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Are the readings 下【した】 and 下【しも】 equally acceptable in the following sentence?

また、猫背【ねこぜ】になると、胸【むね】全体【ぜんたい】が重力【じゅうりょく】で下【した】に引【ひ】っ張【ぱ】られてしまいます

Also, when you hunch over, your entire chest is pulled downward by gravity.

https://otekomachi.yomiuri.co.jp/lifestyle/20230117-OYTET50018/

There are similar questions here; an answer to the second questions leads me to guess the reading in the sentence above is 下【した】

https://japanese.stackexchange.com/a/3092/31150

https://japanese.stackexchange.com/a/53897/31150

1 Answer 1

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When 下 is used on its own meaning below / under / down, etc., it is always pronouned as した. It would never be read as しも in these cases.

When it is used in place names, or combined with other characters to form a word/phrase, the pronunciation is often changed, e.g. 下【しも】ネタ, 下北沢【しもきたざわ】, 下手【へた】, 下車【げしゃ】, 下流【かりゅう】, etc.

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  • When 下 is used on its own meaning below / under / down, etc., it is always pronounced as した. It would never be read as しも in these cases. -- But how about 「下の句」「川の水が上から下へ流れる」「下に控える」
    – chocolate
    Mar 30, 2023 at 4:43
  • @Chocolate The 下 in 「下の句」is read as しも. It has the nuance of near the end or at the end. It does not have any directly meaning of below / under / down. For 「上から下へ流れる」, it has the meaning of downward, so I would say it is pronounced as した as well - Please correct me if I'm wrong. Sorry, not sure about the 3rd one, but anyway I don't think it has a directly meaning of below / under / down either? Mar 31, 2023 at 4:46

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