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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

9
votes
1answer
802 views

Aren't がる and たがる the same thing?

In my JLPT practise book, it has two different entries, one to explain がる and one to explaining たがる. It offeres these example sentences to differentiate them: うちの子{こ}は新{あたら}しいものを見{み}ると、すぐほしがる。 ...
11
votes
4answers
911 views

に vs で again: 前に vs 後で

Following the current trend of pitting the particles に and で against each other, here is another question that does the same but from another type of usage and perspective. When we want to say "do X ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the difference between に and で when speaking of time of an action?

What's the difference between に and で when speaking of the time of an action? I know に is very specific about time, but I'm not sure when, or how to use で. Can で only be used in certain instances? ...
18
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
205 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Polite Way to Ask “How old are you?” : 何歳 , いくつ ,年齢 , ご年

I think the sentences: 何歳ですか? いくつですか? 年齢は? お年は? are all sentences that ask "How old are you?" How are they different? What form is most polite?
3
votes
3answers
93 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
373 views

What is the origin and usage of the word いい?

According to Denshi Jisho, いい and よい share the same kanji, and that both roughly mean "good". Why are there two different pronunciations despite the similarity, and what are some ways to figure out ...
4
votes
1answer
281 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, ...
16
votes
6answers
1k views

How should I select what first-person pronoun to use?

I've always had trouble choosing which first person pronoun to use - 私 (watashi), 僕 (boku), or 俺 (おれ). What kind of factors should I keep in mind when choosing between these? Is it common to vary ...
5
votes
1answer
122 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
194 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
157 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
106 views

Differences in usage between 撮る{とる} and 写す{うつす}、写る{うつる}?

Differences in usage between 撮る{とる} and 写す{うつす}、写る{うつる} ?
4
votes
1answer
245 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
203 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. ...
5
votes
1answer
171 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
491 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
129 views

Difference between 貸す and 貸し出す

What is the difference between 貸す and 貸し出す? Please explain it to me. Thank you!
6
votes
1answer
161 views

What's the difference between 値段 and 価格

They're both "price", but I don't see the difference. Even the Kanji appear to suggest similar meanings. Thanks for any advice!
4
votes
3answers
373 views

How can I say “very little” in Japanese

I've being studying Japanese over 3 years by now, but I don't think I've ever encountered a phrase to express "very little", like in a humble "I know Japanese language very little". Can I say ...
6
votes
1answer
143 views

Difference between ヒーター and ストーブ

I have a question about the words ヒーター and ストーブ. I understand that they are both used to heat rooms. However, I am not sure exactly the difference between the two. A Yahoo answer in Japanese says ...
3
votes
1answer
213 views

Other words for and familiarity of 桜でんぶ?

I have some questions about 桜でんぶ/おぼろ. As I understand, 桜でんぶ is the name for the pink, fluffy stuff in sushi made from fish. My questions are: 1) Are there any other common words for 桜でんぶ? I read ...
3
votes
3answers
204 views

Differences between 勉強する、習う、学ぶ and 学習する?

What is the difference between 勉強する, 習う, 学ぶ, and 学習する? I've read some explanations in another questions but It's not clearly enough. Please help me to understand these. Thank you.
4
votes
2answers
400 views

Asking a negative question

I've heard that it is supposed to be "less demanding" (or something in that regard) to ask a negative question when you're asking for a favor or anything alike. Let's say I want to turn this sentence ...
6
votes
1answer
97 views

Difference between 授業を受ける and 授業を取る

I've seen both: 授業を受ける 授業を取る Meaning: "Take a class" Is there a difference in usage, nuance, or meaning? For example, if I want to write: He/she will probably take the beginner's ...
3
votes
1answer
76 views

'Get on' a road

In English, when giving directions, there are two possible constructions you can use when telling someone which road to use for a given segment of the trip: 'take', which refers to the entire ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

When women use わ at the end of a sentence, is it different from よ?

My understanding of using わ at the end of a sentence is that it's essentially just for emphasis, just like using よ, and that only women can use it. However, as far as I know, women can, and often do, ...
14
votes
2answers
403 views

Why is “ゼロ” more popular than “れい”?

For the number zero, [零]{れい} is a Chinese origin word that is pretty much familiarized in Japanese. Nevertheless, it seems more popular to use the Western origin word ゼロ, which probably appeared ...
1
vote
1answer
92 views

About 上旬、中旬、下旬 and 始め、半ば、終わり...?

I don't know if the number of days using for six cases above is how many? 3 days or 10 days or...? And moreover, 上旬、中旬、下旬 and 始め、半ば、終わり which is using for month, which is for week and which is for ...
5
votes
1answer
181 views

類 in animal and plant names

It seems that there are a number of animal and plant names that can either be used with or without 類 as a suffix. For example, in case of 'fish' I have seen both 魚類 and 魚 being used to denote the ...
4
votes
3answers
136 views

Which one is correct 会社名前 or 会社の名前?

