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

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4
votes
1answer
163 views

What's the difference between 浮かぶ and 浮く?

I often see 浮く in contexts relating to floatability, like: 氷は水に浮きます However, sometimes I see 浮く used where I'd use 浮かぶ. When should one be used over the other? Are there any cases where both are ...
4
votes
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?
0
votes
1answer
122 views

“くれない” vs. “ください”

I recently asked about the differences between "くださいませんか" and "いただけませんか". But, I just realized I have a related question. Doesn't "くれない" have the same basic meaning as "ください"? And, isn't it more ...
6
votes
1answer
277 views

“くださいませんか” vs. “いただけませんか”

When I want to make 「それを見せて下さい。」 more formal, I always say 「それを見せて頂けませんか?」. But, I want to double-check this.    I never say 「それを見せて下さいませんか。」. While that seems perfectly fine, I don't think I've ...
4
votes
1answer
310 views

How to hope something is going well?

I would like to hope that someone's small business is going well. I know if someone's business is going well they can say: 「店は繁盛している」 but, how can I say "I hope your store is prosperous/I hope ...
1
vote
1answer
180 views

言っていました vs 言いました when saying 'someone said …'

If you wanted to say. 'Keiko said xxx,' why is けいこさんが「xxx」と言っていました better than けいこさんが「xxx」と言いました? Thank you, and happy new year! (Also is は better than が in this instance?)
13
votes
2answers
1k views

けど at the end of the sentence?

According to dictionaries, 「けど」 means ‘but’, ‘although’, ‘however’. However, it seems to have slightly another meaning at the end of the sentence. For example, here are few example sentences with ...
1
vote
1answer
145 views

What makes 飯場 sensitive?

The entry for WWWJDIC lists 飯場 as a possibly sensitive word (sens). However, the definition is just construction camp; bunkhouse; workers' living quarters and it appears in 燃え尽きた地図, a novel from ...
5
votes
1answer
229 views

“Full” names of metals

When written as a standalone kanji, the following metals have longer, "full" names (based on their colour): [金]{こがね} → こがね [銀]{しろがね} → しろがね [銅]{あかがね} → あかがね [鉄]{くろがね} → くろがね In my ...
3
votes
1answer
110 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
126 views

What is the difference between same prefix verb + different かえる verbs

What are the differences in nuance between these same pronunciation prefix + different かえる combinations? For example: 置き換える・置き替える 入れ替える・入れ換える・入れ変える 取り替える・取り代える・取り換える Thank you very ...
4
votes
3answers
348 views

Translation of “に” into “natural” English

All of my Japanese teachers have told me that な-adjectives converted to に-ending words and い-adjectives converted to く-ending words, when followed by a verb, are 'adverbs'. However, sentences sound ...
3
votes
1answer
119 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
143 views

Difference between 表れる and 現れる

How are these two terms different? Also how about 表す and 現す? Thank you so much! 楽しいクリスマス、そしていい正月を。
6
votes
1answer
728 views

Taking Class, Course, Lecture - Which verb is fit?

I would like to know how we say taking class or course or lecture in japanese. I have heard about 「クラスを受ける」 and 「クラスを取る」. Are there significant difference? And Is there any other verb we can use ...
14
votes
8answers
4k views

Are there any Japanese words as versatile as “fuck” in English?

I was wondering about this one recently. "Fuck" in English is famous for being applicable in a wide, wide range of circumstances (none of them formal). What word in Japanese covers a wide spectrum of ...
16
votes
2answers
501 views

What's the difference between 女性 and 女の人?

As far as I'm aware, both words translate into English as "woman". What's the difference in meaning between 女性 and 女の人?
25
votes
7answers
3k views

Difference between negative forms {-ず} and {-ぬ}

{-ず} and {-ぬ} are two alternatives to the negative form {-ない} / {-ません}. But I noticed that depending on the word, it's either {-ず} or {-ぬ}, although it seems like some words can take both suffixes. ...
6
votes
1answer
190 views

Multiple usages of 学習{がくしゅう}

My understanding is that 「学習{がくしゅう}」 is a very interesting word. It has all of the following meanings? (1) 「勉強{べんきょう}」. To study new material. We learn new kanji, vocab, grammar, etc. (2) ...
3
votes
1answer
164 views

How interchangeable are の/である/なる/たる when qualifying nouns?

So we know that we can qualify/equate two things with a の. 友達のジョン → My friend John 先生の山田さん → A/My teacher Ms. Yamada 勝利者の亀さん → The winner: the turtle (as opposed to the hare) It seems ...
2
votes
1answer
112 views

換える, 替える, 代える, 変える and their intransitive equivalents

While the meaning of 代える seems rather straightforward, the other two at times delude me. When should one be used over another? Are there any situations where both 換える and 替える are applicable?
4
votes
1answer
123 views

Difference between 店 and ショップ

Both 店 and ショップ translate into English as "shop". For which circumstances would you use each word? My first assumption was that 店 would be used for more "traditional" shops than ショップ, but when I did ...
5
votes
1answer
99 views

What is the difference between 包む(つつむ)and 包む(くるむ)?

The verbs つつむ and くるむ and both written 包む, and according to my English-to-Japanese dictionary both have the meaning "to wrap". くるむ is glossed "おおう", while つつむ is glossed "すっぽりと覆う", but I am having ...
12
votes
3answers
691 views

When and to whom should I use the expression ご苦労様 (gokurousama)?

