What would you say is the difference between:




I saw there are some similar questions about this topic, but I think none answers this especific matter. Thanks

1 Answer 1


1) 君{きみ}アホだと言{い}う

2) 君アホだと呼{よ}ぶ

In meaning, the difference between the two is minimal.

In grammar, however, the difference is somewhat bigger because 「言う」 is an intransitive verb in 1) and 「呼ぶ」, a transitive verb in 2), which is why the two verbs take different particles -- 「に」 and 「を」 respectively.

1) means "to say to/tell you that you are a fool"

2) means "to call you a fool"

Hope this helps.

  • 1
    As I understand it (correct me if I'm wrong), there is some subtle difference in meaning, similar to the two verbs in English, in that 言う just means you're telling somebody something (which could be public, or in private, but it's directed primarily at them), whereas 呼ぶ refers to applying a label or name to something, which implies you are publicly assigning the label of "fool" to the person (i.e. one means "I'm telling you (directly) that you are a fool" and the other means "I'm (publicly) calling you a fool (to everyone else)"). Depending on context, this distinction might matter, or not..
    – Foogod
    Dec 13, 2019 at 19:29

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