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I want to say "Is later okay?" Is there a specific difference between the two terms? A friend of mine routinely uses the first term, I have been using the second term. TY.

  • What is the english equivalent of what you're trying to ask? – ajsmart Jul 6 '17 at 19:49
  • I want to say Is later okay? – JACK Jul 6 '17 at 19:54
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If you want to ask "Can I do it later (even though you want me to do it now)?" by "Is later okay?", you need ~いい?

いい and ~いい are critically different in Japanese.

~がいい implies it's the ideal first choice, whereas ~でいい implies it's acceptable but not an ideal one.

あといい? means "Do you rather want to me to do it later?" (i.e., "You don't want me to do it now, right?")

You can use an optional time marker で after あと. Don't confuse this で with the で described above.

Therefore:

  • あとがいい? = あとでがいい? = Do you (rather) want me to do it later?
  • あとでいい? = あとででいい? = Can I do it later?

のち is not usually followed by で/が.

  • 私、ずっと勉強したけど。なんか「後に」と「後で」の違いさっぱり分からないんです。話が長くなるなら質問しますが、簡単な説明ありますか? – ajsmart Jul 7 '17 at 3:13
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    @ajsmart japanese.stackexchange.com/q/685/5010 – naruto Jul 7 '17 at 5:57
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I think you can say

後{あと}でもいいですか

which is similar to asking for permission using

Vて も いいですか (Is it okay to V?)

where Vて is a verb in て-form

1

If you're trying to say:

Can we do it later?

or

Can this wait until a later date?

You will want to say:

後でいいでしょうか?

This is a polite way to say it, and one of the more agreeable ways to say it too.


NOTE:

のち uses the same kanji as あと (後). You will want to look up this grammar structure in understanding how it is used.

For the time being, this page should be more than enough for studying use of あとで。 のち is not as common, and beginners should be able to get through most conversations without knowing about it. (It's still important to know and understand though!)


EDIT:

Withe the help of A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar by Makino and Tsutsui, I came up with the following. (paraphrased in my words)

The most common construction using the のち(に) grammar is as follows:

  • Verb(informal)-Past + のち(に)

東京{とうきょう}に引{ひ}っ越{こ}したのち、母{はは}がワンちゃんを買{か}ったそうだ。

I heard that after I moved to Tokyo, my mother bought a puppy.

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