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
111 views

Dangerous driving: “queue de poisson” in Japanese?

How to call it when a vehicle that just passed you gets back in lane too early, forcing you to brake, or even causing an accident? See this Diagram. This can also happen when a vehicle overtakes and ...
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1answer
177 views

Difference between お腹を空かす and お腹を空かせる

Is there any difference between お腹を空かす and お腹を空かせる? I get they both mean to become hungry (literally empty the stomach). 空かせる is the potential form of 空かす, but that doesn't make sense here. ...
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2answers
863 views

What's a nice way to say “fingers crossed”?

What's a nice way to express any of the following - "Let's keep our fingers crossed" "I'll keep my fingers crossed!" (We / I) (are / am) keeping (our / my ) fingers crossed"
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1answer
191 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?
5
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1answer
187 views

What is the difference between using を and と with the verb 言う?

I apologize if this is a basic question, but it's something I've never been entirely clear on. When using the verb 言う (to say), I can never figure out whether to use the particle -と or the particle ...
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2answers
101 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?
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1answer
545 views

Differences between いよいよ / やっと / ようやく / ついに and とうとう

I've come across these words which can all mean "finally". What I'd like to know is how they differ in usage [nuance and formality]. Below are their respective entries in the 研究社 新和英大辞典 第5版. いよいよ 1 ...
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1answer
336 views

How do you correctly use 'gesu' 下種/下衆/下司?

下種/下衆/下司 are all pronounced "gesu." According to various dictionaries "gesu" can be used to describe a sleazebag, a humble person, or a petty official. How can one differentiate between which to ...
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2answers
222 views

What is the most accurate (literal) translation of でしょう?

I understand the concept of でしょう. All my books say that it is like saying "probably". I have also been told that it is more accurately a means of adding doubt to a statement to seem less assuming and ...
4
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1answer
166 views

What's the difference between 以後 and 以降

I've seen these words used in the following sentences: 以後: それ以後彼女に会っていません 以降: それ以降彼は辛い一生を送った Judging from these examples alone, I guess they have some kind of overlap. When is it appropriate to ...
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1answer
186 views

What's the difference between ~しか~ない and ~だけしか~ない?

Two ways of expressing 'only' in Japanese are だけ + positive verb and しか + negative verb. For example, the following sentences both translate to something like 'I drank only tea'. お茶だけ飲んだ (1) ...
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1answer
181 views

Difference in usage between exclamations: クソ vs. しまった

I apologize in advance for the possibly vulgar language, but I am asking purely from an academic perspective. My understanding is that both クソ and しまった translate roughly to the English "damn" when ...
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1answer
268 views

When choose の/こと or というの/ということ

I'm studying nominalizers and don't understand when to use の/こと and when to use というの/ということ. For example, in the sentence: こんなによく[遅刻]{ちこく}をするというのは[問題]{もんだい}ですよ。 Could I say: ...
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2answers
156 views

What is the difference between 要するに and つまり?

I read that 要するに and つまり are not always interchangeable. Still, I don't really understand the difference between the two...
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1answer
162 views

であります compared to でいます

It might sound like a silly question, but I am just asking for interests sake... I already understand how to use them in which situation. If you were to say 田中さんは先生でいます, it would mean that Tanaka ...
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1answer
248 views

What is the difference between [利用]{りよう}, [活用]{かつよう}, [使用]{しよう} and [用]{もち}いる?

I feel 活用 has some kind of feeling of "put to the use", as a politician would use his charm in a campaign. The other three seem confusing to me, however. What are the differences?
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1answer
92 views

Difference between 検索する and 探す

I have always stuck with [探]{さが}す for "search", but in an anime I heard one of the characters say インターネットを[検索]{けんさく}おねがいしてもいいですか。 I suspect that one of the differences is that 検索 is more likely ...
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2answers
156 views

What's the difference between 治す and 治る?

My dictionary says they are both cure/fix, so I am wondering what the difference is and how to use them? Is it an active/passive difference, or transitive/intransitive? Or just a subtle nuance? I ...
2
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1answer
112 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
156 views

Talking about people

first time asking a question on here. What is the difference in meaning between 人々、人物、人、人類、人間 and if you know any others it would be nice to include those too. How do you use them properly?
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2answers
236 views

Are there differences between 自動車{じどうしゃ} and 車?

According to the dictionary, both of these terms refer to the same object: car/automobile. Now, I understand that 車 is also used in compounds to provide the "vehicle" part as in 電車, but I'm just ...
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2answers
150 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?
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2answers
269 views

What's the difference between 済む, 終わる, 出来る and 上がる

I've seen all four used in the context of something being finished. What's the difference between them?
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2answers
273 views

Difference between 〜っぽい, 〜がち, and 〜やすい?

