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

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5
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1answer
93 views

Difference between 北辰 and 北極星

In Japanese, I found two common translations of the English word "north star/polaris". 北辰 北極星 Could someone tell me the difference between the two? I saw that 北辰 is used for the design on the ...
0
votes
1answer
100 views

Is this sentence correct?

I'm trying to say this in Japanese: "Woe be to those who near the swamp." I wasn't really sure how to go about this, but I came up with this: それらのための災いは誰が沼に行きます Woe for those who go to the ...
4
votes
2answers
141 views

What is the difference between 危ない and 危うい?

I came across this question, and found the same meaning in the dictionary for both options (a-危ない) or (b-危うい) ですから 下がってください however the answer booklet says it is (a-危ない), what is the difference? ...
2
votes
2answers
141 views

明日が/明日は, what's the difference?

I know it's a complicated grammar concept that even Japanese don't fully get, but I'd like to know what's the difference between 明日は火曜日です and 明日が火曜日です They way I understand it, in the second ...
3
votes
1answer
106 views

What is the difference between ~あろうが and ~あろうと?

I'm writing a report for a class, and at first I wrote:  […]どのような批判があろうが[…] But then I sat back and thought, maybe it should actually be:  […]どのような批判があろうと[…] But now I'm not sure if ...
7
votes
1answer
94 views

Differences and similarities between 係 and 担当

I have some questions about the difference between 係 and 担当. Do these words have the same meaning? Basically, can they be used interchangeably as "the person/group in charge of something"? I know ...
5
votes
2answers
105 views

what is the difference between [法度]{はっと} and [法律]{ほうりつ}?

To add a bit more to my question, I'm wondering if the words are used interchangeably, or if 法度 has more a sense of law that is set up to ban or prohibit something? Is 法度 a commonly used word?
6
votes
1answer
426 views

How impolite is it to call a waitress お姉{ねえ}さん?

Were I in a situation where I want to get the attention of a waitress in a noisy restaurant, I kind of feel like calling-out: "お姉{ねえ}さん、すみませんが、ビールもう一本お願いできますか?". I think that I've seen this done in a ...
6
votes
2answers
181 views

電話する or 電話をする to form the verb

I'd like to know if there is any difference between 電話する and 電話をする, if they mean the same, or if 電話をする doesn't even exist. I ask this because in an exercise in my book it says to use をする with 電話 to ...
4
votes
3answers
178 views

How to say “rough year” or “rough time”?

I want to say "it was a rough year", but I'm not sure how to put it. I thought of "難しい年頃" which I understand means "difficult age", normally used to describe the rebel age of kids. How do people ...
7
votes
3answers
108 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
110 views

Still trying to get my head around に and で

I've been trying to understand those two particles when applied to these phrases: 私は朝ご飯にお茶を飲みます 私は朝ご飯でお茶を飲みます 私は朝ご飯の時にお茶を飲みます What I more or less undersand is: the only/main ...
3
votes
1answer
201 views

Why don't 私 and 朝飯 go together?

Earlier, I asked a question with the following examples: 私は朝飯のみに茶を飲む 私は朝飯のみで茶を飲む I was told in a comment that 私 and 朝飯 sound funny together. Why is that so?
3
votes
2answers
373 views

に/で as time particles. What's the difference?

I've read a post on this topic, but really not sure of the difference when applied to something like this: 私は朝飯のみに茶を飲む 私は朝飯のみで茶を飲む From what I read, I'm guessing one of them is incorrect, as に ...
2
votes
2answers
152 views

Difference between こんにち and きょう

My dictionary says 今日(きょう) is a special reading. My textbook presents it in the third lesson, so I'm guessing it's a normal pronunciation. So... what's the difference between 今日(こんにち) and 今日(きょう)?
3
votes
1answer
79 views

年休 vs. 有休/有給 as paid time off work

I have heard both terms, 年休{ねんきゅう} and 有休{ゆうきゅう} (or occasionally 有給), used to describe paid vacation time, or 年次有給休暇{ねんじゆうきゅうきゅうか}. In my situation it's always been 年休, but I know people just a town ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

