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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

7
votes
2answers
215 views

When do I use all the words meaning “song”?

There's 歌, 曲, 歌曲, 唄, etc. I was about to give a few example contexts, but in English there really doesn't seem to be more than one way in which we refer to a 'song'. I do see different words being ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Using 伯母 / 叔母 to refer to one's aunt

Is it true that when we see 伯母 it usually (90%) means "parent's elder sister" and sometimes (10%) can be used to refer to the parent's younger sister? On the contrary, when we see 叔母 does it always ...
16
votes
3answers
819 views

Blue blistering barnacles, what is Captain Haddock saying?

For those who might not be familiar with the series Tintin (soon to be in a major motion picture, by the way), there is a character named Captain Haddock who is famous for shouting out colourful ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Have you tried XYZ before?

I English I can ask somebody if they've experienced or sampled a food or drink, or even an activity with this verb: Here try this and tell me if you like it. I tried koregusu once but I didn't like ...
7
votes
2answers
139 views

What is the difference between 石{いし}、岩{いわ} and 岩石{がんせき}?

I'm just a beginner. I think all of them meaning the same, rock. Can anyone explain it for me?
3
votes
3answers
208 views

たくさん vs. 多く vs. 多い when used on verbs?

I'm familiar with the concept of how たくさん、多く、and 多い are used in relation to nouns (多くの人、人が多い、etc.) but I'm still unfamiliar with how you can say the expression "a lot of [verb]". I know, for example, ...
26
votes
4answers
4k views

Usage of たくさん vs. 多い

When do we use たくさん and when do we use 多い? I found both modifiers are used within similar sentences, for example: 人が多かったです 人がたくさんいました I had this impression that 多い is used with countable nouns ...
4
votes
1answer
454 views

How to shorten conjugations of “must” forms without sounding girly?

I know the full conjugations of expressing things that must/must not be done (ex:行かなくてはだめ)and their slang forms (ex:行かなくちゃ) but I've heard the ちゃ sounds like a little girl speaking? If that's true, ...
3
votes
3answers
277 views

Is there a non-katakana word for “cash flow”?

If you look up "cash flow" in most dictionaries, it seems the concept is expressed in katakana, キャッシュフロー. However, I was speaking with a Japanese person earlier, and the term was not immediately ...
5
votes
1answer
258 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'.
7
votes
2answers
658 views

Can そばかす be used to describe a pattern on dog face?

Are these 斑{ぶち} or そばかす? Are freckles (そばかす) in Japanese limited to human? Would it be a mistake to describe a pattern on dog's face as そばかす?
2
votes
2answers
340 views

Meaning of 顔をする?

Does 顔をする mean to make a face or to have a particular type of face? When I looked at the Japanese dictionary definition for する, it was quite confusing since one had ある状態・性質であることを示す compared to ...
7
votes
2answers
348 views

“なし” used for both animate and inanimate things?

I was so surprised to read: 孝行をしたい時分に親はなし。 (paraphrase) When one finally wants to truly fulfill the obligation to his/her parents, they often have already passed away. (note): I would have ...
5
votes
2answers
385 views

What's the difference between [勝負]{しょうぶ} and [試合]{しあい}

I've seen both refered to as "match". Is there some secondary usage or perhaps a connotation or nuance that separates the two?
3
votes
2answers
134 views

What's the difference between 体育 and スポーツ?

This may be my Chinese getting in the way of my Japanese again, but doesn't 体育 and スポーツ both mean "sport"? What are the differences between them, and when is one used over the other?
4
votes
2answers
125 views

Difference between using -ba or -ra form and と for conditionals?

Is there some nuance between using each one? For example: Could I use と in place of -ba form in 電気を消せば暗くなる。 or in place of -ra form in 電気を消したら暗くなる。 like this: 電気を消すと暗くなる。 ?
3
votes
2answers
146 views

Can I use といいですね in this situation? “I hope you haven't fallen ill again”

退院して以来、健康問題がなかったといいですね。 I hope you haven't had any problems since you got out of hospital.
6
votes
1answer
103 views

Is there any practical difference between しばらく and しばらくの間?

