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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2
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1answer
88 views

What's the difference between 一番星 and 最初の星?

What's the difference between [一番星]{いちばんぼし} and [最初]{さいしょ}の[星]{ほし} ? Do they both mean the first star in the same context?
8
votes
7answers
2k views

What is the opposite of 初心者?

As in, I want to say veterans/old hats at doing something instead of beginners at doing something. Edit: Thank you for all the responses. I wasn't looking to imply skill, so I think 経験者 is the word I ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

に and verbs that take it with もらう

With verbs that don't take に, the matter is simple: わたしは彼に食べてもらった means 'He ate it for me', with a favour being explicit. But how would handles things with verbs that do take に? Would you say ...
4
votes
1answer
62 views

What is the difference between [為替]{かわせ} and 両{りょう}替{がえ}?

What is the difference between 為替 and 両替? Both mean "exchange". When each of them should be used?
4
votes
2answers
302 views

How do 行く and 来る *really* work?

We have a question on this site, What is the proper differentiation between 来る and 行く?, which does seem to correctly explain the basic general differentiation between 行く and 来る, which is that it is ...
7
votes
2answers
178 views

Difference between 苗字 and 家名?

To put it simply, is there any inherent difference between 苗字 and 家名 ? Since both of these words means "Surname" or "Last Name". Does there a differ in how they are used? Does 苗字 refer to the ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

率直に and 正直に、how do they differ?

I just wanted to know how they were different (tone, formality, implications, etc.).
10
votes
2answers
294 views

What is the difference between 思【おも】い付【つ】く and 思【おも】い浮【う】かぶ?

The words 思い付く and 思い浮かぶ both mean something along the lines of "to come to mind". But I'm not actually sure about the details of when to use one versus the other. Yet, at the same time, they don't ...
6
votes
2answers
124 views

What's the difference between 同然 and 同様?

As in the title, what is the difference between these two? dictionary.goo.ne.jp says: 同然: 同じであること。また、そのさま。同様。 同様: 同じであること。ほとんど同じであること。また、そのさま。 and on the 類語 page these two are listed under ...
5
votes
1answer
252 views

逃げさせる vs 逃す or 逃がす

i know 逃す is like let someone escape (but you tried to prevent it), and 逃がす is let someone escape (but you didn't try to prevent it) How about the causative form of 逃げる, which is 逃げさせる?
4
votes
1answer
191 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?
4
votes
1answer
152 views

の意味は何 versus はどういう意味

What is the difference between の意味は何 and はどういう意味? When asking for the definition of a word, I've been told to use the latter, but I don't know why the former is incorrect.
4
votes
1answer
118 views

Meaning of うち in “無意識のうちの行動なのだろう”

Given the context I think that this sentence means "it's probably an unintentional action". But I am unsure of what meaning/nuance the うち adds here. I am used to seeing うち meaning "while" and that's ...
6
votes
1answer
265 views

Translating volitive expressions in ads into English

I saw this on an advertisement outside the construction site of a company that makes wooden houses: 木{き}の家{いえ}と、暮{く}らそう。 I'm trying to think of a way to translate it other than: Live with a wooden ...
2
votes
1answer
120 views

is it okay to regularly say 気をつけてください to someone departing out?

I just want to ask if it is okay to say to your boss who is going home after work お疲れ様でした気をつけてください or it is impolite? Thank you
2
votes
3answers
208 views

What should “Find. Attack. Exterminate” be in Japanese?

So I wanted to create a Japanese motto for our Esports team, seeing that our entire team are all anime fans. So what is Find. Attack. Exterminate. in Japanese? None of my friends can agree on ...
3
votes
1answer
116 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
2
votes
1answer
109 views

テレビ台 vs テレビ to refer to the physical TV?

To what extent does テレビ refer to the physical TV as opposed to the medium television? In other words, is it correct to say テレビを買う rather than テレビ台を買う? Googling, I find equally many occurrences of ...
3
votes
2answers
128 views

How does one say “I need a place to stay”?

I assume "todomerumono" or 留める物 is the "a place to stay". Something like "留める物が要する"? Since 要する is to need... It's a very direct translation. I'm trying to write stories in Japanese to learn words, ...
3
votes
1answer
143 views

What is the best word for 'may not be attacked'?

I am attempting to translate a D&D character sheet into Japanese, and I am running into difficulty with a line saying that 'the target (of a particular blessing) may not be attacked.' Though I am ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

Difference between ~だろうと and ~でも

Is there a major difference between ~だろうと and ~でも constructions in nuance? Can ~だろうと only be used with question words? I've seen any volitional followed by と for an effect like ~ても, but usually only ...
6
votes
1answer
73 views

How to tell whether a building is 長屋建 or 共同住宅

The 国勢調査 census asks every habitant of Japan to tell whether they live in a 一戸建 (stand-alone house) , a 長屋建(テラスハウスを含む), a 共同住宅, or その他 (other). QUESTION: What is the difference between a 長屋建 and a ...
3
votes
2answers
95 views

What's the difference between 完成 and 完了?

Dictionaries list "completion" as a definition for both of these words. I'm trying to figure out the difference between them. Some online sources say 完成 is used when you finish making something and ...
20
votes
3answers
627 views

What is the difference between 完了 and 終了?

