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

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9
votes
3answers
5k views

How do you ask for “the bill” at a restaurant?

This is probably a bit of a silly question, but what do you say in Japanese when you're asking for the bill in a restaurant? Or is it unusual to say anything at all? When I was in Japan I could never ...
4
votes
1answer
111 views

Difference between もう いい です and もう けっこう です

I'm going back over my notes from Japanese For Busy People. I no longer have the books but I wrote out many of the examples. What I have not always done is write down my teacher's explanations. ...
2
votes
1answer
152 views

~んだね as command

Can you use it that way? 逃げるんだ and 逃げるんだよ are both acceptable commands (if rather forceful), but could you say 逃げるんだね for a softer but still very forceful command (or 逃げるんだな)?
0
votes
1answer
71 views

Differences between 'must'

Is there any significant difference between ~ないと、~なきゃ、なくちゃ when they mean 'must'?
5
votes
2answers
765 views

What is the difference between んじゃない and んだ?

I came across the following sentence: 「…あの犯行予告、俺がやったんじゃないんだけどな。」 I also have English subtitles which translate this phrase as: "I wasn't the one who issued that threat, but no matter." What's the ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

Are there any differences between 仕事 and 作業

I have ran across these two words being used in some articles and blog sites. It seems they both translates to "work" but when and why would you use one over the other? Thanks.
1
vote
0answers
49 views

Regarding the word あたくし [duplicate]

It seems too formal for casual use, but too casual for formal use. In what sort of situation would anyone use あたくし?
3
votes
1answer
90 views

What is the difference between 良い and いい?

Consider the following: 良い yoi — 良く yoku いい ii — よく yoku When typing いい, IME offers 良い in the lookup table. It makes me wonder whether いい is just an alias of 良い but it is pronounced ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

What's the difference between 信じる, 信用する and 信頼する?

What's the difference between 信じる, 信用する and 信頼する ? How can I know which one to use? According to my dictionary they all mean "to trust". Are they interchangeable? For example, I trust you.
5
votes
4answers
42k views

Konnichiwa and Konbanwa

What is the difference between Konnichiwa and Konbanwa? Is it appropriate to use either one in everyday conversations?
5
votes
1answer
151 views

Add English nuances to Japanese “いいえ”

Here are some natural ways to say "no" in English (please forgive the language): No God no Hell no F*** no How to include the English nuances in Japanese? Best attempts: No - いいえ or ううん God ...
4
votes
2answers
183 views

Is there a word that describes greenish-blue colours (of any shade)?

I'm looking for the most natural-sounding way to express the general concept of blue-green colours (such as cyan or teal) in Japanese. By "general concept", I mean all colours that are neither ...
6
votes
2answers
153 views

Can 「奴」 be used to refer to a female?

Is the word 「奴」/「やつ」 (yatsu) ever used to refer to another female, or to refer to oneself if one is female? Or is it only used to refer to a male? Answers to this question touched on the word 「奴」, ...
1
vote
1answer
73 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
2answers
181 views

Understanding the subtleties behind [noun]する vs [noun]だ

I still notice this when I see [verbal noun]する instead of [verbal noun]だ. While I understand the meaning of both, I'm missing the qualities that often make する or がある seem to be a more natural choice ...
1
vote
3answers
70 views

What is the difference between ~ru and ~masu?

What is the difference between ~ru and ~masu? For example: taberu and tabemasu. Don't they mean the same thing? Are there certain instances when one is acceptable and the other isn't?
5
votes
1answer
130 views

Difference between 発展、発達、and 開発

What is the difference between 発展、発達、and 開発? According to my textbook, they all mean development. I know that they cannot be used interchangeably, but I don't know when to use each of them. I know ...
11
votes
2answers
493 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, ...
0
votes
1answer
125 views

matcha versus maccha [closed]

Which is grammatically correct? matcha or maccha? In my opinion, according to its hiragana representation, it should be written as maccha rather than matcha. Is there any rule about romaji writing ...
4
votes
3answers
311 views

can one be “さびしい” without being “かなしい”?

