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

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2answers
120 views

Difference between こぼれる and あふれる

What is the difference between the two words こぼれる and あふれる? I think for こぼれる, the focus is on improper or bad containment leading to overflow/spillage. And for あふれる the focus is on the abundance of ...
4
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2answers
110 views

Sprachgefühl corresponding word in Japanese

I am looking for a one-word, or maybe a two-word comparable word Sprachgefühl/Sprachgefuhl in Japanese. According to this: Sprachgefühl 言葉が持つ本来の語法に対する直感的な感覚. Meaning: an intuitive feeling for ...
4
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2answers
84 views

Company officer

I saw in an app the word in Japanese is kaishain, but when I looked up in dictionary, it said shain. What is the difference?
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2answers
302 views

Is there a difference between 'futari' and 'futari-domo'?

What is the difference between 'futari' and 'futari-domo'? Also, is 二人共 the correct way to write 'futari-domo'?
4
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2answers
150 views

嘘ついてたんだ vs 嘘ついたんだ

I saw this being said in a drama, when A said to B, 嘘ついてたんだ and the translation was "So you lied!". My question is, why is it 嘘ついてたんだ and not 嘘ついたんだ? Thanks. Edit: How to tell the difference ...
4
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3answers
210 views

「Vていった」 v.s. 「Vてきた」 in the case of 「お花しおれてっちゃった」

In the animated film Spirited Away, there is a line (00:00:54) saying: 「お花しおれてっちゃった」, a contracted form of 「お花がしおれていってしまった」. According to this page by 東京外国語大学, the difference between 「Vていった」 and 「...
4
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1answer
216 views

What is the difference between 良い and いい?

Consider the following: 良い yoi — 良く yoku いい ii — よく yoku When typing いい, IME offers 良い in the lookup table. It makes me wonder whether いい is just an alias of 良い but it is pronounced ...
4
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2answers
134 views

Difference between 揃う【そろう】 and 集まる【あつまる】

Could someone please explain a difference between 揃う【そろう】 and 集まる【あつまる】. I dont think they are synonyms but can't see any difference between them? Two example sentences: 駅前【えきまえ】に 人【ひと】が 集【あつ】...
4
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2answers
364 views

In a period of time

What's the best way to express in in the following sentence: I will go in five minutes time. Here's my attempt     五分かいあとで行きます。 Here's another attempt which I have even less confidence in: ...
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1answer
218 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?
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3answers
3k 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 「本当に少し」...
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2answers
517 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 ...
4
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2answers
367 views

The difference between 幸 and 運 as “luck” or “fortune”

I've come across these two kanji in a few cases for "good/bad fortune" and even in combination with eachother. I'd really like to understand if there's a subtle difference that I'm missing so that I ...
4
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2answers
334 views

What is the difference between しかも and それどころか?

しかも is pretty straight forward: 今度、「一番」ってお店のランチに行こうよ。あそこ、すごくおいしんだよ。しかも量もおおいよ。 Let's go get lunch at Ichiban next time. The food is great, also the servings are big. うちの子は天才だよ。ピアノを弾くのが上手だ。...
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1answer
354 views

Difference between words for road

I know the following words that all mean a road of some kind: 道 町 街 路 道路 街路 街道 通り 通り道 What's the difference between all these words? I'd assume size would be one of them, but what is the order if ...
4
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1answer
607 views

Difference between だけで and でだけ?

The だけ meaning "only", and で being the "at/in" particle. When saying "only in/at", does the で come before, or after the だけ? What does it mean, if anything, when it's reversed? Example: "You can only ...
4
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1answer
148 views

Does the word レストラン make saying 中国レストラン strange?

I see that the WWWJDIC emphasizes western style restaurants for the word レストラン. So would there be a better word to use in 中国レストラン?
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1answer
707 views

なった versus なってきた

My friend recently said to me: 眠くなってきた 【ねむくなってきた】 Which, I think means "I became sleepy". But it seems to me that it is the same as saying: 眠くなった How does the addition of きた change this ...
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4answers
179 views

How do you differentiate “nande” (why) and “nande” (how, by what means)?

In a question: Tokyo e nande ikimasu ka? how can I know what "nande" refers to, even when I have the context: how are you going? (by bus, by car, on foot) why are you going?
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2answers
151 views

What is the level of politeness for 我々?

I sometimes hear 我々{われわれ} and 私{わたし}たち for "we", but am at a loss for understanding when I should use one over the other. Any tips?
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2answers
147 views

What is the Japanese term for putting an arm around another's shoulder?

What is the Japanese term for putting an arm around another's shoulder? it is kind of hard, at first I am thinking of 抱きしめる but I think it is more about embracing someone (tightly). Thank you for the ...
4
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2answers
319 views

A self-introduction for academic purposes

I somehow managed to get a MEXT scholarship. Now I've got to make a self-presentation, but I've been struggling with it since I'm more used to reading than writing (which is one reason I could get ...
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3answers
258 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 ...
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1answer
2k views

“I went for a run” - how to say this in Japanese?

I'm an amateur runner and I'm struggling a bit with Japanese vocabulary on the topic of running. The phrase that gives me special trouble is "go for a run". I'm not sure how to convey the meaning of ...
4
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2answers
195 views

On the two words, several pronunciations, and many spellings for “sake cup”

When I was in Okinawa drinking sake I asked my host what the Japanese word for the sake cup was and was told: お猪口{ちょこ} Then today I went to the Nezu Museum in Tokyo which currently has a ...
4
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1answer
195 views

Difference between に and として?

