The differences between two or more words or phrases and how to select the best one for a given situation.

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2
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1answer
97 views

Difference between 怒り{いかり} and 怒り{おこり}

Both 怒り{いかり} and 怒り{おこり} are nouns and mean "anger". Even the kanji are the same! How can we distinguish these two?
6
votes
1answer
96 views

Polite Way of Saying “I can't…(answer the phone)” (しかねる vs. できない)

I'd like to ask about a polite way to say "I can't (do something for you)". I'm sure the answer will depend on the context, so specifically, I'm curious about how to convey "I won't be able to answer ...
6
votes
1answer
153 views

Desire words: When to use 欲望{よくぼう}, 欲求{よっきゅう}, 欲{よく} and 欲念{よくねん}?

Today I ran into these three desire words, which are defined: 欲 = greed, craving, desire, avarice, wants 欲求 = desire 欲望 = desire, appetite, lust And while searching dictionaries, I also found a ...
7
votes
2answers
163 views

What is the difference between all the weather words: 気象{きしょう}, 天気{てんき} and 天候{てんこう}?

Dictionary (at least Jisho and WWWJDIC) defines them as: 気象{きしょう} = weather, climate 天気{てんき} = weather, the elements 天候{てんこう} = weather They all have quite similar definitions, so I don't quite ...
2
votes
2answers
118 views

How are 超域 and 学際 different?

As I understand it, the word 学際 is usually used to mean "interdisciplinary" when referring to college courses. However, I recently came across the word "超域文化科学" while browsing college websites. In ...
4
votes
1answer
397 views

Can both Hepburn and Kunreisiki romaji be used to write a person's name?

I once asked why there are two input systems to type some of the same letters, like し or つ, which can be written as shi/si or tsu/tu. I was told that both are okay, I could choose the way I like to ...
1
vote
1answer
131 views

Which is the most correct (or common): 話 or 話し?

The meaning of 話, as a kanji, is "tale, talk", but as a word, it means the same as 話し: "Talk; speech; chat; story; conversation." In the official jouyou kanji chart, there's only 話, for the isolated ...
3
votes
2answers
119 views

なったら vs. なると – usage in context

I came across the following exercise – I have to fill in the gap with the correct word that I have to choose from a series of 4. 信号{しんごう}があおに(    )、道{みち}を渡{わた}っていいです。 I eliminated 2 words and ...
1
vote
1answer
267 views

Are programming languages referred to by their English names or do they have Japanese names?

What is the correct way to talk about coding languages in Japanese? Should the original English name be preserved in the following context? トップPythonのコーダー日本2014 Top Python Coder Japan 2014
4
votes
1answer
106 views

What is the difference between ~みたい and ~らしい when expressing similarity or resemblance? [duplicate]

According to this HiNative question, ~みたいだ tends to be used subjectively, whereas ~らしい tends to be used more objectively. This seems to indicate that the difference is the same as that between the 2 ...
1
vote
0answers
59 views

Differences between words for “optimistic” and “pessimistic”

I've been confused for a long time about how certain Japanese words map onto the meaning of "optimistic" and "pessimistic" in English. Specifically, what is the difference between (Optimistic) ...
4
votes
1answer
136 views

Difference between ずっと and いつも

The other day when I was having a brief conversation in Japanese I meant to say "I have always been living here" so I said いつも(the name of my home province)に住んでいます。 The Japanese person I was speaking ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

通{とお}した and 通{つう}じた – usage in context

In 合格できる N3 (page 28), I found the following exercise: 海外{がいかい}旅行{りょこう}で、習{なら}った英語{えいご}が(   )ときは、とてもうれしかった。 1.通{とお}した    2.詰{つ}めた    3.抜{ぬ}けた    4.通{つう}じた I have to fill in with the correct ...
2
votes
1answer
38 views

急{きゅう}に vs.すぐに – usage in context

In 合格できる N3 (page 28), I found the following exercise: うちの子{こ}は新{あた}しいおもちゃ見{み}ると、(    )ほしがる。 1. 急に   2. じっと   3.すぐに   4.しっかり I have to fill in with the correct word. I think it's either 1 ...
3
votes
2answers
102 views

はく and きる or just きる?

Textbook says はく is for stuff you wear below your waist (ジーンズをはいている) and きる for stuff you wear above your waist (T-シャツをきています) But checking for 着る on www.tangorin.com I find 着る defined as to wear (in ...
2
votes
1answer
123 views

difference between 計画を立てる and 計画をする?

Is there any difference between 計画【けいかく】を立てる【たてる】 and 計画をする? In Sou Matome N3, the first one appears as "to make plans", as for the second one (being a suru verb), I assume that it can also be ...
3
votes
1answer
134 views

Difference between 超える【こえる】 and 超す【こす】?