Can someone be "さびしい" without being "かなしい"? I assume that one can be "かなしい" without being "さびしい". If this is not true, please explain. I don't think I've heard "かなしい" so much in conversation. Are ...
0
votes
2answers
143 views

Why 'okane o haraimasu'?

In sentences such as: Jana will pay for the drinks. or Will the kids have to pay?. Why is it okane o haraimasu instead of ... o haraimasu? [Correct] Examples: Jana san wa nomimono no okane o ...
2
votes
3answers
344 views

What is the phrase used as a label on the food container to convey “No sugar added”?

I am looking for a pure fruit juice without sugar added for daily consumption in Japan. The box only says 100% bla bla bla but I am not sure whether or not there is sugar added. So my question is: ...
2
votes
2answers
113 views

Can たい and たがる be used for a 1st/2nd/3rd person's desire?

もし生まれ変わっても見たい映画は あなたにありますか? When I saw the the above sentence, I started to wonder. Is it an over simplification to say that たい can only be used for your own desires? However the sentence above ...
2
votes
3answers
102 views

Difference between 帰って来る and 帰る

Consider the following two sentences: うちへ帰って来ます。 うちへ帰ります。 What's the difference between these two sentences? How does the bolded part affect the meaning?
6
votes
1answer
201 views

What's the difference between 売店 and 商店

Is 売店 more used for smaller stuff, like a stand? I'm finding it hard to pinpoint the exact difference.
2
votes
3answers
128 views

Giving and receiving with two 3rd persons

There are (at least) two words which mean "to give": あげる and くれる. The former is used when you give to someone else, and the latter is used when someone else gives to you. But which do you use if you ...
5
votes
2answers
180 views

Difference between 光る, 輝く, and 光り輝く?

What is the difference between 光る{ひかる}, 輝く{かがやく}, and 光り{ひかり}輝く{かがやく}? According to my dictionary, they all mean "to shine" or "to be bright", but I'm sure they aren't always interchangeable. Looking ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

Do 〜によれば and 〜によると differ regarding the speaker's opinion of the following statement being true?

From a newspaper: 16日の発表によると、ドイツ経済の今年の成長率は2.1%、来年が1.8%の見込み。 I think that means: According to the report of April 16th, it is expected that the growth of the German economy will be 2.1% ...
2
votes
3answers
215 views

What is the correct way of saying “see you”?

I've started learning japanese not long ago, from what I've learned the correct way to say "see you" is じゃ【ja】、また【mata】. But I've just seen a show and a character said じゃね【ja ne】. So I searched a ...
2
votes
3answers
132 views

Difference between 〜てみたい and 〜たい

I just learnt about 〜てみる and the book introduced 〜てみたい in an exercise. I can see the difference between, say, 食べたい and 食べてみたい, but with 行きたい and 行ってみたい its not so clear. Would I be right to assume ...
14
votes
3answers
11k views

What's the difference between “さけ” (sake) and “しゃけ” (shake)?

Today I saw onigiri claiming to contain "しゃけ" (shake). When I asked my friend what that was, she said it was the same as "さけ" (sake), "salmon". So are these two just different readings of a kanji, ...
4
votes
1answer
180 views

Differences between “何度も or 何度でも” and 何回も?

Things like 何度も and 何回も are somehow common. In what cases would there be differences between the two? Are they the same differences between the plain 回 and 度? Thanks.
3
votes
1answer
120 views

What's the difference between 無【な】くす and 失【うしな】う

These two words, 無【な】くす and 失【うしな】う, seem to be very similar in meaning, but i'm not sure of the difference. Can someone please explain? Here are some examples: 彼【かれ】は時々【ときどき】希望【きぼう】を失う【うしな】。 ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

What's the best way to say “redesign” pertaining to a web page/site?

