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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15
votes
3answers
13k views

What's the difference between “さけ” (sake) and “しゃけ” (shake)?

Today I saw onigiri claiming to contain "しゃけ" (shake). When I asked my friend what that was, she said it was the same as "さけ" (sake), "salmon". So are these two just different readings of a kanji, ...
4
votes
1answer
238 views

Differences between “何度も or 何度でも” and 何回も?

Things like 何度も and 何回も are somehow common. In what cases would there be differences between the two? Are they the same differences between the plain 回 and 度? Thanks.
3
votes
1answer
142 views

What's the difference between 無【な】くす and 失【うしな】う

These two words, 無【な】くす and 失【うしな】う, seem to be very similar in meaning, but i'm not sure of the difference. Can someone please explain? Here are some examples: 彼【かれ】は時々【ときどき】希望【きぼう】を失う【うしな】。 ...
2
votes
1answer
92 views

What's the best way to say “redesign” pertaining to a web page/site?

I want to say that I'm "redesigning" a web page, and I can think of several words that may fit, but I'm not sure which is most appropriate or most widely-accepted in the technology world. 更新 → This ...
2
votes
2answers
115 views

When is using “陳{の}べる” and “知{し}らせる” in place of “教{おし}える” ok?

Is it ok to substitute "知らせる" for "教える"? I do it all the time and it seems to work-out. But, maybe "知らせる" does not even mean "教える" at all? I've never asked. If the meaning is close, then when might it ...
12
votes
1answer
425 views

Usage of イングランド, イギリス, and 英国

It has always been my understanding that the word for England is イギリス. But the wikipedia page for English-American says イングランド系アメリカ人. Even rikaichan has イングランド as England. Is there a difference in ...
4
votes
1answer
134 views

What's the difference between 根気【こんき】, 我慢【がまん】, 辛抱【しんぼう】 and 忍耐【にんたい】

Recently i found these four words and have no idea what's the difference between them. They all mean "patience" and "endurance". Here are some sentences: 僕【ぼく】は、あいつには我慢【がまん】できない。 I can't abide ...
3
votes
1answer
177 views

What's the difference between 機械 and 器械?

In which case would one be more appropriate than the other?
4
votes
1answer
110 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
218 views

Words for area/district/region: the actual difference between 地区、地帯、地域、地方 (and also 区域)?

地区 and 地方 have similar definitions, and 地帯 and 地域 are also defined similarly (at least according to JMdict/EDICT: 地区【ちく】 = district; section; sector 地方【ちほう】= district; region; area; locality ...
10
votes
2answers
379 views

Difference between にさせる vs にする(as in 幸せにさせる vs 幸せにする)

What's the difference when we say 幸せにさせる compared to 幸せにする? I'm now confused between using させる and にする. Can anyone please provide an in-depth explanation?
21
votes
4answers
1k views

不 and 非 and 無 and 未 usage difference/rule

Is there any rules that govern when to use 不 and 非 and 無 and 未 in regards to the meaning of "not" or "un-" for instance 非表示, 不満 
64
votes
9answers
5k views

What is the こと in sentences such as あなたのことが好きだ?

There were a lot of great answers here. I gave the checkmark to ento's answer because I felt it most completely explained all aspects of this use of こと. But many of the other answers are excellent, so ...
4
votes
1answer
139 views

What's the difference between 呪術【じゅじゅつ】, 魔法【まほう】, 奇術【きじゅつ】, and 魔術【まじゅつ】?

Is there any difference between these nouns? Is this like the difference between 'magic' and 'sorcery' in English? Is 魔法【まほう】 used most often?
4
votes
2answers
149 views

記する{きする}、 記す{きす}、記す{しるす} - how do I use and/or differentiate between them?

For instance, here: 碑文に記されているところによれば according to the inscription on the tombstone It's listed under 記する{きする}. Why?
2
votes
1answer
145 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")?
1
vote
2answers
146 views

Is there a difference between きらい and がすきではありません?

Simply put Pimsluer says to use がすきではありません to express a dislike, but Human Japanese uses きらい, is there a difference?
0
votes
1answer
220 views

What's the meaning of ですね in here?

I know that ですね is a form of saying right? but in this sentence これビデオですね what does that means? I understand that means "it's a video" but I don't understand the ね. A friend was recording a video and ...
4
votes
2answers
110 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
287 views

X is near or next to Y. Is my understanding of this correct?

So I know that a few words could be used interchangably. But I wasn't sure if I got the nuance(s) correct. So I have this sentence: 車はどこにありますか。 車庫のそばです。 And as far as I can see, I can change そば in ...
5
votes
1answer
164 views

Why do the Japanese use loanwords for words that have functional equivalents?

It strikes me, reading Japanese that katakana is often used for words that have functional equivalents in the Japanese language. Why is this? For instance, using ビル as opposed to 建物。 Or ブルー instead ...
2
votes
1answer
166 views

Is マスカット an accurate translation for “green grape”, and what foreign word is it derived from?