While answering How does しばらく work with ていない? I started to wonder if 暫く{しばらく} and 暫く{しばらく}の間{あいだ} were fully interchangeable? Or are there any examples where you would use one and not the other?
4
votes
1answer
84 views

実践 and 実戦 in exercises

I've seen both 実践 and 実戦 used in the context of practice questions, both pronounced じっせん, of course. 実践問題 seems to be the more common of the two, meaning a practice exercise, but I've recently come ...
2
votes
1answer
7k views

What is a word meaning “to ask”?

I've needed to use a word "to ask" recently, and the word I decided on was [尋]{たず}ねる. But I have strong doubts that this is actually the right word to use in a situation such as this: I would like ...
-2
votes
1answer
168 views

No versus not in Japanese [closed]

Is there a difference between no versus not in japanese, or is it just always いいえ?
2
votes
1answer
90 views

Difference between 事業, 企業, and 会社?

They all translate to the same thing: business, enterprise, etc. Most sentences I've found online seem to use them interchangeably (at least, as far as I can tell), and they are all very common words. ...
7
votes
3answers
162 views

What is the difference between 殺{さつ}人{じん} and 殺{さつ}害{がい}?

What is the difference between 殺人 and 殺害? As I know, both of them mean "killing". I found the words in these sentences: 秋田運転手刺殺事件、男を逮捕 強盗殺人容疑で。 金品を奪い取る目的で殺害した疑い。
4
votes
2answers
553 views

How to create 'although' sentences in Japanese

I know there are different ways to get the sense of 'although..., but...' in a sentence. Too many ways for me to be clear about how to express it at all, to be honest. In Chinese it's as simple as can ...
3
votes
0answers
40 views

電話する and 電話をかける [duplicate]

From what I have seen, they are both used to say " to call someone" by phone, but I was wondering if there was a difference between the two. Is one more formal? Is there a nuance in meaning? Are ...
54
votes
10answers
3k views

How should I choose between [知]{し}る and わかる?

Both 知る and わかる get used for "know", "understand", "learn", "find out", and various other concepts. How do you know which to use when? Are there any rules to help you decide? Additionally, both of ...
6
votes
1answer
155 views

“人物” vs. “性格” vs. “人柄”?

With regard to talking about one's "personality", such as one being out-going, stoic, cold, not trustworthy, etc. I've always said "人柄{ひとがら}". And, the natives seem to basically understand what I ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Using 旨 where こと could be used a well

Often in a business setting I hear Japanese speakers using この旨 where この事 seemingly fits as well. Like 「この旨をご連絡させて頂きます」 or 「〇〇の旨かしこまりました」 Is it just a matter of corporate speak or is there a ...
7
votes
2answers
224 views

自分 and 自身, what's the difference

I am having some trouble telling the difference between the two. Don't they both mean "myself"? And so does 私自身, right? I don't get the difference, when you would you use any of them and how to ...
-2
votes
1answer
157 views

Nuance of 君のこと in 君のこと知りたい [closed]

this is kind of an embarrassing thing for me to post here, but hopefully I'll come to find out it's not an issue at all! So recently I've become close with a Japanese friend because we've gotten along ...
1
vote
1answer
179 views

How do you indicate sections in a report if there are more than 5? (まず、つぎに、さらに、そして、最後に)

If you need to indicate more sections in a report than five (beginning each section with 「まず」、「つぎに」、「さらに」、「そして」、「最後に」 respectively), what word(s) should you use to indicate the start of the additional ...
3
votes
1answer
61 views

The difference between 面会 and 対面

I heard Japanese speaker correcting himself from 面会 to 対面. Edit: The actual phrase was 「二人が 面会 対面をした時に・・・」 He was referring to a meeting of two people one-on-one in a casual setting, but still ...
7
votes
1answer
143 views

Difference between 俺物語 and 俺の物語

There is an anime/manga called 俺物語!! which is translated as "My Story!!" or "My Love Story!!" depending on which site you visit. The way I have learned it, it should be "俺の物語" to be "my story" ...
4
votes
2answers
83 views

Can I use 罪を着せる to describe actions before a crime was committed?

