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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1answer
217 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 ...
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2answers
512 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 ...
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2answers
363 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
328 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. ...
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345 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 ...
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1answer
596 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 ...
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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
697 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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2answers
149 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
144 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 ...
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309 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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2answers
177 views

How do you tell when 持つ is stative or dynamic?

I am confused on how to distinguish if a verb is stative or dynamic when used in a sentence. For example, 持つ appears to have two definitions, one for a dynamic meaning and one for a stative meaning. ...
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3answers
251 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 ...
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2answers
190 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 ...
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1answer
193 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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239 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
179 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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463 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 ...
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2answers
312 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: ...
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4answers
152 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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91 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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243 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 ...
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1answer
140 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
291 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。
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1answer
95 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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391 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
951 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 ...
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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
622 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
853 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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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
196 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 ...
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1answer
95 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 ...
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2answers
154 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 ...
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1answer
94 views

Difference between 友情【ゆうじょう】 and 友好【ゆうこう】

Is there a difference between [友情]{ゆうじょう} and [友好]{ゆうこう}? They both mean friendship in the dictionary. My guess is that 友好 is used to describe more a friendship between countries or organizations. In ...
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128 views

敬語 with and without ~になる

When asking someone politely to, for example, look at something, you can say both ご覧になっていただけますか following the standard 敬語, but you can also say ご覧いただけますか. Is there any particular difference between ...
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2answers
132 views

いる or ある for things attached to living beings

I have been searching the Internet for an answer to this question for while now, but to no avail. If I walk into a room and there's a person there among my friends that I don't know, in English could ...
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1answer
98 views

The difference between するには and する為には

The one answer I have really found says there is no semantic difference. Is there a formality difference? Is する為には more formal than するには?
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1answer
60 views

What is the name for the mixed ingredients in a bowl?

I am writing a recipe in Japanese. The excerpt is given as follows. まず、丼に卵と塩とこしょうと薄切りの玉ねぎを入れて、混ぜる。 フライパンに油を入れて、火をつけて、1っ分ぐらい持つ。 フライパンに「the contents of the bowl」を入れて、5分ぐらい炒める。 The ...
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1answer
158 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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484 views

How to express an exception, being able to do sth. normally, but not today?

I want to express an exception and don't know which sentence would be appropriate. I want to say that I just wasn't able to do it today, but I am able to do it normally. Which of the following ...
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1answer
262 views

What's the difference between 補給, 補充, 補足, 補完?

According to Denshi Jisho, they mean "supplementation" but I wonder if there is any difference in their nuances. Here are some examples where they are used: 小まめに補給することが大切です。 職員の欠員を補充するために広告を出した。 ...
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335 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 ...
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2answers
706 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 ...