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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20
votes
4answers
19k views

What's the difference between ようこそ and いらっしゃいませ?

Both "ようこそ" (y­ōkoso) and "いらっしゃいませ" (irasshaimase) seem to mean "welcome" but what are the precise circumstances under which each should be used? "いらっしゃいませ" (irasshaimase) is uttered in unison by ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

Understanding a sentence 〜声が誰のものか

それでも、俺はその繊細な声が誰のものかすぐに気づく。 Does もの here refer to a voice? If so, would there be any difference between the above and the following? それでも、俺はその繊細な声が誰の声かすぐに気づく。 Is it simply to avoid repetition? ...
10
votes
3answers
10k views

おしまい {oshimai} vs おわり {owari}

Are there any differences between using おしまい {oshimai} and おわり {owari} to mean "the end" (both with neutral and negative connotations)? Are they always interchangeable? E.g: テスト失敗したらおわりだぜ。 ...
14
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the difference between 見える【みえる】/聞こえる【きこえる】 and 見られる【みられる】/聞ける【きける】?

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.) ギターが弾【ひ】...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

What's the difference among 送る, 乗せる and 連れていく

They are all translated as "escort/take someone somewhere". Are there any differences? Can I use them interchangeably?
4
votes
2answers
217 views

How are 憧れる and 憬れる different?

Both verbs have the same reading, and both seem to have meanings of "yearning", "longing" or "admiration". I can't figure any difference between the two; are there any situations where you would use ...
4
votes
2answers
184 views

What do we say the base ingredient in Japanese?

When we make okonomiyaki, for example, the base ingredient is the mix of cabbage, dough and eggs. There are many okonomiyaki topping but the base ingredient is the same. My question is What do ...
10
votes
4answers
367 views

What is the difference between お手洗い and トイレ

Is one more polite than the other? Is there some situations where you'd use one or the other? Would different people prefer one?
3
votes
2answers
82 views

四角と正方形はどう違うの?~(What's the difference between 四角 and 正方形?)

While going through one of my study sets I created back in December containing words only marked as N2, I came across [正方形]{せいほうけい}, which was translated as "square". However, I always was taught and ...
8
votes
2answers
360 views

「〜したことがある」 vs 「〜したことがあった」

One of the first patterns a learner of the Japanese language will come across is: 〜したことがある (I) have 〜 before. わたしは中国を3回訪れたことがあります I have visited China three times before. However, ...
2
votes
2answers
65 views

~てあげます versus ~ていただきます

What's the difference between these two sentences? リサに道を見せてあげました リサに道を見せていただきました I'm studying the structures ~てあげます and ~ていただきます, but I can't understand the difference, they both look ...
16
votes
2answers
680 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
2answers
144 views

Apologizing with “sorry”

How would I say "Sorry, I don't understand" in Japanese? I know wakarimasen means I don't understand, but what's the equivalent of making it apologetic? Would it be something like wakarimasen ...
5
votes
1answer
267 views

How are “comfort women” referred to nowadays?

Apologies for discussing terms related to such an unpleasant topic. The obvious Japanese translation of "comfort women" is "慰安婦", as the English term is a calque of the Japanese term. However, how ...
5
votes
1answer
182 views

I found よう all by itself. Is there any difference in the usual meaning?

授業が始まり、普段通りの空気が流れた…と思ったその時だった。ドラマである様な素晴らしいタイミングではあったが、真夏にとっては悪夢の始まりだった。無表情な中年教師は転入生の紹介をたんたんと終え、席に着くよう指示した。 It's in the last sentence. The rest of the sentences are for context because I know you ...
0
votes
1answer
183 views

Use of `chan` between high school students

I've been watching Death Note and in Episode 14, Yagami Light refers to Misa as Misa-chan. In this episode, Yagami meets Misa. They're going to be combining forces, but Misa adds a condition that ...
4
votes
3answers
304 views

Meaning of 「これはこれで」, and the difference between it and 「それはそれとして」

I came across the following lines. ・・・俺としては、下駄箱の中に手紙が入っているみたいなほうが好みだった。でもこれはこれで、少なくとも相手が積極的だってことはわかる。 I am wondering about the meaning of 「これはこれで」 here. As one might expect, it does not have any ...
4
votes
2answers
339 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. うちの子は天才だよ。ピアノを弾くのが上手だ。...
7
votes
1answer
96 views

