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Questions tagged [expressions]

表現. A set phrase used commonly in the Japanese language.

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can a clause ending in ば be translated to “when”?

My question stems from item 4 and 5 in this picture, which is taken from a textbook of advanced Japanese reading. These two items fell into the normal present tense in English. In English, it would be ...
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how can I use japanese pronouns if I am beginner in the language japanese? [duplicate]

hello everyone I am very beginner in japanese just I have 2 day learning japanese then I am not expert in this language yet I saw in Wikipedia this japanese pronouns: watashi わたし watakushi わたくし ...
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大恋愛の末に結ばれるわけではないから、アバタもエクボということはありえなかった。先行するのは条件である。 [closed]

Could somebody please help me decipher the phrase above which I came across while reading 逃がした魚は大きかった。It’s about two people in relationship. I understand that the first sentence means something like “...
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How to express the subjunctive mood in Japanese

I recently learned the Vばよかった construction, which roughly means "it would be better had I done V". This got me curious about how to construct a sentence in subjunctive mood in Japanese, or even if it ...
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今日本語習ってるんですが、この質問どうやって答えるん?

2回見るのは当然やろ?? My native language is English and I want to agree with the person but I'm not sure how. The person is my friend and I want to know how to agree with a person when talking as a friend. ...
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Different usage of 普通に?

So, I was watching this show called Terrace House, and the following exchange between two participants caught my attention. 翔平:「 テラスハウスに入って、一番の…ここに来ての…財産じゃないけど、聖南と出会えたことだな。」 聖南:「いや、何か…...
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How to use 生かす to express “you'll do your best”?

I have to answer the question "日本には「好きこそものの上手なれ」という 諺 がありますが、どんな意味だと思いますか。" using 生かす and my idea is to answer that if you are interested in something, you'll do your best. I started writing "...
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What does 私様 means?

I see that apparently this word is used by a character in a videogame called danganropa. It's a word like boku, atashi or something like that? Or it's something different? It's used to call yourself ...
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What is the difference between 何だと and 何ですと?

I noticed that in some anime (specifically, the Ace Attorney anime), the characters often switch between 何だと, 何ですと, and a few other slight variants. What is the difference between them?
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Meaning of 天秤に乗せる

In the Dead Tube manga I found this sentence: いいでしょ… たまには自分の命を天秤に乗せたって The protagonist is asking a group of people who usually don't risk their life to participate in a risky game. What is the ...
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147 views

What is the meaning of the slang ~じゃてえ?

I'd like to know what ~じゃてえ exactly means when located at the end of verbs and/or adjectives. Do young people use it rhetorically? The whole sentence is: なのにのう ズイブンじゃてえ
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Nuance of the structure “Verb (stem of negative form) + ざるを得ない” compared to “Verb + しかない”

I've browsed a bit throught the other posts and it seems like there is no clear explanation of the nuance of "V + ざるを得ない" compared to "V + しかない". Roughly speaking, they have the same meaning but is ...
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My Teacher just had a baby, how do I congratulate her

My Japanese teacher just gave birth and our long-term sub is having us make cards to congratulate her, we need to write something in Japanese, and I want to write something different than what she ...
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How to make sense of 呪縛から解放されるウソという名の魔法

I'm having problem figuring out the idea or meaning of a sentence while reading manga. The context is that a character A told someone (character B) a big lie, and influenced by that lie, B started to ...
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What does「〜も何も」mean in this context?

I’ve been studying Japanese for a while now and came across the following dialogue: A: 私のこと、知ってるんだ。(So you know about me then?) B: 知ってるも何も、有名人じゃないか。 I'm not quite sure how to make sense of B's ...
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Japanese idiom equivalent to “that ship has sailed”

What is the closest expression in Japanese that conveys a similar meaning to the English idiom "that ship has sailed", referring to an "missed opportunity" and "it's too late (to do anything about it)"...
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What does this conversation from a novel mean?

「おまえ、よく命が続いとるなあ」 「これが生き甲斐でござる」 「とりあえず酒でも飲め。いや、呆れたもんだよ」店主が言った。 「奢ってくれるかい?」 「奢るとも」 “You, よく命が続いとるなあ” “This is what I live for.” “Anyway, let’s have a drink. いや、呆れたもんだよ” said the owner. ...
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Meaning of 世界観に入り込む in the following sentence

The following sentence is taken from the afterword of the final volume of a manga: そんな風に名残惜しさを感じたり、世界観に入り込んで描くことができたのも、たくさんの人に読んでいただけて、キャラクターや作品が好きだと言ってもらえてものすごい励みになったことが一因だと思います。 I understand the ...
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書類や資料などの内容の引用について

My English isn't good, so I have always asked in Japanese, but Japanese isn't my mother tongue either. Sometimes, when I'm asking a question in Japanese, the question and the example are related to a ...
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Origin of expression ~てならない?

