I believe I roughly understand the difference in meaning between the two. However, as far as I can tell, they have the same pitch accent - 大辞林 lists them both as being [0], ie 平板. Would context always dictate which 「いじょう」 is being used?

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    うーん..? 質問は、How to differentiate between 異常 and 異状 in speech? they have the same pitch accent ... Would context always dictate which 「いじょう」 is being used? 「異常と異状を話し言葉でどう区別するか 」「ピッチアクセントはどちらも同じ。どちらが使われているかは 常にコンテクストで決まるのか ?」であって、「異常と異状はどう違いますか・どう使い分けますか」じゃないですよね・・・
    – chocolate
    Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 12:38

2 Answers 2


According to 「異常」と「異状」 | ことば(放送用語) - 放送現場の疑問・視聴者の疑問 | NHK放送文化研究所, the site explains


In case, "there is nothing wrong in health check", which kanji「異常」or「異状」should I use to describe it?

A. 「診断結果は異常なし」など、「異常」を用います。

"There is nothing wrong in health check", etc. We use異常for it.

They follow


「異常」is a pair of words, antonym of「正常」. In general, it is used like「異常な発達 : unexpected development、異常な執念 : aberrant tenacity 、信号機の異常 : malfunction of traffic light」, etc.

For 「異状」,


Whereas 「異状」is used to describe "The state different from as usual.". It is used restrictively like abnormal corpse, "All quiet on the western front" * or the expression「異状{イジョー}なし!」is used when guardsman describing the patrol report. *The literal translation of "Im Westen nichts Neues" is "In the West Nothing New," according to the wikipedia

The same site explains the pair of words is defined by "日本新聞協会の『新聞用語集 2007年版』「表記の原則」".




As you already know, 異常 is abnormal and 異状 is closer to unusual, but the latter is a relatively uncommon word used in limited situations. Unless your job is related to military or security, you usually don't have to worry about 異状 in speech. In addition, the meanings of these words are close enough, and I doubt this pair can result in misunderstanding in speech.

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