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
33 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. ?
5
votes
2answers
129 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?
1
vote
0answers
48 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
73 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
128 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
189 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'.
4
votes
1answer
128 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。 ...
2
votes
1answer
129 views

Differences between words for “optimistic” and “pessimistic”

I've been confused for a long time about how certain Japanese words map onto the meaning of "optimistic" and "pessimistic" in English. Specifically, what is the difference between (Optimistic) ...
3
votes
2answers
136 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
83 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 ...
20
votes
4answers
930 views

不 and 非 and 無 and 未 usage difference/rule

Is there any rules that govern when to use 不 and 非 and 無 and 未 in regards to the meaning of "not" or "un-" for instance 非表示, 不満 
-5
votes
1answer
92 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 ?
3
votes
1answer
117 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
116 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?
3
votes
1answer
121 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? ...
3
votes
1answer
110 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
149 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
152 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?
3
votes
2answers
101 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 ...
43
votes
10answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
119 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), ...
4
votes
1answer
165 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
186 views

Which is the most correct (or common): 話 or 話し?

The meaning of 話, as a kanji, is "tale, talk", but as a word, it means the same as 話し: "Talk; speech; chat; story; conversation." In the official jouyou kanji chart, there's only 話, for the isolated ...
3
votes
1answer
111 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
196 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
188 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?
6
votes
1answer
227 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
14k views

Using なるほど (naruhodo) and やっぱり (yappari) in the same situation

I know, since they are of different word classes, なるほど (naruhodo) and やっぱり (yappari) may not be used interchangeably within the same sentence, but can they be used within the same situation instead? ...
12
votes
1answer
355 views

Is こら a lot more rude than ほら?

From early on, I've used こら and ほら somewhat interchangeably. They both mean "hey!" I picked them up from friends early on without without really having a sense of the difference. Now, after some ...
5
votes
1answer
189 views

もっとも: distinguishing between 尤も and 最も

I found a page in Japanese with title "世界でもっとも汚染された10の都市". Having encountered the phrase 「もっとも」 for the first time, I looked it up on WWWJDIC and found two entries: 尤も 【もっとも】 (adj-na,adv,conj,n) ...
7
votes
2answers
193 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
403 views

Can both Hepburn and Kunreisiki romaji be used to write a person's name?

I once asked why there are two input systems to type some of the same letters, like し or つ, which can be written as shi/si or tsu/tu. I was told that both are okay, I could choose the way I like to ...
13
votes
3answers
698 views

Proper answer to 「何名様ですか」

I have a question about how to properly answer a question. At restaurants, the hostess will often ask 「何名様ですか」 ("How many in your party?") For example, if you have four people in your party, is it ...
8
votes
2answers
246 views

What is the difference between 思【おも】い付【つ】く and 思【おも】い浮【う】かぶ?

The words 思い付く and 思い浮かぶ both mean something along the lines of "to come to mind". But I'm not actually sure about the details of when to use one versus the other. Yet, at the same time, they don't ...
2
votes
2answers
123 views

How are 超域 and 学際 different?

As I understand it, the word 学際 is usually used to mean "interdisciplinary" when referring to college courses. However, I recently came across the word "超域文化科学" while browsing college websites. In ...
16
votes
1answer
978 views

Why isn't a large amount of money a good enough reason to kill someone?

In my JLPT workbook, there is this example question: 適当{てきとう}な語{ご}を選{えら}びなさい この殺人{さつじん}事件{じけん}の裏{うら}には(  )上{じょう}のトラブルがあるようだ。 A 金額{きんがく}  B 大金{たいきん}  C 金銭{きんせん}  D 基金{ききん} The answer ...
4
votes
2answers
132 views

なったら vs. なると – usage in context

I came across the following exercise – I have to fill in the gap with the correct word that I have to choose from a series of 4. 信号{しんごう}があおに(    )、道{みち}を渡{わた}っていいです。 I eliminated 2 words and ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

Differences between くれます, もらいます and いただきます

I have been taught that they are used when receiving something (or a favor) from someone. But how exactly do they differ? I've searched the web for an answer and One site suggests that くれます is ...
1
vote
1answer
288 views

Are programming languages referred to by their English names or do they have Japanese names?

What is the correct way to talk about coding languages in Japanese? Should the original English name be preserved in the following context? トップPythonのコーダー日本2014 Top Python Coder Japan 2014
5
votes
4answers
210 views

What is the difference between 積もる 【つもる】 and 溜まる 【たまる】?

What is the difference between 積もる 【つもる】 and 溜まる 【たまる】? I've found the verbs used like this: 洗濯{せんたく}が溜まる{たまる}。 雪{ゆき}が深く{ふかく}積もる{つもる}。 In this context, are these verbs interchangeable? Can I say ...
4
votes
1answer
122 views

What is the difference between ~みたい and ~らしい when expressing similarity or resemblance? [duplicate]

According to this HiNative question, ~みたいだ tends to be used subjectively, whereas ~らしい tends to be used more objectively. This seems to indicate that the difference is the same as that between the 2 ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

What's the difference between せっかく and わざわざ?

せっかく and わざわざ seem to be pretty close in meaning/usage, but is there ever a time you would use one and not the other? Or is there a small nuance there? Just to give some example sentences: ...
4
votes
1answer
145 views

Difference between ずっと and いつも

The other day when I was having a brief conversation in Japanese I meant to say "I have always been living here" so I said いつも(the name of my home province)に住んでいます。 The Japanese person I was speaking ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

通{とお}した and 通{つう}じた – usage in context

In 合格できる N3 (page 28), I found the following exercise: 海外{がいかい}旅行{りょこう}で、習{なら}った英語{えいご}が(   )ときは、とてもうれしかった。 1.通{とお}した    2.詰{つ}めた    3.抜{ぬ}けた    4.通{つう}じた I have to fill in with the correct ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

急{きゅう}に vs.すぐに – usage in context

In 合格できる N3 (page 28), I found the following exercise: うちの子{こ}は新{あた}しいおもちゃ見{み}ると、(    )ほしがる。 1. 急に   2. じっと   3.すぐに   4.しっかり I have to fill in with the correct word. I think it's either 1 ...
8
votes
2answers
390 views

Do people use the ending ~まい?

I see the ending ~まい all over the place in the JLPT books and in example phrases but I can't actually think of an example of somebody saying it or writing in an email (from SMS style messages to work ...
3
votes
2answers
105 views

はく and きる or just きる?

Textbook says はく is for stuff you wear below your waist (ジーンズをはいている) and きる for stuff you wear above your waist (T-シャツをきています) But checking for 着る on www.tangorin.com I find 着る defined as to wear (in ...
3
votes
1answer
126 views

difference between 計画を立てる and 計画をする?

Is there any difference between 計画【けいかく】を立てる【たてる】 and 計画をする? In Sou Matome N3, the first one appears as "to make plans", as for the second one (being a suru verb), I assume that it can also be ...
3
votes
1answer
138 views

Difference between 超える【こえる】 and 超す【こす】?

こんばんは、皆!(6:25pm in Russia) So, I just got confused by these two words (超える【こえる】 and 超す【こす】). Can someone explain them to me? Do they have the same meaning, or am I wrong?
9
votes
5answers
1k 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.) ...