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Both 青々とした and 青々した essentially mean green. Is there any difference between the two expressions?

eg. from JapanesePod101:

羊{ひつじ}が青々{あおあお}した芝生{しばふ}を食べている。

The sheep is eating the green grass.

Would adding the extra と after 青々 change anything?

  • Here と comes form the classical auxiliary verb たり. 青々とした = 青々 + と + した. To me 青々した sounds a bit stilted, but it may be a matter of opinion. – eltonjohn Jul 2 '15 at 2:43
  • Or rather, たり comes from と (plus あり). – snailcar Jul 2 '15 at 7:42
  • @snailboat: <たり comes from と (plus あり)> Yes etymologically it is more precise. – eltonjohn Jul 2 '15 at 8:04
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「[青々]{あおあお}とした[芝生]{しばふ}」 has the same meaning as 「青々した芝生」. 「と」 makes no difference to the meaning. Both expressions are often used in Japan.

I'm Japanese and forgot details about Japanese language grammar after graduation. But I think I know how to use Japanese language. So please let me try to explain the usage difference between 「青々した」 and 「青々とした」.

 

「青々した」

is commonly used in everyday spoken Japanese, especially when someone wants to express her/his feelings (like amazement, pleasure, excitement, admiration, uncomfortableness etc). It totally depends on the tone but in most cases, I think, 「青々した」 implies the speaker's emotion stronger than 「青々とした」. For example, if someone talks to me like this,

「[見]{み}て、[山]{やま}が[青々]{あおあお}してる」(spoken, casual)

I would expect the next word coming like 「きれいだねえ」 or 「すごいね〜」 or something like that. If it's

「見て、山が青々としてる」(spoken, casual),

the next thing I would guess the speaker might talk is 「この[辺]{あた}りは[夏]{なつ}がくるのが[早]{はや}いね」 or 「あの青さは[杉]{すぎ}かな。あ、[花粉症]{かふんしょう}?」 or something like that.

 

Please note that these kinds of nuance are what I feel. Not universal rules.

Here are some more examples of 「青々した」;

「いただきもののキュウリが、青々してて[美味]{おい}しそう」 (spoken, casual, feeling)

 

「よかった、うちの[畑]{はたけ}もやっと青々してきた」 (spoken, casual, feeling)

 

「ねえお[母]{かあ}さん、お[父]{とう}さんが[髭]{ひげ}[剃]{そ}ったあとの([肌]{はだ}の)青々した[感]{かん}じ、[好]{す}き?」 (spoken, casual, feeling)

 

「青々とした」

is also commonly used in everyday spoken Japanese and could be very emotional, but I think, it's generally used to explain the appearance or impression of things. In [敬語]{けいご} conversation, 「青々とした」 is more appropriate to use than 「青々した」 in many cases. 「青々とした」is preferred in written Japanese if it's not personal writing. The examples of these are

「この[青々]{あおあお}とした[香]{かお}りを[1日]{いちにち}[1回]{いっかい}[嗅]{か}ぐと、[寿命]{じゅみょう}がのびるらしい」(spoken, explanation)

 

「[料理]{りょうり}の[先生]{せんせい}から、青々とした[立派]{りっぱ}な[ピーマン]{ぴいまん}をいただきました」(spoken, Keigo)

 

青々とした[海]{うみ}の[見]{み}える[部屋]{へや}で、その[インタビュー]{いんたびゅう}は[行]{おこな}われた。(written, explanation)

 

So, the words 「青々した」 and 「青々とした」 have the same meaning. They also have the same nuance in most cases, but sometimes their nuances are different. 「青々した」 can be more friendly than 「青々とした」, and 「青々とした」 can be more polite than 「青々した」 in some cases.

 

羊が青々した芝生を食べている。

 

羊が青々とした芝生を食べている。

In this case, these sentences have the same meaning and almost same nuance. It's not [敬語]{けいご}, it's not a formal report, and there is no context. So, whether to add 「と」 is totally the author's preference.

  • Are you sure 敬語 has anything to do with this? Never heard this explanation regarding 「adverb with or without と」 myself. – l'électeur Jul 2 '15 at 23:56
  • This usage cannot be applied to other kinds of Japanese adverbs. Many Japanese adverbs are never followed by a particle. What I was trying to explain is the difference between 「青々した」 and 「青々とした」 only. 「青々 + と(adverb + particle)」 is not 敬語 itself. So I guess that 敬語 textbooks might not teach this kind of word-choice matters. →[続]{つづく} – HiruneDiver Jul 3 '15 at 2:54
  • [続]{つづき}→ But actually, many non-敬語 words are used with 敬語 in polite conversation, and Japanese people usually try to use appropriate or acceptable non-敬語 words in the 敬語-style context. In 「青々」 cases, using 「青々とした」 in 敬語-style context is my recommendation for beginners. 「青々した」 is also suitable in 敬語-style context in some cases though. – HiruneDiver Jul 3 '15 at 2:55
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Same meaning. I think it is a matter of Rhythm.

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