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Is there any difference for compounds with/without okurigana?

I was reading the wikipedia article about yakiniku. I noticed that in the title they use: (焼き肉 or 焼肉).

The wikipedia article for says it's readings are:

  • On: しょう (shō)
  • Kun: やく (yaku), やき (yaki)

I would like to know why someone would write it as 焼き肉 instead of 焼肉.

  • I don't think anyone would read it as しょうにく.
    – istrasci
    Nov 19, 2012 at 18:51
  • @istrasci: Why would you write it 焼き肉 instead of 焼肉?
    – Macarse
    Nov 19, 2012 at 19:00

1 Answer 1


The easy answer is that it's six in one, half a dozen in the other.

The longer answer is that having the there makes it clear that you're supposed to use the kun-yomi for it. See the previous question "What's with this “On reading”/“Kun reading” thing? Is it important to learn both as a beginner?" and its answers for a good discussion on on- and kun-yomi.

  • 2
    I didn't find info regarding reading as kun-yomi because of the in that question :(
    – Macarse
    Nov 19, 2012 at 18:58
  • 2
    @Macarse: Yeah, it was more about general usage for the on- and kun-yomi, but snailplane's link is actually closer to what you were asking specifically :) Nov 20, 2012 at 2:34
  • I think you mean six of one, half a dozen of the other. (-: Mar 6, 2014 at 4:33
  • @hippietrai Do I? Isn't it like "six eggs in one basket, half a dozen in the other"? @-@ Mar 7, 2014 at 19:28
  • 1
    @hippietrail: Oh wow, that's pretty interesting, I've always heard the "in" version...You learn something new every day! Mar 10, 2014 at 3:19

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