What is the difference between に and として in the following example: お土産にチョコレートをもらった。 お土産としてチョコレートをもらった。 When is one more appropriate than the other?
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1answer
241 views

What's the difference between 学科, 教科 and 科目

I've seen all three used in somewhat similar situations. What are the differences between them, and in which cases should i use one over another?
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1answer
180 views

How to say “running total”?

I've looked around but haven't found a decent way to write "running total" like in the following table. A Running Total 1 1 2 3 1 4 5 9 3 12
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1answer
474 views

What is the difference between these words for “audience”?

What is the difference in usage between these three words for "audience"? 観客{かんきゃく} (audience, spectators) 聴衆{ちょうしゅう} (audience, attendees) 観衆{かんしゅう} (audience, onlookers) The ...
4
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2answers
318 views

What is the metaphorical meaning of 手{て}?

I often see 手{て}, hand, used in a metaphorical sense to mean something along the lines of effort or presence... but I'm not totally sure. For example, consider this sentence: 手を[抜]{ぬ}いて仕事{しごと}...
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1answer
93 views

楽しました vs 楽しめました

Which should I use to say "I had fun"? 楽しました or 楽しめました? Are they both correct?
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3answers
276 views

Meaning of 「これはこれで」, and the difference between it and 「それはそれとして」

I came across the following lines. ・・・俺としては、下駄箱の中に手紙が入っているみたいなほうが好みだった。でもこれはこれで、少なくとも相手が積極的だってことはわかる。 I am wondering about the meaning of 「これはこれで」 here. As one might expect, it does not have any ...
4
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1answer
151 views

Differences between the various readings of 描く and 画く

Are there any differences between the following? 画{か}く 画{えが}く 描{か}く 描{えが}く
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3answers
301 views

How to say 'in 10 minutes' as in 'the bus comes in 10 minutes'?

Would the sentence below make sense? バスがじゅっぷんにきます。
4
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1answer
165 views

Is there a difference between 終わりたい and 終わってほしい

Actually, I'm not even sure, if the ~たい-form of a intransitive verb is possible, or grammatically correct, but I sometimes read 終わりたい or 終わりたくない like for example まだ終わりたくない But from everything I ...
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1answer
96 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 ...
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1answer
393 views

Natural way of saying “Once you take away the unnecessary bits, it works”

In my earlier question "Line of code" in Japanese I was trying to figure out a word for the following sentence: 余計【よけい】な行【ぎょう】を抜く【ぬく】と状況【じょうきょう】が直った【なおった】。 "Once the unnecessary lines ...
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1answer
1k views

Difference between intransitive and passive?

I was thinking about Japanese passive and made the following example 壊すー>壊される which means the be broken But looking at the English definition of to be broken, isn't there another Japanese word for ...
4
votes
1answer
124 views

What's the difference between 「〜とつきあう」 and 「〜につきあう」?

I understand that つきあう means "to hang out with, to date, to keep company…". I've seen it used both with と and with に, but I haven't been able to figure out when to use which. So for example, what's ...
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1answer
630 views

ポイント as percent

In my writing class, I was surprised to learn that ポイント can be used to mean パーセント in graphs. In English, we don't normally call percentage points just points. Does anyone have any background / insight ...
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1answer
2k views

“Postage stamp” word choice

I have two words that I think mean the same thing: 切手 - きって - stamp (postage)/merchandise certificate 郵券 - ゆうけん - postage stamp When I look at some sample sentences, the first one is used for both ...
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1answer
108 views

混信 and 干渉 difference in terms of communications and computing?

I read an article that had the sentence 1.9GHz帯を使うため、ZigBeeやWi-Fiで使われている2.4GHz帯の機器と干渉しないことが特徴。 I previously learned that 混信 means "interference" or "jamming". I saw this word used often. I'm ...
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1answer
887 views

Why is 自分 used instead of 私?

For example: 自分の名前が呼ばれたとき、私は自分の耳を疑った。I couldn't believe my ears when I heard my name called. Would it be appropriate if I said 私? When is it appropriate to use 自分? What is the difference?
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2answers
153 views

What is the nuance of 解{げ}す?

Today in my JLPT text book, I came across the word 解{げ}す. I know that the kanji 解 means "unravel", and it can be read 解{わか}る, and with that reading it's synonymous with 分{わ}かる, "to understand". When ...
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2answers
327 views

Difference between Noun+な and Noun+だという

I came across this sentence: 四月だというのに、結構寒いね。 "It is April, but it is rather cold isn't it?" Recalling what I learned about the のに conjunction, I can also make the sentence: 四月なのに、結構寒いね。 (...
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1answer
98 views

The difference between 「人文科学」 and 「社会科学」

I want to know the different between these two words. The meaning is the same which is social science. So, what is the difference? Edit: Sorry for confusing question. I mean the different usage.
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3answers
200 views

Looking for expressions similar to なるほど or やっぱり for situations that are opposite of speakers' previous suspicion

This is an extension of the question: Using 「なるほど」 {naruhodo} and 「やっぱり」 {yappari} in the same situation From what I understood from the answers to the question above, なるほど and やっぱり imply the speaker'...
4
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1answer
270 views

Is 生まれてくる an active thing, and how to translate it?

For the birth of our son, we received a very nice card saying: うまれてきてくれて ありがとう While I entirely understand what it says, it seems impossible to express that exact meaning with the same nuance ...
4
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1answer
100 views

Differences Between 蘇生する and 蘇る

I'm trying to understand the difference between 蘇生する{そせいする} and 蘇る{よみがえる}. My research thus far tells me that 蘇る is intransitive and can be used for recalling memories in addition to the mutual ...
4
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2answers
170 views

興味を持っている vs 興味がある

Is there a difference between 興味を持っている and 興味がある? With physical objects I understand how the latter is more passive, but what about for abstract nouns like 興味? For example in the sentence 片岡さんは、...