Both 完了 and 終了 seem to have the connotation of finished/complete, but what is the difference, if any, in usage?
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Different ways to say “at least” / 「少なくとも」

I would like to know if there are other ways to say "at least~" (context below), along with the relevant nuances of each way. This is for a piece of writing I'm doing where for the sake of style I ...
0
votes
0answers
41 views

How do you place ga and wa in sentence? [duplicate]

I do not know how to place ga and wa in a sentence. How do you do it is it just like the english words or is it something that has to do with topics a subjects?
1
vote
2answers
101 views

Use of verb ます-stem when て-form seems possible

I saw this line is a song: 時計塔の頂上椅子に座り微笑んでるあなたは I'm curious why it uses すわり rather than 座って? Since it's a sequence of actions I would've thought 座って would be more applicable, but since 座り ...
5
votes
1answer
94 views

「想い人」 and 「恋人」?

Dictionary definitions from my EDICT based dictionary. 想い人​【おもいびと】(n) loved one; lover; sweetheart 恋人​【こいびと】(n) lover; sweetheart I was wondering, since these definitions are nearly the ...
2
votes
2answers
147 views

はずもない、はずはない、はずがない. Difference and meaning

Today listening a song I've heard something I can't understood だけどなれるはずもなくて So i started to gather information about this, but it gets me more confused and furthermore found out two more ...
3
votes
3answers
143 views

What is the difference between 売る and 販売する?

They are "to sell" in meaning and I think we use them in different cases but I don't know. Can anybody help me???
9
votes
1answer
195 views

How do you replace 「お悔やみ」 in condolences to a Japanese Christian?

In Yosh's answer to the question What are the ways to express someone's condolences?, this link states that Buddhist terms should not be used in expressing condolences to a Christian in Japanese: ...
4
votes
2answers
123 views

終了 and 終わり, is there a difference?

I don't think this is a duplicate . . . So can someone tell me if there is a difference between the two? I know they both mean end, but are they interchangeable? I came across this sentence ...
2
votes
1answer
126 views

what is the difference between 気にする, 気になる and 気にかかる?

I'm especially not sure about 気にかかる. for 気にする and 気になる, I think the difference is that 気にする is ''negative'' only while 気になる can also have a positive meaning?
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Does タメ語{ご} mean “casual speech”?

A debate came up on the use of タメ語{ご} in this question, and I thought it was worth its own analysis. The question is, does タメ語 simply mean "casual speech", or does it mean "speech between equals". Or ...
5
votes
1answer
123 views

Difference between 丸 and 輪 for “circle”

Both words mean "circle", although 丸 has also other meanings. But what's the nuance between them?
7
votes
2answers
165 views

When do I use all the words meaning “song”?

There's 歌, 曲, 歌曲, 唄, etc. I was about to give a few example contexts, but in English there really doesn't seem to be more than one way in which we refer to a 'song'. I do see different words being ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Using 伯母 / 叔母 to refer to one's aunt

Is it true that when we see 伯母 it usually (90%) means "parent's elder sister" and sometimes (10%) can be used to refer to the parent's younger sister? On the contrary, when we see 叔母 does it always ...
16
votes
3answers
800 views

Blue blistering barnacles, what is Captain Haddock saying?

For those who might not be familiar with the series Tintin (soon to be in a major motion picture, by the way), there is a character named Captain Haddock who is famous for shouting out colourful ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Have you tried XYZ before?

I English I can ask somebody if they've experienced or sampled a food or drink, or even an activity with this verb: Here try this and tell me if you like it. I tried koregusu once but I didn't like ...
7
votes
2answers
119 views

What is the difference between 石{いし}、岩{いわ} and 岩石{がんせき}?

I'm just a beginner. I think all of them meaning the same, rock. Can anyone explain it for me?
3
votes
3answers
190 views

たくさん vs. 多く vs. 多い when used on verbs?

I'm familiar with the concept of how たくさん、多く、and 多い are used in relation to nouns (多くの人、人が多い、etc.) but I'm still unfamiliar with how you can say the expression "a lot of [verb]". I know, for example, ...
25
votes
4answers
4k views

Usage of たくさん vs. 多い

When do we use たくさん and when do we use 多い? I found both modifiers are used within similar sentences, for example: 人が多かったです 人がたくさんいました I had this impression that 多い is used with countable nouns ...
4
votes
1answer
436 views

How to shorten conjugations of “must” forms without sounding girly?

I know the full conjugations of expressing things that must/must not be done (ex:行かなくてはだめ)and their slang forms (ex:行かなくちゃ) but I've heard the ちゃ sounds like a little girl speaking? If that's true, ...
3
votes
3answers
269 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
253 views

Counter word for prepackaged instant ramen

What would be the most adequate counter word for this type of instant noodles? Like '1 package of ramen'.
7
votes
2answers
644 views

Can そばかす be used to describe a pattern on dog face?

Are these 斑{ぶち} or そばかす? Are freckles (そばかす) in Japanese limited to human? Would it be a mistake to describe a pattern on dog's face as そばかす?
2
votes
2answers
283 views

Meaning of 顔をする?

Does 顔をする mean to make a face or to have a particular type of face? When I looked at the Japanese dictionary definition for する, it was quite confusing since one had ある状態・性質であることを示す compared to ...
7
votes
2answers
344 views

“なし” used for both animate and inanimate things?

I was so surprised to read: 孝行をしたい時分に親はなし。 (paraphrase) When one finally wants to truly fulfill the obligation to his/her parents, they often have already passed away. (note): I would have ...
5
votes
2answers
357 views

What's the difference between [勝負]{しょうぶ} and [試合]{しあい}

I've seen both refered to as "match". Is there some secondary usage or perhaps a connotation or nuance that separates the two?