I'm just a beginner. I think all of them meaning the same, rock. Can anyone explain it for me?

  • 石【いし】: stone, typically of a few centimeters in size
  • 岩【いわ】: rock, typically of a few meters or more in size
  • 岩石【がんせき】: stones and rocks.

Another important difference is that, as a Sino-Japanese word, 岩石 sounds technical, and used as an academic term for rock in general. In everyday conversations, 石 and 岩 are commonly used.


According to Japanese dictionary, although it is written about various things in detail, I have an image like an attached file. In short, "石" is small, 岩 and 岩石 are big.

Hope it helps. enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.