I want to say that I'm "redesigning" a web page, and I can think of several words that may fit, but I'm not sure which is most appropriate or most widely-accepted in the technology world. 更新 → This ...
2
votes
2answers
110 views

When is using “陳{の}べる” and “知{し}らせる” in place of “教{おし}える” ok?

Is it ok to substitute "知らせる" for "教える"? I do it all the time and it seems to work-out. But, maybe "知らせる" does not even mean "教える" at all? I've never asked. If the meaning is close, then when might it ...
12
votes
1answer
402 views

Usage of イングランド, イギリス, and 英国

It has always been my understanding that the word for England is イギリス. But the wikipedia page for English-American says イングランド系アメリカ人. Even rikaichan has イングランド as England. Is there a difference in ...
4
votes
1answer
115 views

What's the difference between 根気【こんき】, 我慢【がまん】, 辛抱【しんぼう】 and 忍耐【にんたい】

Recently i found these four words and have no idea what's the difference between them. They all mean "patience" and "endurance". Here are some sentences: 僕【ぼく】は、あいつには我慢【がまん】できない。 I can't abide ...
3
votes
1answer
169 views

What's the difference between 機械 and 器械?

In which case would one be more appropriate than the other?
4
votes
1answer
88 views

Is there a difference between 終わりたい and 終わってほしい

Actually, I'm not even sure, if the ~たい-form of a intransitive verb is possible, or grammatically correct, but I sometimes read 終わりたい or 終わりたくない like for example まだ終わりたくない But from everything I ...
5
votes
2answers
169 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
365 views

Difference between にさせる vs にする(as in 幸せにさせる vs 幸せにする)

What's the difference when we say 幸せにさせる compared to 幸せにする? I'm now confused between using させる and にする. Can anyone please provide an in-depth explanation?
21
votes
4answers
1k 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 
4
votes
0answers
161 views

What do I actually call familiar or friendly language?

When writing on Lang-8, I often end up writing both formal and casual versions (for practice), with labels. I also wish occasionally to discuss formality, and thus need words to talk about the ...
56
votes
9answers
4k views

What is the こと in sentences such as あなたのことが好きだ?

There were a lot of great answers here. I gave the checkmark to ento's answer because I felt it most completely explained all aspects of this use of こと. But many of the other answers are excellent, so ...
4
votes
1answer
125 views

What's the difference between 呪術【じゅじゅつ】, 魔法【まほう】, 奇術【きじゅつ】, and 魔術【まじゅつ】?

Is there any difference between these nouns? Is this like the difference between 'magic' and 'sorcery' in English? Is 魔法【まほう】 used most often?
4
votes
2answers
146 views

記する{きする}、 記す{きす}、記す{しるす} - how do I use and/or differentiate between them?

For instance, here: 碑文に記されているところによれば according to the inscription on the tombstone It's listed under 記する{きする}. Why?
2
votes
1answer
106 views

“again” word: 二度{にど}, 再び{ふたたび} - usage, difference

Do they mean the same thing when used as a sequence word ("again, a second time") or is there any difference (apart from 二度 also being used to mean "two times")?
1
vote
2answers
132 views

Is there a difference between きらい and がすきではありません?

Simply put Pimsluer says to use がすきではありません to express a dislike, but Human Japanese uses きらい, is there a difference?
0
votes
1answer
149 views

What's the meaning of ですね in here?

I know that ですね is a form of saying right? but in this sentence これビデオですね what does that means? I understand that means "it's a video" but I don't understand the ね. A friend was recording a video and ...
4
votes
2answers
95 views

Difference between 揃う【そろう】 and 集まる【あつまる】

Could someone please explain a difference between 揃う【そろう】 and 集まる【あつまる】. I dont think they are synonyms but can't see any difference between them? Two example sentences: 駅前【えきまえ】に 人【ひと】が ...