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I'm working through Nihongo so-matome N5 and I came across a phrase I don't quite understand.

大切に使っています means "I'm using it" but I don't understand how that is different from 使っています. How does adding 大切に to the front of 使っていますchange the meaning? If they are the same, what kind of situation would I use 大切に使っています instead of 使っています?

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  • Confused. Are you asking about the difference between 使っています and つっかています or about the meaning of 大切に, or something else? Apr 10 '20 at 14:55
  • Sorry I made a typo that I didn't catch when posting. I've edited it and its awaiting review.
    – Erik
    Apr 10 '20 at 15:53
  • If the person that down voted this post kindly offer some feedback so I can understand the mistake, it would be appreciated
    – Erik
    Apr 11 '20 at 13:24
  • I'm not the down voter, but your question is rather unclear, as I pointed out earlier. Even with your typo correction it still isn't obvious whether your problem is with your understanding of kanji, i.e. do you already know that つかう and 使うare the same thing? Or is it that you don't know what 大切に means? If not, why didn't you look it up in a dictionary? You need to give as much information as you can to help the person answering the question so that they know what to focus on. Otherwise the answer to every question would have to be enormous, focusing on every possible nuance and detail. Apr 11 '20 at 14:15
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    I'd tried using Google translate but both phrases translated to the same English sentence so I was at a loss and used Stack Overflow since I don't have a dictionary for myself. However, I looked around after your feedback and found jisho.org and that seems like a much better resource.
    – Erik
    Apr 11 '20 at 20:05
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Erik, ようこそ。

There are two separate things going on here.

First off, the verb meaning "to use" is written as つかう in hiragana and 使う in kanji. There's no difference in meaning whatsoever, but this is a very common word and you're unlikely to see this verb written in hiragana outside of materials for children and Japanese learners.

When you conjugate the verb into -ている・-ています form, it looks like this:

使っている or 使っています

つかっている or つかっています

Note that when written in hiragana, the conjugation is つかっています, not つっかています.

Now, what about that word 大切? When used as a な-adjective, 大切 usually means "important," but when you use it as an adverb (by affixing に to the end before a phrase), it means "carefully." So:

使っています = I use it

大切に使っています = I use it carefully

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  • Oh! Sorry about the typo. I corrected the post.
    – Erik
    Apr 10 '20 at 15:52

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