From what I understand, 〜っぽい, 〜がち, and 〜やすい all seem to suggest that someone has a general tendency towards doing something. It seems that 〜っぽい and 〜がち can attach to a noun or to the 連用形 of a verb, ...
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2answers
228 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?
2
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3answers
164 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 ...
2
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3answers
682 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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2answers
129 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 ...
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2answers
115 views

The usages of 厚い and 篤い

From what I read, 厚い is used when something is thick or abundant and 篤い is used when describing a serious illness. But what confuses me is that in a dictionary (Tagaini Jisho) both of these are in the ...
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4answers
445 views

Usage of お[冷]{ひや} & お水

I just went out for lunch with a friend and when the waiter asked what we want to drink, I ordered 'お[水]{みず}下さい' whereas I noticed my friend asked for 'お[冷]{ひや}下さい'. Which expression would be more ...
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5answers
1k views

Difference between 忘れてた and 忘れちゃった

Who knows the difference between 忘れてた and 忘れちゃった? In what kind of situations you use each of those?
2
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2answers
283 views

Difference between 移る, 引っ越す and 引っ越しする

I originally learnt 引っ越す to mean "to move house", but my textbook recently told me "移る" was also "to move house". Flaw also mentioned that 引っ越しする meant that too in chat, but that just looks like ...
3
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1answer
211 views

What is the difference between 有用(yuuyou) and 便利(benri)?

As far as I know both words could be used to describe usefulness/handiness/conviniency of something. What are the main differences between them? In particular, what are the use patterns for these ...
2
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1answer
133 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. ...
3
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1answer
108 views

Is 「てまえ」an informal way of referring to someone?

I was recently flipping through a copy of the [新宿]{しんじゅく}スワン manga and seem to recall a senior figure talking to a junior character, referring to them multiple times as 「てまえ」. It caught my attention ...
6
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1answer
167 views

What's the difference between 食品 and 食料

I can't quite figure out the differences between these two. I would guess that 食料 is only used in situations, where the only thing that matters is that the food is there or not there (As in, searching ...
5
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1answer
142 views

What's the difference between 売店 and 商店

Is 売店 more used for smaller stuff, like a stand? I'm finding it hard to pinpoint the exact difference.
3
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1answer
126 views

What's the difference between 見解 and 意見

I've been unable to find the difference from example sentences online. Is it a matter of formality? Something completely else?
5
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3answers
334 views

What's the difference between [上]{あ}がる and [上]{のぼ}る?

The textbook I'm studying from lists [上]{あ}がる as "to go up", but I've previously learnt that [上]{のぼ}る also means "to go up". Jisho.org only lists "to go up" and any derivations of that as a single ...
4
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2answers
449 views

Is there any difference between じゃあない and じゃない?

これっ! 石を投げるんじゃあないっ! すいちゃったものはしかたがないじゃあないのっ! I've been reading a light novel called Slayers, and I noticed something interesting: the author usually writes じゃあない and not じゃない. I'm curious if ...
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1answer
174 views

What are the differences and usage patterns for 常套句, 言い草, 決まり文句, 諺, and 名言?

This is a little bit of an encyclopedic question, but I would like to know what separates the four expressions in the title, i.e., what separates them when they are close to referring to the same ...
3
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1answer
184 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 ...
3
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2answers
128 views

Question about 仕事 vs. 仕事場

While studying Japanese through Rosetta Stone, I've run across these two sentences: 私は仕事に行きます。 私は仕事場にいます。 I'm confused as to why the first sentence doesn't use "仕事場" since the person is going to ...
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1answer
339 views

Terms for Royalty

Why are there so many terms for royalty? And I'm talking about generic words like "king", "queen", etc. I seem to remember from my studies that certain terminology was used specifically for Japanese ...
7
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1answer
242 views

What's the difference between 心, 念, and 意?

I can say that after much research on this, I'm more thoroughly confused than before I started. I'm talking mostly about when they are used as suffixes, but the concept applies when they stand alone, ...
2
votes
1answer
164 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 ...
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1answer
275 views

“Reason”: [事由]{じゆう} vs. [理由]{りゆう}

What's the difference between 事由 "jiyuu" and 理由 "riyuu"? Both are translated to mean "reason", as in why something happened. I even noticed in Tae Kim's Grammar Guide that both words are listed, and ...
4
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2answers
227 views

The differences between 速さ, 早さ, and 速度

I was emailing a friend and used the phrase "タイピングすることの早さ" which I discovered was very incorrect. I did some searching on Google and here is what I discovered: タイピングの速度 <-rare タイピング速度 ...
4
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1answer
246 views

Why should we use 世界で and not 世界に for 日本で一番高い山は富士山です

Why do we always use で in the following situations? 日本で一番寒い月は二月です。 日本で一番高い山は富士山です。 Why can`t we use use に here? There is no action in these sentences yet we use で,rather we are indicating the place of ...
11
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1answer
331 views

What's the difference between ぜひ and きっと when inviting someone to do something?

You can say for example ぜひパーティーにいらしてね そのうちまた是非お出かけください 「今晩お伺いしてもいいですか」「ぜひどうぞ」 and きっと来てくださいね きっと訪ねて来てください I would translate both ぜひ and きっと in these sentences with "by all means", but I'm ...