Difference between 朝御飯 and 朝飯 [duplicate]

Is there any difference between them? One more formal than the other maybe?
1
vote
2answers
271 views

Expressing control over circumstances—or a lack of it

If someone is discussing a situation, and how it is beyond their control, what would be the most natural way to express this? The two options that come to mind offhand are to use either 操る【あやつる】 ("to ...
2
votes
1answer
123 views

Difference between 区別 and 差別

What is the difference between 区別{くべつ} and 差別{さべつ}? I looked them up in my Japanese to Chinese dictionary, but the dictionary defines them to be "difference", to put it literally.
3
votes
3answers
656 views

How to say “surprising” in Japanese

I saw this link - When is the correct situation to use 案外 or 意外? It taught me a new word (案外) and explained its difference from 意外 well. But it's other words that have me confused. 意外 and 驚くべき. Both ...
12
votes
2answers
910 views

What do you call young animals in Japanese?

In English we have a lot of very specific words for many animals. Male foxes are known as reynards or tods, female foxes are known as vixens, and baby foxes are known as kits. It's not an isolated ...
10
votes
2answers
551 views

What's the difference between 図る、測る、計る、量る、諮る、謀る?

These six words are all pronounced はかる, and many are listed under the same definitions in dictionaries. What are the difference between these words?
4
votes
1answer
91 views

What's the difference between these two words for “efficiency”? 能率/効率

These two words both seem to mean "efficiency", but is there any difference in their meaning and usage? From reading around a bit, I have gathered this. Is this correct? Could someone please explain ...
10
votes
2answers
183 views

住んでいたい and 住みたい

Can anyone tell me, what is the difference between 住んでいたい and 住みたい? Both seem to be valid words.... But I'm unsure which I should be using.
5
votes
1answer
73 views

What's the difference between 建てる and 築く?

I recently came across the word 築く, meaning "to build", but I already knew a word for it, 建てる. Looking a bit further into it, 築く seems to include the figurative meaning of "build" as well, such as in ...
5
votes
3answers
222 views

How to say “all in all”

I have been many times blocked in a conversation because I have no way to translate "all in all" in those general contexts: All in all it takes 15 minutes to get there All in all this movie was ...
7
votes
2answers
160 views

Word difference question - reply (返事 vs 返信)

A simple questions here on word usage. For reply I have always used 返事. Today however a friend mailed me and said 返信. This word is new to me. How does it differ?
1
vote
1answer
84 views

さて vs. そして: When should you use one or the other?

The title pretty well summarizes the question. さて vs. そして: When should you use one or the other? How are they different? To me, they come across as being used very similarly, at least when at the ...
4
votes
3answers
109 views

Difference between the words for “living/residing” [住む/棲む/泊まる/暮らす]

I have come across various words meaning "living/residing". What are the differences between them and their usage? I've listed what I think are the difference. Are they correct? 住む: Live in some ...
2
votes
1answer
111 views

むやみに equivalents : 勝手に vs よく考えないで

Working on practice problems for JLPT N1, had the following sentence: むやみに 知らない人に話しかけないほうがいい。 Correct answer per the book is よく考えないで. Incorrect answer per the book 勝手に Can someone tell me why the ...
4
votes
1answer
505 views

The different meanings of “life”? 生気/生活/ライフ/生命/一生/人生/命

I was looking through a dictionary and came across 生活. My original question was Is this the difference between 生気/生活? 生気 would be like an idea of life. more abstract 生活 would be ...
3
votes
1answer
117 views

Is there a difference between 平和 and 平安

Is it like 平安 is used mainly when talking about the 平安時代 or in terms of historical peace?
3
votes
2answers
129 views

What's the difference between 彼【かれ】 and あちら?

The way I understand it 彼【かれ】 means 'that person over there' and あちら also means 'that person over there'
3
votes
3answers
176 views

What is the difference between 護る and 守る?

