Please help understand the difference between まさか and まさに.
A look-up for meanings seems to indicate them to exactly opposite to each other.

まさか - not at all

まさに - surely

However,i have not been able to find an easy example to highlight the difference. Do I understand this correct?

  • 1
    I think the most common meaning of まさか is impossible!, never!, no way!. For example: A: X-san is dead! B: ええ, まさか。 To understand when / how / where to use まさに, you can take a look at these examples: ejje.weblio.jp/sentence/content/… If you're still in doubts after that, just ask again. :)
    – zdo
    Commented Nov 27, 2014 at 7:20
  • 1
    まさか is a guiding adverb (呼応の副詞) that leads expressions of unexpectation. It implies those things commented above but it doesn't mean them by itself like もし doesn't mean "if".
    – user4092
    Commented Nov 28, 2014 at 7:45
  • Found a nice sentence here that illustrates the difference: 「一ドル五〇円」という「まさか」は必ず起こる == 通貨の歴史について言えば、金本位制の崩壊もまさに「まさか」であった
    – blutorange
    Commented Mar 8, 2015 at 12:01

2 Answers 2


まさか means highly unlikely thing, unconceivable, no way. まさに means exactly or just in time.


What Admiral Kimmel got from Washington were just several vague warnings. Therefore Japanese air attack was highly unlikely thing for him.


Masaka is used colloquially a lot like "NO WAY." and is probably equivalent to "Maji de"

Masa ni is like "truly" and is far more likely to be found in an elegantly written novel.

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