There is a phrase 罪を着せる translated (J-to-E) as "charge someone with a crime", "pin a crime to someone", "assign guilt to someone". So a crime has been committed and one takes actions to attribute ...
5
votes
1answer
88 views

What's the difference between 段階 and 階段?

I've seen both of these words used on television programs, but as far as I can tell they both mean "level"/"steps". Is the word order interchangeable here or do they mean different things? A search ...
2
votes
1answer
98 views

Should I use honorifics to say (言う 'iu') for subordinate clauses?

When I use という to-iu, for example: これと同{おな}じ「草{くさ}」というものがここに生{は}えますか? Kore to onaji “kusa” to-iu mono ga kokoni haemasu ka? Does something like this so-called “grass” grow around here? ...
3
votes
1answer
157 views

を vs で in these sentences

Can't understand Kanji, so please use furigana in answers :) Context: I'm using Rosetta stone, so there's just pictures. The picture accompanying the first sentence is a girl sleeping on a beach, ...
2
votes
2answers
157 views

conditionals: “…といったら、…” vs. “…というなら、…”?

(1)「元気そうだと田中さんがいったら、信用できる証拠と思う。」 (2) 「元気そうだと田中さんがいうなら、信用できる証拠と思う。」 Are both grammatically correct? Were I to want to say: If Tanaka-san were to say that X appears to be in good ...
2
votes
2answers
430 views

What is the correct 'to wear' verb for body weights?

In attempting to write about wearing ankle weights for the day, I found myself at a loss for which verb was appropriate. 巻く seems like it could be appropriate since they wrap around the ankle - in ...
6
votes
2answers
667 views

Asking a question with “da” and “datta”

We use "desu" and "deshita" to make the polite form and "ka" to make it a question, for example: Tokyo ga suki desu ka? (Do you like Tokyo?) Tokyo ga suki deshita ka? (Did you like Tokyo?) How can ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Do both “どっかの男” and “ある男” equally effect an indefinite article kind of meaning?

There is no context for these sentences: (1) ある男と自己紹介するために、夜明けに家を出かけた。 (2) どっかの男と自己紹介するために、夜明けに家を出かけた。 both best translate to: I left my house at daybreak to introduce myself to a man. ...
4
votes
1answer
281 views

必要{ひつよう} vs 要{い}ります

It should be mentioned I can't read kanji, so please keep that in mind when answering I've just encountered the verb [必要]{ひつよう}, in the Rosetta Stone sentence ...
5
votes
2answers
120 views

The Kanji for ありがとうございます

有難う御座います is one Kanji spelling. However, I thought, 'is ございます here an auxilliary verb, and thus are the Kanji incorrect?' Should the proper spelling be 有難うございます?
6
votes
1answer
129 views

Difference between 少し{すこし} and 少ない{すくない}

I know 少し{すこし} and 少ない{すくない} both as 'few', but what's the difference?
2
votes
1answer
61 views

Difference between “地主” and “家主”, and their relationship with 不動産屋?

I just learned a new word, "地主{じぬし}, whose definition in my web dictionary, and paper dictionary, is landlord, land owner. "家主{やぬし}" is surely the word that native English speakers would use for ...
2
votes
2answers
127 views

Are ”見やる“ and ”見すえる" near perfect antonyms?

My understanding is that "見やる" means "to cast a casual glance at." So, I'd think that these sentences are synonymous?: 空を見やった。 空を無頓着に見た。 "見すえる" is "to intensely stare at something". Thus, ...
2
votes
3answers
178 views

時代 and 時 difference

Is there any difference between, say, 子供の時 and 子どもの時代?
2
votes
1answer
59 views

How to translate まさか with this context- disbelief or surprise?

For some background: MC asked his girlfriend questions about wedding arrangements without specifying who the wedding is for (he's arranging his cousin's). Later, MC realises his girlfriend thought the ...
1
vote
1answer
102 views

What kind of ~~~ is it?

In English, there's an expression, 'What kind of ~~~ is/am/are he/she/it/they/you/I?' used as a rhetorical question meaning the thing in question is not a very good example of a ~~~. I'd like to know ...