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
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
226 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
329 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
5k views

Can somebody explain the various words and combinations thereof used for thanking?

To my knowledge there are three words which can be used in thanking and they seem to be usable together in some combinations: どうも (domo) どうもありがとう (domo arigato) ありがとう (arigato) ありがとうございます (arigato ...
5
votes
2answers
167 views

what's the difference between 領域 、範囲 and 分野?

Could anyone explain to me the difference between these 3 words, especially between 範囲 and 領域 ? For example, I have these 練習問題: a.分野  b.領域 c.範囲 ① 試験の……… は、17課までです。  ② 外の大学との交流が進んで研究の……… が広がった。 ③ ...
4
votes
1answer
257 views

What is the difference between 出す and 始める when used as a suffix?

Judging from examples I've seen, these are some differences I think there are: 始める: 1: More formal than 出す 2: When the focus in more on the beginning of the verb than the verb itself 3: When the ...
3
votes
2answers
16k views

Konnichiwa and Konbanwa

What is the difference between Konnichiwa and Konbanwa? Is it appropriate to use either one in everyday conversations?
4
votes
2answers
296 views

Difference between “そば”, “となり” and “よこ” [duplicate]

While doing exercises, I am bit confused with "そば", "となり" and "よこ". Can anyone explain me the difference between them. Is it so that "よこ" is used when the object is at either left or right side of the ...
1
vote
1answer
221 views

Can't parse sentence with 「へったくれもない」

In my JLPT textbook, they have this sentence: 自分{じぶん}のない者{もの}に表現{ひょうげん}もへったくれもない。 The book provides a translation, which is this: You can't talk about expression if you have none (of your ...
7
votes
3answers
350 views

what does どことなくつかみどころがなくmean?

I came across this phrase in the sentence: 勘【かん】というものは、しょちゅう経験【けいけん】していながら、どことなくつかみどころがなく、いまの科学【かがく】ではまだその正体【しょうたい】が、明らか【あきらか】にされていない。(Soumatome N1 dokkai, p45) My best effort to translate it ...
6
votes
1answer
206 views

Translating volitive expressions in ads into English

I saw this on an advertisement outside the construction site of a company that makes wooden houses: 木{き}の家{いえ}と、暮{く}らそう。 I'm trying to think of a way to translate it other than: Live with a wooden ...
6
votes
2answers
270 views

How do I say “requirements” in an IT context?

So I work at a Japanese company as a developer and I have seen the word "requirements" written as both 要件 and 要求 What is the difference between these 2 words? Which one would I use in these examples? ...
10
votes
3answers
295 views

What's the difference between 三角 and 三角形?

I just had this terrifying conversation: What is "triangle" in Japanese? me: 三角 right? Then what's 三角形? me: Uhh... triangle? I've confirmed both of these translate to "triangle". ...
3
votes
1answer
129 views

What's the difference between 程 and 程度?

What the difference between 程 and 程度? I haven't been able to find any using my dictionary.
1
vote
1answer
630 views

What's the difference between 〜に対しての and 〜に対する?

The question understanding 対する details [noun]に対する[noun], but what is the difference between [noun]に対しての[noun] and [noun]に対する[noun]? Space ALC has a fair number of examples for both に対する and に対しての ...
5
votes
1answer
122 views

Readings of 漏斗:じょうご vs ろうと

Is there any difference in meaning between the words じょうご and ろうと, both meaning something like "funnel", both written with the kanji 漏斗? There's some indication in the answers here that ろうと may be a ...
3
votes
2answers
344 views

Slip of the mouth instead of a slip of the tongue?

This sentence is in my JLPT textbook: つい舌{した}がすべってしまい、うそがばれてしまった。 I thought that it meant something like, "with an unintentional slip of the tongue, my lie was exposed." However, the sentence is ...
5
votes
1answer
237 views

Difference between すべて and ぜんぶ [duplicate]

Title basically says it all. I think meanings are very close. Are they interchangeable? Are they appropriate for different contexts or situations? Can one be applied to animate objects and other ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

When to use ~ので vs ~から

I was looking in A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar when I saw something on page 329 which truly shocked me: "node cannot be used and kara must be used [... when ...] the main clause is a ...
9
votes
1answer
256 views

What is the difference between 部屋 and 室?

