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

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1answer
722 views

Is it cool to use かっこいい in this way?

The other day I was playing sports, and I yelled at a guy for what I thought was a cheap play. However, later, after the game ended and I had chilled out, I realized that I had over reacted. It's ...
3
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1answer
159 views

Asking superior to mark a document with 印鑑{いんかん}

What is the proper way to ask a superior to sign their hanko for approval? When I need a superior to sign their hanko for a routine log (not for reviewing a document or stuff, just routine logging off ...
3
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1answer
156 views

Is “bless” the best translation of 祝福{しゅくふく}?

As far as I understand it, 祝福{しゅくふく} means "bless". I came across it in this sentence, and it struck me as weird: だれもが彼の成功をうらやむと同時に、心から祝福した。 My rough translation is, "At the same time that ...
3
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2answers
142 views

あっけなく vs ものたりなく

I have been going over the JLPT test from 1999 and came across this problem that stumped me. For those planning to take the previous tests as practice you may want to avoid this question. ...
3
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1answer
80 views

ひとこと・いちげん・いちごん - what is the difference?

This is one of my most frequently encountered words and yet outside of specific constructs (e.g. 一言一句{いちごんいっく}) I am never sure if I'm reading it right. How does it stand by itself? Dictionary entries ...
3
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1answer
87 views

Nominalizing する Verbs

When using する verbs, is there a significant semantic/connotative difference between using the bare noun compared to simply adding a nominalizer (の・こと) after the する? 例: 「運転が好きです。」 「運転することが好きです。」 ...
3
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1answer
132 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 ...
3
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1answer
124 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 ...
3
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2answers
141 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
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1answer
174 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 ...
3
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1answer
161 views

What are the differences between 床, 床上, and 床の上?

I think I have an idea of the differences but I'm not sure. My goal was to say "put [something] on the floor". To me, 床{ゆか}の上 sounds the best (not that means anything). For example: 服を床の上に置きます。 The ...
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1answer
164 views

How would you use 化かす?

The dictionary says that it means 'To bewitch.' Could you please give an example of it's use and when you'd use it? Thank you immensely!
3
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2answers
150 views

まま + 放る{ほうる} used for emphasis or are they both needed?

A group of people are talking about the best way to get rid of a monster in their town and one of the villagers says this: 仕方{しかた}あるまい。このまま放って{ほうって}おけば村は[全滅]{ぜんめつ}するかもしれん…。 From what I understand, まま ...
3
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1answer
149 views

Chotto and sukoshi …kudasai?

Is it okay if I say 'sukoshi matte kudasai' instead of 'chotto matte kudasai' ?
3
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1answer
121 views

What is the difference between 酒 and お酒?

I know that adding お makes it honorific, but I want to know how they're used differently.
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1answer
140 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?
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1answer
245 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
174 views

Difference between 軟らかい and 柔らかい

I'm currently doing a study on Japanese homophones and came across 柔らかい and 軟らかい. Most other homophones seem to have noticeable differences in usage (or have explanations online), but I can't seem to ...
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0answers
125 views

水疱 vs 火脹れ vs 水脹れ vs 肉刺

While hitchhiking from Tokyo to Sapporo in the past couple of days I devloped a few blisters on the soles of my feet. I like to learn my vocabulary based on my experience so looked up "blister" but ...
3
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3answers
174 views

Difference between 防ぐ and 予防する

What is the difference between 防ぐ and 予防する ? To me both of them seem to mean "to prevent". A Japanese person once explained to me how they are different but unfortunately I don't remember. Similar ...
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0answers
462 views

私 (watashi) vs 僕 (boku) [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Is it ok for non-japanese to refer to themselves as 僕(ぼく) and if not why? How should I select what first-person pronoun to use? How commonly are "あたし" (atashi) ...
3
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1answer
364 views

超 vs めっちゃ + explanation [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Significance of the kanji 「茶」 in the set phrase 「滅茶滅茶 / 目茶目茶」 {めちゃめちゃ} So, in Kansai they use めっちゃ, and in Kanto 超. But what about the other parts of Japan? And from ...
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3answers
526 views

Is “anyone” 人はいます or 誰でも?

So I ran across this example sentence: 食べている人はいますか? And the translation was "Is anyone eating?" However I thought the sentence would be: 誰でもが食べていますか? Is this correct? Also is Xはいます = is any X? ...
2
votes
2answers
382 views

Choosing the right form of “to dry”

I've come across two different words for "to dry" in my readings: 干す【ほす】 and 乾く【かわく】. I've seen both used to refer to things drying out (e.g. 「白妙の衣干すちょう」 from the 2nd poem in the 百人一首 or 「涙は乾いた」 in ...
2
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2answers
536 views

What is the correct way of saying “third” in different contexts?

