As I understand, both よ and よる mean 'night'. I guess that the difference might be purely idiomatic. In this sense:

  • What are idioms where only one of them is correct?
  • What are idioms where you can use either?
  • If you can use either, is there a difference in nuance?
  • 1
    As usual, explanations of downvotes are appreciated.
    – Tobias
    Apr 5, 2014 at 11:28
  • I'm just a little interested in the etymology of る in words like よる and ひる.
    – Yang Muye
    Apr 5, 2014 at 12:36
  • 2
    – user1016
    Apr 5, 2014 at 14:02
  • @Chocolate 分かりました。ありがとうございました。
    – Tobias
    Apr 6, 2014 at 19:00

1 Answer 1


Both readings are kun-readings of kanji 夜 and are used in native Japanese words.

I think the main difference is that:

  • 夜{よる} is rather used as a standalone word meaning evening or night.

  • 夜{よ} is used in compound words, e.g. 夜{よ}中{なか} (midnight), 闇{やみ}夜{よ} (dark night), 夜{よ}空{ぞら} (night sky).

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