All three of these seem to translate to influence/affect. Are there any differences in meaning? Or are they interchangeable? I can't figure anything out by looking at example sentences (although I have a feeling one of them has a negative connotation).

One of these example sentences I found (from jisho.org) is:

His father had a good influence on him

Is there a reason 与える is used here? Or could the others have been used here as well (assuming any necessary shifts in grammar are made)?

1 Answer 1

  • 影響する
  • 影響を与える
  • 影響を及ぼす
  • 影響する is grammatically different from the other two; it is one verb, and cannot be modified by the dictionary form of an adjective like よい ("よい影響する" is wrong).
  • "父親は彼によく影響する" is grammatically correct, but it sounds more like "to affect strongly" rather than "to have a good effect/influence".
  • 影響を与える and 影響を及ぼす are semantically the same, but I feel 及ぼす is not frequently used except in formal situations or technical articles. I think "彼によい影響を及ぼした" is perfect in a written biography, but sounds too grandiose in a conversation. "よい影響を与えた" is better, but it's still a bit stiff. A more natural expression in a conversation would be "父親がいて彼にはいい影響があった".
  • I found one person who feels 影響を及ぼす has a negative connotation, but personally I don't think so.

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