In what context and relationship wise to who can I safely say ご苦労様 (gokurousama)? I often defer to using otsukaresama since I'm not sure if I'm talking down to someone by saying gokurousama. Please ...
4
votes
3answers
240 views

why “速さ” instead of “遅さ”、etc

I am pretty sure that when native speakers talk about speed, they say "速さ", "広さ" for width, "大きさ" for size, etc. Am I correct about this? If I am, then: Why not say "遅さ" instead of "速さ", "狭さ" ...
6
votes
2answers
139 views

What's the difference between 業績 and 実績

I'm finding it difficult to find a pattern in the usages of these two. When should I use 業績 over 実績 ?
4
votes
1answer
131 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the difference between 大事 (daiji) and 大切 (taisetsu)?

These are two words that seem like they are basically interchangeable at most levels, as they generally are. The difference between them appears to be small, but what is the difference, if one exists? ...
3
votes
1answer
128 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

What is an appropriate response to お疲{つか}れ様{さま}です in non-work situations?

Often times at the gym, when I'm on my way out, covered in sweat, one of the staff will say お疲{つか}れ様{さま}です ("you've worked hard"...?). Usually at work situations, I've often found that saying some ...
3
votes
1answer
174 views

How do you ask for ordinality (order in a sequence)?

What phrase do you use to ask for the n-th position of an object? Is there a straightforward and general way to do so? e.g. order of childbirth, place did the runner finish Since you can use 3人目 ...
5
votes
2answers
174 views

Replying to お帰りなさいませ in a hotel setting

Recently I was in Japan and stayed at a certain hotel for a few days. I was surprised to see the level of customer service that I received. There were many cultural differences that surprised me, ...
1
vote
1answer
302 views

わけ、の、理由 in explanations… when do you use which one?

These all seem to be used for explanation... when do you use one over the other? Could you offer some examples? To clarify about の, I am talking about its use in providing information, like, ...
1
vote
1answer
254 views

What is the difference between Okaa-san/Onee-san/Ojii-san and Kaa-san/Nee-san/Jii-san

i was playing Katahane last night, in it Light and Wakaba refer to their mother as Kaa-san while Light refers to Wakaba (his older sister) as Nee-san and when meeting with Rien he says for them to ...
11
votes
2answers
350 views

ほぼ and ほとんど: What's the difference and how do you use them?

What is the difference between ほぼ and ほとんど? They both mean almost, don't they? Can they both be used in both positive and negative?
1
vote
1answer
333 views

What's the difference between 生む and 産む?

These two words both appear to have the meaning "to give birth" or "to produce". However, what is the difference between the two kanji used? I originally assumed that 生む meant "to give birth" and 産む ...
5
votes
1answer
239 views

What is the difference between 組, 団, 班, and 群?

These four words all seem to mean "group," but what are the nuanced differences? When can a group be identified with one/some of these but not the others? How much overlap is there between them? ...
3
votes
1answer
208 views

the difference between 世界 and 世

Sometimes I see a character say この世 and I'm not sure why they don't just say この世界? Is it just an old way of saying it or is there a specific reason?
7
votes
2answers
896 views

What is the difference between 見える/聞こえる and 見られる/聞ける?

In Japanese, there is a potential form to express that it's possible for something to be done. My own examples of potential form: 辛【から】い食【た】べ物【もの】が食【た】べられる。 (I can eat spicy foods.) ...
1
vote
1answer
104 views

What's the difference between 断定 and 結論

While I've only seen 結論 used in expressions like "Which conclusion do you arrive at?", I've seen both 断定 and 結論 used when saying "Don't draw a hasty conclusion". What are the differences between the ...
12
votes
3answers
939 views

What are slang terms for Japanese money?

This question about alternate terms for coins focused on the use of ワンコイン, but it got me thinking about slang terms for money in general. In all the years I've been in Japan, I don't think I've ...
7
votes
1answer
195 views

What's the difference between 下りる and 降りる

My current understanding is that 下りる means to go down, for example, 階段を下りる (Go down the stairs); while 降りる means to get off some form of transport, for example, 飛行機から降りる (Get off from the aeroplane). ...
7
votes
1answer
270 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: ...
4
votes
5answers
227 views

How to say “Fastest by a large margin”?

Let's say there is a 1km race, and here is the ranking: A: 170 seconds B: 301 seconds C: 308 seconds D: 312 seconds We can say that A is fastest by a wide margin, because he was much faster than all ...
10
votes
2answers
494 views

“Should” in Japanese

The word "should" in English has these uses when not used as a question: To express the expectation of the speaker (Probabilistic reasoning). The train should arrive in 10 minutes. To express a ...
4
votes
1answer
326 views

How do you say “which one of you”?

I'm trying to translate a sentence containing "which one of you" into Japanese, like in "Which one of you took my sandwich?". Google's search bar was no help - a query for "which one of you" in ...
0
votes
1answer
100 views

What's the difference between 機械 and 器械

In which case would one be more appropriate than the other?
15
votes
3answers
713 views

Difference between 〜といい〜といい & 〜といわず〜といわず

Can somebody explain the difference between these two expressions? I have pasted the definitions and some examples from 日本語表現文型辞典 to help but they seem to come down to the same thing. (When can one ...
1
vote
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
165 views

The difference between 辞書 and 字引

My dictionary lists both 辞書{じしょ} and 字引{じびき} as simply, "Dictionary." On tatoeba.org I can only find example sentences of 字引 where it is used in the phrase: 生き字引 = A walking dictionary ...