for tech support or similar customer service When composing these e-mails I ...
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351 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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Correct word for “indeed”

What is the correct translation for "indeed"? I found 実際{じっさい}に and 確{たし}かに. If both are correct, what is the difference?
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What is the difference between 積もる 【つもる】 and 溜まる 【たまる】?

What is the difference between 積もる 【つもる】 and 溜まる 【たまる】? I've found the verbs used like this: 洗濯{せんたく}が溜まる{たまる}。 雪{ゆき}が深く{ふかく}積もる{つもる}。 In this context, are these verbs interchangeable? Can I say ...