Difference between 土日 and 週末

Well just as the title indicates, I've heard in a game the word "土日" used and translated as "weekend", and wanting to learn the word since I realized I didn't know it yet, I checked on Jisho, but the ...
2
votes
1answer
110 views

When to use って or 言った

I'm having trouble knowing when to use って or 言った when I want to say someone said something (past tense). Naturally, since it is past tense, I always want to use 言った. But having watched many j-drama ...
1
vote
1answer
116 views

How do I say “This is a derivative work. I am in no way affiliated with X company” in Japanese?

I am not sure which verb would be used for "affiliated" in this context. Would it be 提携して? Or perhaps 関係して?
1
vote
1answer
99 views

When to use 九 vs きゅう?

I am new to this site so my apologizes if this question is a bit ridiculous. However, I was informed that the kanji for 9 (九) is pronounced differently than the hiragana (きゅう) based on use. The ...
9
votes
1answer
209 views

恐れ入ります correct “thank you” to use after customers make a purchase?

Is 恐れ入ります the correct form of "thank you" when used during a business transaction (for example, a sales person would say this when someone makes a purchase at his/her store)? In the context of an up-...
3
votes
2answers
159 views

Respectful terms for parents

There are quite a few respectful terms for parents, the least respectful of which would be お父さん and お母さん (there are less respectful ones, but they're only appropriate for your own parents or your ...
5
votes
1answer
107 views

よろしくお願いします or ありがとうございます

I have to write a letter to my future Japanese host family. It's in English, but I want to end it in Japanese. Should I use よろしくお願いします or ありがとうございます or even どうぞよろしくおねがいします?
3
votes
2answers
182 views
8
votes
1answer
283 views

When to use Dono or Nan?

I am learning Japanese using "learn Japanese in the car". It has the following sentences: Which seat is it? / Dono seki desu ka. Which train car is it? / Nan gosha desu ka. Why does one use Dono ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the differences between 帰る and 戻る?

Can you give an example of when 帰る should be used instead of 戻る, and vice versa? The reason I ask is that I sometimes get corrected when using the two, such as in: × そのとき私は日本から戻ってきて、大学に戻って入りました。 ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the difference between 「ほど」 (hodo) and 「ぐらい」 (gurai)?

As in the question title, what is the difference between the two sentences below? 一{いち}時{じ}間{かん}ほどかかります。 ichijikan hodo kakarimasu. 一時間ぐらいかかります。 ichijikan gurai kakarimasu. How do we ...
5
votes
1answer
129 views

When to use 頭の毛 and 髪

Not sure if this question's been asked before (I searched beforehand but nothing came up, so), but I just came across this sentence : "今一番大切なのは頭の毛だ。", and I'm not having any comprehension problems ...
7
votes
2answers
163 views

Can desire be expressed for entities that do not hold volition?

We can personify things. By using "want" with an inanimate object, it is personified: An object with inertia wants to maintain its state of motion. (Question) First, is it possible in Japanese ...
4
votes
1answer
216 views

What is the difference between 各 and 毎{ごと}?

I think the difference is mainly just a nuance: 毎{ごと}・・・each ・・・それぞれの 各・・・every・・・すべての I think 毎 is used mainly with 名詞や動詞 「年毎に」 「会う人毎に」 Or there is any other difference?
2
votes
1answer
60 views

目が覚める versus 起きる

What is the difference between 目{め}が覚{さ}める and 起{お}きる?
6
votes
2answers
138 views

How to convey the best possible word in japanese for 'I want to clobber him'?

I'm having difficulty choosing word for 'to clobber' in Japanese. What I mean for this 'Clobber' is to beat thoroughly and conclusively in a fight competition. I wonder if I can use these words: ...
0
votes
1answer
105 views

Basic conversation question

Good morning. I was wondering if I can get some help with translating a sentence from Japanese to English, and also if I can receive some feedback about the way that I try to speak Japanese. Me: ...
9
votes
1answer
135 views

What is the difference between に関しての and に関する?

