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So like the title asks, I'm wondering if it's legitimate to say 「意味する」 to mean "to mean". I know 意味 is meaning, and I was wondering what the verb version of 'to mean' would be. An example sentence would be "I didn't mean that." How would I translate that into Japanese? Or is there a different verb I would use?

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意味する is a stiff transitive verb which means "(for a word/phrase/fact) to mean". Note that the subject cannot be a person or person pronoun like 私. The subject of 意味する is usually a (difficult) word/phrase, sometimes a certain fact or a phenomenon.

  • 曾祖父とは祖父母の父を意味する。
    A grand-grandfather means the father of a grandparent.
  • 祖父母の父を意味する言葉は何ですか?
    What is the word that means the father of a grandparent?
  • 彼が来たということは作戦が成功したということを意味していた。
    The fact that he came meant the mission was successful.

"I didn't mean it" usually translates to そういう意味ではありません, そういうつもりではありません, そうじゃない, etc. If you want to say "(Sorry,) I didn't mean it" after you did something wrong, consider 悪気はなかったんです or そういうつもりではなかったんです. "She means ~" is 彼女が言いたいのは~です, etc.

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