I was just wondering if anything like the english expression "sth is love, sth is life" exists in japanese.

Preferably as close as it gets to the english wording.

Edit It seems like my question wasn't clear enough so i'm going to try and clarify with an example:

Some people say for example "Stackoverflow is love, stackoverflow is life" to express how much they like stackoverflow.

  • what do you mean by sth? – ajsmart Jul 13 '17 at 19:37
  • "Something is, love something is live" = "A is, love A is live"? – karlalou Jul 13 '17 at 19:53
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    I'm a native English speaker and I don't understand this expression. Can you give some context on how this is used? – user3856370 Jul 13 '17 at 20:26
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    Sorry, as you may have guessed english is not my first language... I mistakenly wrote live instead of life. I added a really simple example, but maybe this expression is less common than I thought... – mammago Jul 13 '17 at 20:28

Phrase like “sth is love sth is life”
"Stackoverflow is love, stackoverflow is life"

As in English, in Japanese also the subject comes first, but the verb comes at the end of the sentence.

We don't have any space in between words, but each word is connected by a particle.

When talking about a general idea, the particle indicates the theme (subject) of the sentence, at the same time connects it to the next word.

So, for example,



This likely will not fit into Japanese culture very well, but a direct (literal) translation would be something to the effect of:


Lets break it down.

__: is the noun in question.

: subject marker

愛{あい}: Love

であり: This is a conjugation of である, a somewhat archaic form of the 'to be' verb. The Base II conjugation is for paring with ます、but this conjugation without ます can also mean that your thought isn't finished, and that there is more to follow.

命{いのち}: Life

である: Plain form to be verb. This is somewhat archaic in nature, so it gives this phrase a proverb type feel to it. Honestly, in my opinion である sounds much cooler than です。Anyway, I say this is somewhat archaic because である is still widely used today in various circumstances. Using it to end a sentence, however, is not common. If you were to use it to end a sentence, you would be speaking in an older style, hence the reason it's somewhat archaic.

  • I like this, but to give the same emphasis on phrasing, maybe 命こそである. Completely an opinion though, because as you said, it's definitely not a native expression – psosuna Jul 13 '17 at 21:14
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    I don't know of any ことわざ that would work for this either. As for the use of こそ、I could see it going either way, we'll have to see what the 日本人 think. – ajsmart Jul 13 '17 at 21:17
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    definitely. I think I'm going on the emphasis of the English phrase that life = everything, thus life > love, so it's being escalated via emphasis of repetition – psosuna Jul 13 '17 at 21:42
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    Oh, good point. I still can't decide between the two, so I'm leaving it as it is to keep it simple. @psosuna – ajsmart Jul 13 '17 at 21:47
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    Xは愛であり、命こそである Xは愛であり、Xこそも命である --> 「命こそである」はおかしいです。 To use こそ, it should be like 「 Xこそ命である」「 Xこそが命である」「Xこそ愛であり、Xこそ命である」「Xこそが愛であり、Xこそが命である」 – Chocolate Jul 14 '17 at 2:43

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