When referring to a room (in a building), what is the difference in usage, if any? I looked up the definitions and checked some sample phrases, but I could not see any real difference. I usually read ...
2
votes
2answers
380 views

How can a friendly person be “hard to approach”?

I have this phrase in my JLPT textbook: 私{わたし}の上司{じょうし}は気{き}さくで近寄{ちかよ}りがたい My translation, which must be incorrect in some way, is, "my superior is hard to approach as he/she is friendly." It ...
5
votes
1answer
217 views

Is 青色をしている different from 青い?

I recently learned 青色をしている as a synonym for 青い, but I don't have a good idea of what the difference is, or even if there's any difference at all. On chat, Flaw suggested the difference might be ...
3
votes
2answers
196 views

Why choose 念入{ねんい}り over まともに in this question?

My JLPT book has this question: ドライブの前{まえ}に(a.まともに b.念入{ねんい}りに)車{くるま}の点検{てんけん}をした。 I chose a, thinking that a reasonable translation was, "Before driving, do a proper check of the car." The ...
16
votes
7answers
2k views

Does the Japanese language only have negative terms for flirting?

I am looking for terms in the Japanese language which can describe the act of flirting in a positive light. This probably requires inventing terms to close a lexical gap, because as far as I know, all ...
2
votes
1answer
98 views

「日本語で、送って」What are the contexts of this usage of “send”?

I recently posted on Facebook lyrics to a Simon & Garfunkel song. A friend then posted: ニック…日本語で、送って I know 送る means to send, but does she want me to 'send' the lyrics to her in Japanese or ...
2
votes
1answer
137 views

降参する vs 諦める​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

What's the difference between 降参する and 諦める? Both seems to have the meaning of "to give up", for example: ぜったい降参しない。(I will never give up.) ぜったい諦めない。(I will never give up.) What's the difference ...
4
votes
1answer
599 views

What's the difference between 招待, 招く and 誘う?

I've stumbled upon these 3 words. I think meaning of 招待 is: invite (as in a formal invitation) The other two seem rather confusing to me, though.
5
votes
1answer
265 views

Method for deciding whether to use katakana or kanji version of the word?

I often see words in sentences written in カタカナ or 漢字 that could be swapped for a common word of the other form. I am aware that there are lots of カタカナ words that do have a 漢字 form, but where the 漢字 ...
3
votes
1answer
294 views

How would I respectfully disagree with a peer?

This is probably related to How would I respectfully disagree with a superior? however the context is a tech forum where the thread starter is asking for someone technically advanced to help, and the ...
2
votes
2answers
170 views

What's the difference between 真似る and 真似する?

I'm just wondering if they are the same word or if there is an actual difference (in meaning or nuance). It seems weird to me that there would be two different verbs with the same kanji stem that mean ...
9
votes
2answers
266 views

To uncomment in Japanese?

In the context of computer programming, how to say to uncomment? For instance, here I uncomment a line: // Before // myvar = 3; // After myvar = 3; I would use コメントアウトする, but I also see ...
3
votes
1answer
130 views

Differences between 事実 and 真実

Both 真実 and 事実 means; fact,truth. So in Kanji Lesson I asked my teacher if there is any differences between them, he said yes but there was no time to explain.
3
votes
2answers
651 views

興味が湧く vs 興味が沸く​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Which kanji should we use for the phrase 興味がわく (to mean that something has caught our interest)? Some quick googling shows that both 興味が湧く (~11m hits) and 興味が沸く (~9m hits) are widely used. Is one of ...
7
votes
2answers
400 views

Non-distinguished animal pairs in Japanese

This is something I first noticed when I was at an aquarium in Japan (as evidenced in my examples) and continued to see ever since. There are certain pairs of animals, that while extremely similar, ...
5
votes
1answer
548 views

Difference between the many words for son and daughter

There are three words to refer to somebody else's daughter (According to my dictionary): 娘さん、お嬢さん、令嬢。 There are also three words to refer to somebody else's son: 息子さん、子息、坊ちゃん。 What are the ...
2
votes
1answer
570 views

How to say “to ride a bicycle”?

