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According to Jisho, the expressions 何かと, 何くれ and 何かにつけて all mean "in various ways". However, I tried to search the difference in usage between them, but I couldn't find anything insightful.

To tell the truth, they are not expressions that I have seen in texts, but rather I came across them by chance while I was looking for another thing, and individually, one by one, I don't know very well how to use them. If possible, could you please, in addition to explaining the difference, give examples to understand these expressions better?

Edit: I wrote mistakenly 何につけて instead of 何かにつけて. I meant the second one from the very beginning, whose meaning in theory is "in various ways".

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  • 何くれ seems archaic and Jisho has archaic words and never tells the nuance or tone of the word. 某 (くれ) is a archaic indefinite pronoun, it's like 何れ
    – Star Peep
    Feb 19 at 15:47
  • The か in expressions like 何もかも 誰もかも are all 彼. Also, it's 何かにつけて
    – Star Peep
    Feb 19 at 15:57
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    How are you coming up with these words? If you're trying to build vocabulary, hunting for words in Jisho is going to be a maddening experience because they do not inform you whether it's a common word or archaic; they also do a poor job in distinguishing shades of meaning. If you want lists of words to memorize, use a good paper addition of a Japanese to English dictionary. They often indicate which words are standard everyday type of vocabulary. Or, use the JLPT lists, though some of those may not be as useful one might hope.
    – A.Ellett
    Feb 19 at 15:58
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    You can safely forget the second one. You will never use it. I haven't.
    – aguijonazo
    Feb 19 at 16:07

1 Answer 1

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If you want to learn about the usage of a Japanese phrase with examples and their English translations, trying ALC instead of jisho.org might be a good idea. ALC is a large online dictionary primarily targeting Japanese speakers. It contains numerous rare English words that even native English speakers may not know, but the Japanese vocabulary used there is understandable for an average Japanese person without needing to consult another dictionary. (Conversely, when I want to determine if an English speaker can understand a certain English word, I often check if jisho.org lists it as an English translation.)

Here is what you can get from ALC:

  • 何かと: one way or another

    • 何かと口を挟みたがる have lots of opinions
    • 何かと物議を醸す stir a fuss every so often
    • 何かと理由をつけて介入する find reason to intervene
    • ~について報道で何かと耳にしている have heard something in the press about
  • 何くれ: (literally zero hit, meaning it's not a phrase used by a modern Japanese speaker)

  • 何につけて

    • 何につけてもそうだが just like with anything else
    • 何につけても大胆である be not afraid of anything
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  • Thank you very much for your answer! I will follow your recommendation and start using more the ALC dictionary.
    – kanachan
    Feb 20 at 11:07
  • Putting 何くれ aside, it seems that 何かと is used more in the sense of "a lot" that with the meaning "in various ways", and 何かにつけて seems to mean "everything" rather than "in various ways". Would you share as a native this perception?
    – kanachan
    Feb 20 at 11:08
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    @kanachan Yes, that's exactly what I feel with those words.
    – naruto
    Feb 20 at 13:03

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