こんばんは、皆!(6:25pm in Russia) So, I just got confused by these two words (超える【こえる】 and 超す【こす】). Can someone explain them to me? Do they have the same meaning, or am I wrong?
2
votes
1answer
119 views

Difference between 試験{しけん} and テスト

Both can be test, or they have a different meaning/usage? "試験{しけん}を受ける{うける}."
2
votes
1answer
93 views

Difference between 隠{かく}す and 秘{ひ}める (to hide)

Can someone explain the differences between 隠{かく}す (to hide; to conceal) and 秘{ひ}める (to hide; to keep to oneself) ? These definitions look too similar for me, I'm not sure in which context to use one ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

Difference between 維持{いじ}する and 保{たも}つ (to maintain)

I've learnt two verbs which seem to mean the same thing, and I keep confusing them: 維持{いじ}する (to maintain; to preserve;  to improve) and 保{たも}つ (to preserve; to maintain; to support) Can someone ...
3
votes
1answer
90 views

Difference between 絶叫{ぜっきょう}する and 怒鳴{どな}る (to shout)

I've learnt 2 verbs, 絶叫{ぜっきょう}する (to shout, to scream, to exclaim) and 怒鳴{どな}る (to shout; to yell) They seems to have the same meaning, can someone explain the context in which to use one and the ...
2
votes
1answer
47 views

What's the difference between 参考【さんこう】 and 参照【さんしょう】?

These two words, 参考【さんこう】 and 参照【さんしょう】, seem to be very similar in meaning, and I'm not sure of the difference. They do seem in my experience to be used a bit differently, however. For example: ...
7
votes
1answer
102 views

Are グラス and ガラス alternative spellings of the same word?

As in the title: Are グラス and ガラス alternative spellings of the same word? I'm going through a 2級 prep book for vocabulary and it has ワイングラス = wine glass but ガラスのコップ = glass (for drinking) and ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

When to use XはYより vs XとYとどちらが……?

If I wanted to ask, Which is faster the red car or the blue car? I could phrase it as: 赤い{あかい}車{くるま}は青い{あおい}車より速い{はやい}ですか?  or 赤い{あかい}車{くるま}と青い{あおい}車とどちらが速い{はやい}ですか? But when would I use ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Translation help- which word あまり is effecting and general implication of the word 方向

あんまり恋愛方向に持って行きたくない So, context: an author's reply to someone asking whether a character of his would have a romance or not. Said character had a few hints of a possible romantic interest in ...
0
votes
2answers
95 views

difference between 妥協{だきょう}and 歩{あゆ}み寄{よ}り (compromise)

I often confuse 妥協{だきょう}(compromise; giving in) and 歩み寄り{あゆみより}(compromise, concession). Can someone explain the differences, when to use one over the other? It seems that there are a lot of other ...
3
votes
1answer
501 views

English for 会心 as a stat in an online game

Simple question, Google Translate and rikaikun translate 会心 as "Satisfaction" or "Congeniality", although if it is in an online game where it is a stat attribute, what do you think would be the best ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

What is the difference between 賢い{かしこい} and 利口{りこう}?

What is the difference between 賢い{かしこい} and 利口{りこう}? For exemple, sentence 1 and sentence 2 have the same meaning? 1.彼は若いが賢いよ。 2.彼は若いが利口だね。 Kotobank.jp explains 賢い{かしこい} through 利口{りこう} ...
6
votes
1answer
124 views

Difference between 証【あかし】 and 証拠【しょうこ】 (proof)

証明{しょうめい}means proof, but in the sense "certification" But 証{あかし} and 証拠{しょうこ}look very similar, meaning "proof, evidence". Would the difference be that 証拠 requires something physical (object), ...
4
votes
1answer
124 views

Difference between 意志{いし} and 志し{こころざし} (will)

I learnt both 意志{いし} and 志し{こころざし}, but am always confusing the two of them. Can someone highlight the differences between those 2 words (and other variants if any) ?
3
votes
1answer
114 views

Difference between 獣{しし} and 野獣{やじゅう} (beast)

I learnt the words 獣{しし} and 野獣{やじゅう} and their definitions look too similar. Can someone explain me the difference between them? While searching more for beast words, I also found that 獣 could also ...
5
votes
4answers
198 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
144 views

How do you say “after all”, in the sense of reaffirming or justifying a previous statement?

For example: "You should wear a jacket. After all, it's snowing out there." "Of course I bought you a present! It's our anniversary after all." I tried an online dictionary but they gave me a lot ...
8
votes
2answers
245 views

What is the difference between 思【おも】い付【つ】く and 思【おも】い浮【う】かぶ?