Is there any difference in meaning between 護{まも}る and 守{まも}る? When there are multiple kanji for a particular reading (like 暑{あつ}い/熱{あつ}い or 初{はじ}め/始{はじ}め), they are frequently used in different ...
1
vote
3answers
164 views

Use of です or あります in the sentence それは椅子

Title says it all. When saying それは椅子 would I use あります or です? I've been using です, but from what I've read, it's used to describe an object, and あります to declare it's existence. So I'm thinking あります ...
4
votes
1answer
91 views

When to use 出て来る over 出る

Here is a sentence from the children's story ももたろう, describing when the child appears from within the giant peach. 桃の中から赤ちゃんが出てきました。 My dictionary lists 出て来る as meaning "to come out" with a note ...
4
votes
0answers
85 views

ゆく used in auxiliary sense - instead of いく?

I'm reading a novel 「キッチン」by 吉本ばなな at the moment and I noticed that she uses ゆく in some places as an auxiliary verb to signify the action progression from here or from now (if my understanding is ...
7
votes
2answers
323 views

Is “義理” the proper term in this case?

I have trained for 25 years with a local (European) Aikido master, but now I have to move, albeit temporarily, to another town, and I would like to give a gift to my teacher to represent the "debt" I ...
4
votes
2answers
89 views

When do I have to use 午{ご}前{せん}中{ちゅう} and 朝{あさ}?

I am confused with the usage of 午前中 and あさ. When should they be used properly? 明日のあさに銀行で口座を開きます。 明日の午前中に銀行で口座を開きます。
9
votes
3answers
308 views

Preferred beginner's term for “flight”?

Since my flight home from Japan is soon approaching I thought I had better learn the word for "flight". It seems to be one of those words that has several Japanese equivalents. I'd like to know the ...
5
votes
1answer
124 views

Should I use スタート for “start a new game” or something else?

I want to say, "Are you sure you want to start a new game?" (I'm developing a game for Japanese users, and this question is asked when it finishes.) I'm not sure whether スタート is the correct word to ...
6
votes
1answer
147 views

よると or よれば? Which one is “according to”?

I read some of your post (very very helpful!) and I was wondering if you could write a post about the difference between よると and よれば. Which one is used to mean "according to"?
4
votes
1answer
120 views

What are the differences between 衣類, 衣服 and 服

While I see 衣類 and 衣服 as more general concepts in comparison to 服, I am very unsure of the difference between them. What situations explicitly call for one over the other? In what situations are ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

Talking about system scalability in Japanese

I work at a big IT company in Japan. I'm currently working on a scalability project, that is a project to increase the capacity of a web application. 1) How do express "scalability" in Japanese to a ...
1
vote
2answers
66 views

分類{ぶんるい} / 種類{しゅるい} / 類い{たぐい} ~ “kind” / “sort” / “type”

I realized I didn't know the Japanese word for the concept which has three very interchangeable words: "kind", "sort", and "type". By looking in my usual resources such as WWWJDIC, English ...
3
votes
1answer
113 views

When do I use できます as opposed to わかります in a sentence?

I know the difference in meaning between the two: できます being "to be able to" or "can do", and わかります being "to understand how to" or "to know". I also know a simple sentence structure for both: "Person ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

遣{つか}う vs. 費{つい}やす

Recently I wanted to learn the equivalents to the common money-related verbs of English such as buy, pay, sell, and spend. I found two words for "spend" and would like to know what the difference is ...
4
votes
2answers
424 views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
298 views

How do I say “without (noun)” using なしに or なしで?

I know how to say "without" when it comes to verbs using 〜ないで. But I was wondering how to use "without" when it comes to nouns. For example: I left without my wallet. or I left without my ...
3
votes
1answer
134 views

How does one express “late” or “lateness”?

So I know that おそい, ちこく, and おくれる all can mean late. But I don't know what context to use which in. Can I just swap おそくなります, ちこくする, and おくれる at will?