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If the kanji for child is 子 why is 子供 also child? In which cases would I say one vs the other?

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子供 means kids or children in general.

子, apart from kid or child, can also mean "son" or "daughter". So if you say「子じゃなかった」sometimes it means he/she isn't my/your... son/daugther.

In the case of your question, you should say 「子供じゃなかった」. That means "he/she was not a child".

  • When you say 子供 means kids or children in general, does that mean it is plural? – William Oliver Apr 27 '18 at 22:21
  • It can be singular or plural, just like pretty much everything else. – Kurausukun Apr 28 '18 at 4:44

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