The words 思い付く and 思い浮かぶ both mean something along the lines of "to come to mind". But I'm not actually sure about the details of when to use one versus the other. Yet, at the same time, they don't ...
0
votes
1answer
140 views

Both 当たり前 and 相変わらず seem to mean “usual” or “ordinary”. What's the difference between them?

What is the difference between [当たり前]【あたりまえ】 and [相変わらず]【あいかわらず】? They both seem to mean “the usual” or “ordinary”.
1
vote
1answer
57 views

What's the word for “life” but with emphasis on the positiveness of life?

I know that 人生 is used for “human life”, and 生命 for “life” in the biological sense. But I want to express that life (whatever) is something good, something positive and I don´t know if it's possible.
2
votes
1answer
80 views

「床屋」と「髪床」の違いは何ですか?

「床屋」と「髪床」と言う単語の意味は何か違いますか? どちらが古いですか?もし両方は古かったら、今の時代に「美容院」以外に髪を切る場所に関して何の単語を使ったほうが良いですか? よろしくお願いします。
1
vote
1answer
183 views

can one be “さびしい” without being “かなしい”?

Can someone be "さびしい" without being "かなしい"? I assume that one can be "かなしい" without being "さびしい". If this is not true, please explain. I don't think I've heard "かなしい" so much in conversation. Are ...
2
votes
1answer
89 views

Difference between ベッド and 寝台

Both of them mean bed and they target the same wiki page. I mostly see ベッド, so I guess it is the common word for bed. In which case should I use 寝台 ?
0
votes
0answers
101 views

About the literal translation of a phrase [duplicate]

The phrase it's this: "士郎の理想、英雄となった姿があなたではないのですか。" I understand it literally as "The ideal of Shirou, the figure that became a hero, are you not you?" It's right?
2
votes
3answers
228 views

It seems “hard deadline” can be translated to 厳しい締切. Would “soft deadline” then be translated as 厳しくない締切?

I have searched long and hard for a dictionary translation of "soft deadline" to no avail. Google Ngram shows that it has peaked in popularity in the last three decades, so it's relatively new. I ...
3
votes
3answers
115 views

Reason for 「のか」 and 「かもしれません」 in 「何を言っているのかわからないかもしれませんけど」

One time I was formulating sentences on a website, to practice my Japanese and get natives to correct them. I had written 「何が言ってわかりませんけど」 which I now understand was wrong, but when they corrected my ...
4
votes
1answer
294 views

Describing a woman with きれい vs. 美しい{うつくしい}?

Please consider these two sentences (彼女 is a woman): 彼女はきれいです。 彼女は美しいです。 My sense is that #1 and #2 have the same meaning. Pronouncing きれい is easier, so I have just always said #1. And, ...
6
votes
1answer
131 views

Why does this text use both 下さい and ください in the same context?

After a trip to Japan, I got a slip stapled to my passport, the first bullet point of which reads: 活字体で記入して下さい。黒色又は青色のペンで記入してください。 "Please type or print clearly. Write by using black or blue ...
0
votes
1answer
207 views

Difference between 日{に}本{ほん} and 来{らい}日{にち}

What is the difference between 日{に}本{ほん} and 来{らい}日{にち}? Both of them means Japan right? I understand that 来{らい} means next, like 来{らい}年{ねん}. But above context is interesting to me.
2
votes
0answers
168 views

Proper usage of 語 and 言語 and 言葉 when speaking about someone's language

Japanese language is 日本語. But if I want to say The language of Japanese people - should I write 日本人の言{げん}語{ご}? And if I want to say the same about animals, for example cat - like cat's language - is ...
7
votes
1answer
217 views

Difference between ごめんください and お邪魔します

On a recent question, 非回答者さん wrote the following comment: Tokyoites say ごめんください all the time when entering another person's home. I cannot even think of another phrase that could replace it. ...
13
votes
3answers
680 views

Proper answer to 「何名様ですか」

I have a question about how to properly answer a question. At restaurants, the hostess will often ask 「何名様ですか」 ("How many in your party?") For example, if you have four people in your party, is it ...
5
votes
1answer
197 views

Respectful way to say “policeman”

Let's say I want to call a policeman, or I am in a n-person conversation involving a policeman and I want a word to refer to the policeman. And let's say I want a respectful word. I believe おまわりさん ...
4
votes
1answer
256 views

after saying “ありがとう” to someone, they can't renege without hard feelings?

In the thread titled usage cases for 「ありがたい」? many very good answers were given. However, one issue that was not addressed was (when speaking formally) whether ありがたい brings an end to the thought. What ...