I'm a beginner in Japanese language. In English, "Company Name" and "Name of Company" are basically the same. In Japanese, are those two the same or different? Which one should I use? 会社名前 会社の名前 ...
14
votes
2answers
291 views

meanings of 「書{か}いてある」 and 「書かれている」

I think that these sentences might have similar meanings: 犬{いぬ}についての記事{きじ}が朝日{あさひ}新聞{しんぶん}に書いてあります。 犬についての記事が朝日新聞に書かれています。 I think that the direct translations are: There is an ...
2
votes
1answer
115 views

How to use はるばる / はるばると in a sentence

はるばる - from afar; over a great distance; all the way I'd greatly appreciate someone telling me what the と at the end of はるばる does to it's meaning, and if it affects the words' location in a ...
8
votes
3answers
253 views

Is おつかれさん “correct” Japanese to address to someone of lower status?

I have noticed in various environments that some people will sometimes, when speaking to someone of lower status, say おつかれさん instead of お疲れ様. Similarly one might here ご苦労さん instead of ご苦労様. I've ...
0
votes
1answer
94 views

Difference between 闇 (yami) and 怨 (on) [closed]

Do you now what's the difference between 闇 (yami) and 怨 (on) (I think both mean darkness)?
2
votes
2answers
412 views

How do you say “This souvenir is from X” where X is a person or a place?

Would it be correct to say これは日本のお[土産]{みやげ}です to say that 'this souvenir is from Japan'? And if so, can the same form be used to say it's a present from a friend? For example これはよしさんのお土産です ...
3
votes
2answers
127 views

difference between 電卓{でんたく} and 計算機{けいさんき}

Please look at the Texas Instruments TI-108. Is that a 電卓{でんたく} or 計算機{けいさんき}? My guess is that the most basic calculators are 電卓, and that as more scientific functionality is added (like graphing), a ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

で at the end of a word

What impact does the 「で」 add if placed like this: 秋の風は静かで vs. 秋の風は静か or 心配しないで vs. 心配しない
15
votes
4answers
2k views

What is an appropriate response to お疲{つか}れ様{さま}です in non-work situations?

Often times at the gym, when I'm on my way out, covered in sweat, one of the staff will say お疲{つか}れ様{さま}です ("you've worked hard"...?). Usually at work situations, I've often found that saying some ...
9
votes
3answers
388 views

When is the correct situation to use 案外 or 意外?

I think this is a question I should have asked a long time ago.. What is the difference between 案外 and 意外? What does the correct situation look like when using either? Example with 案外: ...
1
vote
2answers
123 views

How would you use 裏切り in a sentence?

I can't find much information on this word. I know that it means "backstabbing" or "betrayal", but there are little to no example sentences which use it. For example, would I use it in a sentence like ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

How do I turn this into “will” form?

I am trying to say "You will not feel good if you eat such food" and this has been my attempt so far: そんな食べ物を食べれば、君はいい感じない How can I express "will not" in this case? Also, any corrections in ...
6
votes
2answers
931 views

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 ...
6
votes
3answers
183 views

What difference is there between ディスカウント and バーゲン?

What difference is there between ディスカウント and バーゲン? In English, the verb "Discount" is commonly used when talking about a corporate store deciding without any negotiation with the buyer to reduce the ...
2
votes
2answers
127 views

What does どうやら mean?

明日はどうやら雨らしいよ。 It looks like it's going to rain tomorrow. The English definition given (in Core 6k) is "seems, looks like", but in this sentence and other example sentences I've seen, it's ...
4
votes
3answers
187 views

Email: 「回答」vs「返事」

In the context of email sending, in order to acknowledge an email which is better? 回答有難うございます 返事有難うございます Also, if you have some rules on when to use either, it would be much appreciated!
4
votes
0answers
85 views

What form of adress is 「ボクちゃん」? [duplicate]

In a video game I'm playing, the main character, who is a middle-aged man, and his child-like young friend meet a farmer, who seems to address the younger of the two as 「ボクちゃん」. An example: オレは ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

へようこそ and にようこそ

I've noticed that both へ and に are use with ようこそ. The one I learned first is へ, and it seems like it's more common, but I know に is also used, as in the title NHKにようこそ. When I search BCCWJ, I find ...
7
votes
3answers
437 views

What is the difference between がる and ぎみ?

In one of my study flashcards, I have this sentence: 疲{つか}れぎみだけど生{い}きてます。 Which should translate to something like, "[He] appears worn out but [he's] still kicking." The main point is that in ...