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
votes
1answer
218 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
136 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
217 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 ...
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 ...
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, ...
4
votes
2answers
206 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
318 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
281 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 ...
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?
2
votes
1answer
126 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
213 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
96 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。」 ...
2
votes
3answers
201 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.
3
votes
1answer
139 views

Is 「習得している」much different from 「勉強している」?

「日本語{にほんご}を習得{しゅうとく}する」means "to acquire the ability to use Japanese", right? 「日本語を勉強{べんきょう}する」means "to study Japanese", right? So, in what ways are 「日本語を習得している」 different from「日本語を勉強している」? Might ...
2
votes
1answer
135 views

Does using 書き順 sound childish?

Is 筆順 a more professional sounding term?
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 ...
1
vote
3answers
225 views

Does ただな mean the same thing as ただの?

According to http://www.jisho.org/words?jap=%E3%81%9F%E3%81%A0&eng=&dict=edict, ただ is a na-adjective. People seem to use ただの exelucisvely, and I wonder what ただな means. What does ただな mean?
3
votes
1answer
212 views

Help with Kenjougo!

I'm trying to come up with a polite introduction. Hajimemashite. Watashi wa Megan to moushimasu. Tekisasu kara mairimashita. watashi wa kentakkii-shuu ni sunde orimasu. Sumimasen, watashi ...
3
votes
4answers
242 views

Use of 全部{ぜんぶ} in the following sentence

タクシーの全部{ぜんぶ}が白い{しろい}。 Would that be a natural way to say: all the taxis are white. ?
2
votes
1answer
148 views

Differences between 「が」、「ても」、「のに」

What is the usage difference between these three definitively? As an intermediate Japanese speaker, I somewhat understand where I would say them, but I can't point out under which contexts any of them ...
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
169 views

実名 vs 本名 connotation?

I've seen both of these used about equally, and they seem to have similar meanings. Are they entirely interchangeable?
5
votes
1answer
159 views

What criteria decides whether to print 「氏」 or 「さん」 at the end of a person's name in newspapers?

I just realized that newspapers sometimes end a person's name with 「さん」: 後藤さん不明、昨年11月に把握 首相、答弁で明かす:。And then sometimes end a person's name with 「氏」: 自民・山本一太氏、人質事件で与野党結束訴え:。 In this forum, I found this ...
4
votes
1answer
212 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'.
2
votes
1answer
94 views

「勉強{べんきょう}を続{つづ}ける」 vs.「勉強をやり続ける」

Do 「勉強を続ける」 and 「勉強をやり続ける」 have the same basic meaning: "to continue with one's studies"? Is 「やり続ける」 a slightly rougher, less formal, way of saying「続ける」? But, the difference in nuance is minimal at ...
5
votes
2answers
251 views

How to describe something as hypocritical

I know that the word 偽善者 exists in Japanese and is listed in Japanese-English dictionaries as the translation of 'hypocrite'. But the kanji 偽善 and the definition make me wonder what the actual word ...
-5
votes
1answer
187 views

“Infinity” as a tattoo [closed]

I know this is really "Mainstream", but let's say I would like to have the word "infinity" as a tatto. (edit) 4. Which one would be the right ? And what exactly does each of them mean ?
4
votes
1answer
172 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。 ...
3
votes
1answer
133 views

What is the difference between 酒 and お酒?

I know that adding お makes it honorific, but I want to know how they're used differently.
8
votes
1answer
124 views

Difference between せんしゅう and ぜんしゅう

I was looking at this answer and I discovered the word ぜんしゅう (last week). I am familiar with せんしゅう, and I was wondering if there is any difference in meaning between them?
4
votes
1answer
144 views

What's the difference between いつ and 何時{なんじ}

They are both written as 何時 (what time) in the dictionary but they seem to be different words. My understanding is that "なんじ" asks for "exact hour" while "いつ" is like a general "when". Is that right? ...
4
votes
2answers
219 views

Difference between 英才【えいさい】 and 天才【てんさい】 (genius)

Can someone highlight the differences between 英才【えいさい】 and 天才【てんさい】? When searching their definitions, I see: 英才:1. genius;  brilliance;  unusual talent; 2. genius;  brilliance;  unusual ...
3
votes
1answer
175 views

Usage of さぞ and きっと

I looked these words and means surely. Usually I see きっと, but is usual to use さぞ? きっとお疲れでしょう。 さぞお疲れでしょう。 It's ok use both?
5
votes
2answers
143 views

What's the difference between 親切 and 優しい?

In my text books they were both translated as "friendly, kind", so I'm wondering if they can be used interchangeably or if they are different somehow. I tried to ask some people but although they ...
4
votes
1answer
183 views

What is the difference between all the words for tools / devices?

There is too many words for 'tool' that I am having hard time figuring out when to use which, or if some of them are just synonyms, meaning essentially the same thing. So far I know at least the ...
5
votes
1answer
223 views

How to ask for something, formally, but on the internet

I don't really have a great understanding of Japanese internet culture, but as a Korean, I'm guessing it would be quite similar to ours in terms of "formality," as both Korean and Japanese have ...
4
votes
1answer
199 views

Differences between the words for “decoration”?

While making a list of Christmas vocabulary, I've noticed there's several words for "decoration". 飾り, デコレーション, 飾り付け, and 装飾 are the ones I've seen. Judging by google images(with "クリスマス" added), ...
3
votes
1answer
122 views

「身につく」 Usage of this word in this sentence

From what i can tell, she is saying something along the lines of 'Even if you have the whole cake, it's only 70 grams' but i'm unsure on the usage of 身につく here. Unless my interpretation of the ...
4
votes
1answer
209 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?
7
votes
2answers
309 views

Polite Way of Saying “I can't…(answer the phone)” (しかねる vs. できない)

I'd like to ask about a polite way to say "I can't (do something for you)". I'm sure the answer will depend on the context, so specifically, I'm curious about how to convey "I won't be able to answer ...
6
votes
1answer
305 views

Desire words: When to use 欲望{よくぼう}, 欲求{よっきゅう}, 欲{よく} and 欲念{よくねん}?

Today I ran into these three desire words, which are defined: 欲 = greed, craving, desire, avarice, wants 欲求 = desire 欲望 = desire, appetite, lust And while searching dictionaries, I also found a ...
8
votes
2answers
276 views

What is the difference between all the weather words: 気象{きしょう}, 天気{てんき} and 天候{てんこう}?

Dictionary (at least Jisho and WWWJDIC) defines them as: 気象{きしょう} = weather, climate 天気{てんき} = weather, the elements 天候{てんこう} = weather They all have quite similar definitions, so I don't quite ...