Is it 自転車に乗る or 自転車を走る? I know I've read the latter somewhere before. But I just came across the former today and didn't know if there was a difference.
8
votes
4answers
240 views

{はず, わけ, しょう} がない difference

What is the difference between 「はず」 {hazu} and 「わけ」 {wake}? a slight expansion of the existing thread but what is the difference or use cases for when to use Hazu ga nai, wake ga nai, shiyou ga nai? ...
8
votes
1answer
656 views

Expressing hope: to nozomu and koto wo negau

I have a question about these two verbs for 'hope': と望む (to nozomu) ことを願う (koto wo negau) I also write down two examples, since I have a particular question about their use: ...
5
votes
2answers
247 views

How do I differentiate all these terms for “illiterate”?

I looked up the word "illiteracy", and was offered many different possibilities. Here they are, with my personal take on the nuance behind their origins: 活字{かつじ}離{ばな}れ ("removed from printing"?) ...
8
votes
2answers
454 views

Differences between the many words for dinner

According to my dictionary, the following words all mean the same thing: "Dinner": [夜]{よる}ご[飯]{はん}, [晩]{ばん}ご[飯]{はん}, [晩飯]{ばんめし}, [晩食]{ばんしょく}, [夕]{ゆう}ご[飯]{はん}, [夕飯]{ゆうはん(ゆうめし)}, [夕食]{ゆうしょく} A similar ...
1
vote
1answer
146 views

What is the difference between こんにちは and もしもし?

I will be in Japan in a few weeks and I am trying to learn the basic to be as polite as possible. One of the first things I did was try some basic stuff with Google Translate but I feel lost already. ...
1
vote
1answer
298 views

What's the difference between 平和 and 和平?

If you ask someone how to say "peace" the likely answer you'll get is 平和, which is the common option, but occasionally you'll see the word 和平, which has a very similar meaning, and is indeed just a ...
5
votes
1answer
272 views

which instruments use 弾く and which use 引く?

I was wondering how do we identify what instruments may be used with the verb 引く, or 弾く, or both? If both 引く and 弾く can be used is there any difference in nuance between one vs the other?
8
votes
1answer
246 views

Is it actually impolite to say ご苦労様 to a superior?

Conventional ビジネスマナー tells us that ご苦労様 is used by superiors to subordinates and お疲れ様 used by everyone, and this is backed up all over the internet and stated on some questions here, like this. But ...
7
votes
2answers
302 views

Why is it (usually) wrong to say 人がある but OK to say ある人?

I fear I may be venturing again into "just because" territory, but this one bugs me. We all know that you usually use いる (as in not ある) to refer to living things, as in 私は日本にいる(△ある). Yet it is ...
6
votes
3answers
594 views

How can I say “the leader(s) of the club” in Japanese

I would like to ask which one of the following two words could be used to express the word "leader" when I am talking about someone who is the head of a club or at least the member of its board; for ...
4
votes
1answer
278 views

Different meaning of 何?

While reading some lyrics online, I stumbled upon the following phrase: これ以上何を失えば 心は許されるの Which I could myself losely translate as following: If I lose what more (than I already have), will ...
8
votes
1answer
389 views

What's the difference between 思う and 考える?

These two words both seem to mean "to think", but is there any difference between them? Is it related to the difference between 言う and 話す by any chance?
2
votes
3answers
407 views

Is “anyone” 人はいます or 誰でも?

So I ran across this example sentence: 食べている人はいますか? And the translation was "Is anyone eating?" However I thought the sentence would be: 誰でもが食べていますか? Is this correct? Also is Xはいます = is any X? ...
6
votes
1answer
139 views

What's the difference between 向こう and 向こう側?

My textbook (An Introduction to Modern Japanese) introduced 向こう as meaning "the other side of" and 側{がわ} as meaning "side". On page 76 it states that 側 can be added to some, but not all, of these ...