I'm new to Japanese so I'm working my way through Human Japanese, when I was adding the vocabulary to Quizlet I realized I didn't know how to type マスカット because I'm not used to seeing ツ used like ...
14
votes
1answer
346 views

Why did の disappear from 山手, but in 御茶ノ水 it's in katakana?

I realize that very likely the answer to this question is likely to be something along the lines of "that's just the way it is", but I thought it worth asking to see if there were some insights that ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Where should I use 租借 {そしゃく} or 賃貸 {ちんたい} or [リース ]{りーす}?

I'm a beginner in Japanese. So far I learned the following three words have the same meaning - Lease (noun). [租借]{そしゃく} [賃貸]{ちんたい} [リース]{りーす} Where should I use them appropriately and what ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

森 vs 林 for forest

According to A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters, 森 (38) is woods and 林 (75) is forest. But some material I've found online related to Japan seems to indicate 森 is the more correct Japanese ...
2
votes
1answer
219 views

What word describes the concept of worldwide time zones?

The world is covered in the necessary evil known in English as "time zones". Given that, historically, it originated in England (some 300 or so years ago), the concept of a time zone was probably ...
7
votes
4answers
345 views

What's the difference between 水 and 湯

I start by saying that I'm a beginner in Japanese and maybe my question will seem obvious to you. I've been told by Japanese people that there's a difference between 水 and 湯. I understand that 湯 ...
3
votes
1answer
139 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
votes
4answers
231 views

Difference between 母語話者 and ネイティブスピーカー

Wiktionary says that the Japanese for "Native speaker" can be either "母語話者" or "ネイティブスピーカー". What difference, if any, is there between the two? Searching the corpus on jisho.org only got one hit for ...
6
votes
1answer
128 views

Difference between 出席【しゅっせき】する and 参加【さんか】する

Are these words interchangeable? Just for example I have found some sentences but do not see any difference between these word in meaning or politeness: 彼女【かのじょ】はそのコンテストに参加【さんか】した。 She took ...
4
votes
2answers
207 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
124 views

Is there a difference between 爆発しないといい and 爆発しないとよくなる?

I'm having a hard time understanding how と works with negative verbs. With positive verbs, it is easy to see the timeframe of いい because it occurs after the verb happens, but if the verb ends in ない, ...
3
votes
1answer
257 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

Is there a less formal way to say あなた?

My friend told me I sound too polite when I say あなた, but my book only uses that for second person pronoun. Are there multiple ways to say it and if so, which one is best to use with friends?
4
votes
2answers
320 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
283 views

How do you say “pair” of people?

I speak no Japanese, but need to represent the concept of pair or team in a poetic context. Specifically, I would like to describe two people (a couple) as a "pair of shinobi". From a poetic ...
6
votes
2answers
289 views

ゆく used in auxiliary sense - instead of いく?

I'm reading a novel 「キッチン」by 吉本ばなな at the moment and I noticed that she uses ゆく in some places as an auxiliary verb to signify the action progression from here or from now (if my understanding is ...
4
votes
3answers
2k 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"
2
votes
1answer
127 views

How do I greet a group of people in different time zones?

Let's say a group of friends from different countries are in a Skype call. For me, perhaps it's morning, while others are in midday or nighttime hours in their respective countries. When in a ...
4
votes
2answers
173 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: ...
3
votes
1answer
214 views

Chotto and sukoshi …kudasai?

Is it okay if I say 'sukoshi matte kudasai' instead of 'chotto matte kudasai' ?
4
votes
2answers
165 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. ...
4
votes
1answer
219 views

Does 同居 have a sexual connotation?

I have been watching Fate/Stay Night, the Unlimited Blade Works one. In this particular episode, as Shirou (male character) tells other characters that Saber (female character) will stay at his place, ...
3
votes
1answer
206 views

Which one is better? 鮮魚 or 新鮮な魚?

I have this question about 鮮魚 or 新鮮な魚. I've read them both in different situations and I want to know if there's a correct way or in what situations can I use each of them.
4
votes
1answer
222 views

Difference between 思った and 思っていた?

I was under the impression that 思った meant that, sometime in the past, you did the instantaneous action of "think" and had a thought while 思っていた meant that you kept a thought for a period of time. ...
4
votes
1answer
218 views

“If you were to ask why, …”

In English, we have a construction like Yeah, I would never let him in. If you were to ask why, well, I guess I'd say because he's too young. My sense of the nuance is that it admits that what ...
3
votes
1answer
97 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。」 ...
4
votes
3answers
402 views

How to say a sentence without repeating the word?

I'm sorry if this is a duplicate question (I bet it is), I didn't really know what to search for. 猫を描く、犬を描かない。 (I draw cats, I don't draw dogs.) How do you say that sentence without having to ...
2
votes
3answers
202 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?
8
votes
1answer
182 views

What's the difference between (いちば/しじょう) for 市場?

Does it refer to two different types of markets? Thank you.