In this question which I will paste below, the asker uses both, one right after the other. GTA5に関しての質問です。 GTA5に関する動画で、(...) What is the difference between the two?
4
votes
2answers
151 views

嘘ついてたんだ vs 嘘ついたんだ

I saw this being said in a drama, when A said to B, 嘘ついてたんだ and the translation was "So you lied!". My question is, why is it 嘘ついてたんだ and not 嘘ついたんだ? Thanks. Edit: How to tell the difference ...
9
votes
2answers
242 views

Use of かける (N5 question)

An N5 vocabulary question I'm having trouble understanding: わたしの となりの (   ) を かけた ひとは すずきさんです。 1 くつ   2 かぎ   3 めがね   4 でんわ The answer is 3: わたしの となりの ( めがね ) を かけた ひとは すずきさんです。 Which I ...
6
votes
1answer
105 views

Difference between 誤解 and 勘違い

Japanese - English dictionaries translate both as "misunderstanding" or "wrong guess." Upon consulting dictionary.goo.ne.jp, I found: 誤解 - When the facts and the true intentions of a partner's words ...
2
votes
1answer
122 views

XをYという形に sentence

「俺焼き豚頼んでないですよ」 店主であり違法改造バイク夢五萬のライダーである高田くんのお兄さんは、菜ばしを“サービス”という形に動かした。 "I did not order pork loin." Takada's brother, who is the shop owner and rides an illegally modified motorcycle "...
3
votes
1answer
112 views

Is 私は本があなたをたすけよみます correct?

I am trying to say I will help someone read a book. 私は本があなたをたすけよみます。 Is this correct? Sorry if the question is off-topic. I am very new to Japanese and don't yet fully understand how to build ...
5
votes
2answers
178 views

Expressing “should do” with こと・べき・もの

上手{じょうず} に なりたければ もっと 練習{れんしゅう} する [こと/べき/もの] だ As per my understanding, all the 3 options seem appropriate above. Is that correct? If so, are there any quirks or exceptions?
13
votes
2answers
884 views

Difference between sentence final ものだ and ことだ

My understanding is that ものだ is used to assert things which are mostly known to everyone. 誰かの家に招待されたときは、何か手土産をもっていくものだ 'When invited to somebody's home it's customary to bring presents'. On ...
11
votes
2answers
445 views

Are there differences between 言い辛い・言いにくい・言いがたい?

When hesitating to say something that might either hurt the other party or put the speaker in bad light, do the following expressions differ: そんなことは言い辛い{づらい} そんなことは言い難い{にくい} ...
8
votes
3answers
161 views

Difference between 友達出来た vs 友達を作った

I was watching a movie where a guy was texting his friend. One of the text messages he sent was 「友達出来た?」 The subtitles translated it to be "Made any new friends?" From the context of the movie the ...
1
vote
1answer
261 views

What is the most appropriate word for “cry”?

Background: Yes, I have tried typing "cry" into Google Translate. Although, there are so many options, yet no example sentences for each word. In my case, I have been writing a compare & contrast ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

What is the right translation for grade in the context of a course

I want to know how to translate the word grade in sentences like what is the passing grade for this course? or Where are the final grades posted? I found some options in the dictionary ...
9
votes
1answer
143 views

Expressions of surprise おや あれ あら

There seem to be three very similar expressions of surprise - おや, あれ, and あら. Is there much particular difference? So far I've gathered that あれ is almost always genuine surprise, whereas あら and おや can ...
14
votes
1answer
337 views

伸{の}びる versus 延{の}びる in a JLPT question

In my JLPT workbook, it gives these examples to explain the difference between 延{の}びる and 伸{の}びる: 髪{かみ}は[1]{いっ}か[月]{げつ}に1センチぐらい伸{の}びる。 会議{かいぎ}はいつも30分{ぷん}ぐらい延{の}びる。 They both mean "stretch", ...
3
votes
1answer
299 views

What is the difference between ~たとき vs ~るとき

電車に乗るときは、白線の内側でお待ちください。 電車に乗ったときは、白線の内側でお待ちください What is the difference between ~たとき and ~るとき? In particular, what is ungrammatical about the second sentence with ~た? I felt that this sentence,...