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I recently learned different usages of both kanji and I saw it is possible to use the combination of both. It seems to me that 間中{あいだじゅう} isn't a new word. (The other readings don't matter now.)

Here are a couple of examples which contain 間中{あいだじゅう}:

山田さん は テレビ を 見{み}ている間中{あいだじゅう} 食{た}べていました。
Mr. Yamada was eating while watched the TV.

デートの間中{あいだじゅう} 天気{てんき} が 悪{わる}かった。
The weather was bad during the date.

I know these examples have the same meaning if I leave out 中{じゅう} because in this case 間{あいだ} still expresses that the statement happened from the start to end of the particular period. So I think here 中{じゅう} has been used to emphasize the fact that the statement happened for the whole particular period. Am I right?

1 Answer 1

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You are right, 間中 is more emphatic, and indicates something happens from the start to the end of the period. Most of the time, you can translate ~の間 simply as "during ~", and ~の間中 as "throughout ~", "all through ~" or "during the entire ~". ずっと has the same function.

  • 夜の間
    during the night
  • 夜の間中 / 夜の間ずっと / 夜の間中ずっと
    all through the night / throughout the night / during the entire night
  • 寝ている間
    while sleeping
  • 寝ている間中 / 寝ている間ずっと / 寝ている間中ずっと
    the entire time one is sleeping / the whole time sleeping
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  • I have a question: isn't 「の間中ずっと」rather redundant?
    – Nameless
    Commented Jan 20, 2022 at 4:35
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    @Nameless It's true that using one of the two is usually enough, but IMHO using both is not unnatural when you want to speak emphatically.
    – naruto
    Commented Jan 20, 2022 at 4:42
  • Yes, I just wanted to make sure as I've always seen it written as 間ずっと.
    – Nameless
    Commented Jan 20, 2022 at 4:43
  • @nameless BTW, what do you feel about "all through the entire night"? Is it redundant or unnatural?
    – naruto
    Commented Jan 20, 2022 at 4:49
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    Thanks, so looks like it's at least much worse than の間中ずっと :)
    – naruto
    Commented Jan 21, 2022 at 7:49

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