What would be the correct way of saying "third" in the following contexts: Chronologically (This is the third time this happens) Ranked (I am the third best player in the world) Other? Maybe other ...
2
votes
3answers
219 views

Is there a non-katakana word for “cash flow”?

If you look up "cash flow" in most dictionaries, it seems the concept is expressed in katakana, キャッシュフロー. However, I was speaking with a Japanese person earlier, and the term was not immediately ...
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3answers
1k views

「覚える」と「思い出す」の違い - what's the difference of oboeru and omoidasu?

I hear both fairly often but i still can't tell the difference and when to use what. I found this answer in yahoo answers but it seems like there is a difference in opinion (?) - not sure, didn't ...
2
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3answers
176 views

Difference between 便利さ and 利便性

If I understand correctly, 便利さ and 利便性 have the same meaning. Is there any difference in nuance or usage? Maybe 利便性 is more formal?
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2answers
125 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 ...
2
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3answers
263 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What is a word meaning “to ask”?

I've needed to use a word "to ask" recently, and the word I decided on was [尋]{たず}ねる. But I have strong doubts that this is actually the right word to use in a situation such as this: I would like ...
2
votes
2answers
308 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
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2answers
157 views

What is the difference in usage of [実行]{じっこう}する and [実施]{じっし}する?

So at my office i see both [実施]{じっし}する and [実行]{じっこう}する used a lot to mean "carry out" a task. Any time I ask a Japanese person they tell me "they are the same". Can anyone tell me any differences ...
2
votes
1answer
108 views

the use of 園地(えんち)、庭(にわ)

I have problem with word use again:) there are these two words 園地 (enchi) and 庭 (niwa)。 as far as I know 'niwa' refers to a garden around the house right? What about 'enchi' does it refer to a house ...
2
votes
2answers
204 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
53 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
113 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
127 views

What's the difference between 限界, 限り, 制限 and 限度

While 制限 seems rather straightforward, the others don't seem as easy to pinpoint to me. What are the differences, and in which cases should I one over another?
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2answers
152 views

How to say “To familiarise onself with”

I've been trying to figure out how to say something like: "I'd like to familiarise myself with XXX before the meeting so do you have any information that you can pass me before hand." (I.e. I have an ...
2
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1answer
121 views

Does using 書き順 sound childish?

Is 筆順 a more professional sounding term?
2
votes
2answers
115 views

What's the difference between 体育 and スポーツ?

This may be my Chinese getting in the way of my Japanese again, but doesn't 体育 and スポーツ both mean "sport"? What are the differences between them, and when is one used over the other?
2
votes
2answers
480 views

How can a friendly person be “hard to approach”?

I have this phrase in my JLPT textbook: 私{わたし}の上司{じょうし}は気{き}さくで近寄{ちかよ}りがたい My translation, which must be incorrect in some way, is, "my superior is hard to approach as he/she is friendly." It ...
2
votes
2answers
169 views

Difference between 延ばす and 伸ばす

As far as I can tell, they both mean something like stretch or extend. When would you use each one?
2
votes
1answer
266 views

“Cleaning”: [掃除]{そうじ} vs. [清掃]{せいそう}

Mostly I've seen 掃除 "souji" for "cleaning". Here recently I noticed an anime had a floor-sign for "closed for cleaning" using 清掃 "seisou". What's the difference? Looking at the kanji didn't help ...
2
votes
2answers
428 views

Is there a difference between these words for “hero”?

I've learned that hero could be translated as: ヒーロー えいゆう ゆうしゃ けっし Aside from ヒーロー (which seems just to be roumaji version of hero), is there any usage difference among them?
2
votes
1answer
380 views

What is the difference in terms of grammar between ~かける and ~っぱなし?

Spawned from What is the difference in terms of grammar between きり and っぱなし?; I started thinking about ~かける. Don't these essentially mean the same thing? I'm failing to see any difference except ...
2
votes
2answers
693 views

ホワイトデー: use ハッピー or おめでとう?

When wishing a woman a happy White Day, would I say ハッピーホワイトデー, or ホワイトデーおめでとう, or are both ok? If both forms are used, do they have a slightly different nuance, such as "have fun on White Day today ...
2
votes
1answer
294 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
105 views

Are けもの and けだもの different types of beasts, or simply two variants of the same word?

Both けもの and けだもの are written in kanji as 獣, but is the beast with 'だ' inside more brutal than the one without 'だ'? Or are they simply two variants of the same noun, thus they refer to exactly the ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

“again” word: 二度{にど}, 再び{ふたたび} - usage, difference

Do they mean the same thing when used as a sequence word ("again, a second time") or is there any difference (apart from 二度 also being used to mean "two times")?