I cannot help but think about the verb なる when I hear or read the expression ~てならない. Are the verb and the expression even related? It feels to me as if it could be the modern shortened version ...
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What does 運を消費していく mean?

i'm asking myself what 運を消費していく means? Context: My penpal won concert tickets and i congragulated him with おめでとうございます! and he responded with ありがとうございます!!運を消費していく. Unfortunately i had not the time to ...
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How to answer to 精一杯頑張ってきます?

I was talking with my japanese penpal and he wrote to me 精一杯頑張ってきますよ! after I wrote him おはようございます!お仕事頑張ってきてね! because he told me he was going to work. I don't know if there's an answer or not. In ...
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Is there any slang for 絞首刑?

In English it is quite common to use the expression "to get the chair" to refer to the death penalty. For example: He committed such a terrible crime, I hope he gets the chair. * The word 絞首刑, "...
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Does a bear sh*t in the woods? Rhetorical affirmations in Japanese. Is there any?

I could not find anything on this website nor with a (quick I admit) search on Google. Does Japanese have any "yes phrase" (or more technically rhetorical affirmation) used to answer questions whose ...
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178 views

How to express “help someone with X”

I helped someone fix something, and I'd like to try and express that it was mostly the other person doing the work and I just provided assistance. The best I can come up with is 「問題の解決に田中さんを手伝いました」...
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いってらっしゃい vs. いってきます

What are their differences between the two
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382 views

Equivalent of “Yes sir/ma'am” for children

I have taught my kids to answer adults with "Yes sir/ma'am" as both a sign of respect, and as confirmation that they were actually listening. I'm wondering if there's an equivalent in Japanese. My ...
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How would you express “A demands B” in japanese

How would you express "A demands B" in japanese. In the sense that 'demands' is being used as a synonym of "absolutely requires". But using this expression instead of "requires" has a nuance. To me ...
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How do I respond to よろしくお願いします after being assigned a task at work?

My supervisor at work tells me よろしくお願いします after she gives me a task to do in the office. What is the appropriate way to respond? I've looked around on the internet but have been unsuccessful in ...
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Meaning of 芯を通す and 芯の通る

In this manga about boxing I found the following unrelated sentences: 1) もっと探れ… 伏黒【ふくろ】さんの拳。小さくても攻撃を未然に防ぐため… 芯を通してくる。 2) 芯の通ったパンチを打ってこなくなって… 後退を優先してる。 In the first the protagonist is thinking ...
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What is the difference between dono hito and donata?

I got to know that dono hito specifically asks about a person while donata is for who in general, so does taht imply to all living beings? Are both used in formal conversations?(If yes, which is ...
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Is 「今朝」 or 「今日の朝」 more natural?

I've come across several forums online detailing that 「今朝」 sounds either very formal or old-fashioned in that it is not used too often nowadays. However, it is also the one I see most commonly used in ...
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How is「言わんとする」normally used?

What is the level of formality of this expression? Is this a set expression or does it follow after a more generic grammatical pattern? Example sentences would be appreciated.
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What's the difference between そうですね, そうですか, そうです

How are the following different: そうです (thats right) そうですか (i see; is that so) そうですね (thats right) also what's the difference between いいです and いいですね? reference or sentence in context much ...
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Showing gratitude for omiyage yet to be completely finished (ごちそうさまです?)

Can I say ~をごちそうさまです if I want to show gratitude for edible omiyage I’ve received but have yet to finish? For example, I received a box of cookies recently and want to say thank you as soon as ...
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Can 影響がある・する be used to express all the concepts of 'influencing', 'inspiring' and 'affecting'?

See these example sentences: Xsan's beautiful pictures inspired me to start traveling. Who influenced your painting technique the most? What factors affected your decision to become an ...
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“続けた結果誕生した” Meaning

I can't understand very well this "続けた結果" found in the following description, from a Pokémon videogame. 1人の 科学者が 何年も 恐ろしい 遺伝子 研究を 続けた 結果 誕生した。 It is talking about a Pocket Monster, and its general ...
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Japanese phrase about risk

I heard in anime a phrase related to risk, like "all or nothing". It sounded like "icka backa" but I can't find the exact phrase.
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What is the logic of the expression “冗談じゃない”?

Literally, 冗談じゃない means "it is not a joke" but actually it seems that the meaning of this is "something unthinkable even for a joke"( japanese definition:冗談にもそんなことを言ったりするな。). 「道楽に働いているんだろうだって? 冗談じゃない....
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Discrepancy between Tae Kim's Guide and Tobira in regards to 思われる。

I'm just wondering if someone could help me with what seems to be a difference between Tae Kim's Guide and what I've read in Tobira. In grammar point 2 from chapter 4 in Tobira, it says that "考えられている ...
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Thank you speech for schools and city officials [closed]

I have to give speeches for a group of 5th grade students and their parents that thanks the schools and cities for hosting us and showing us around. since i am the only parent that somewhat knows ...
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123 views

生きててすみません I can not get the sense of this

Pardon me for living? Means what? Thanks in advance!
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151 views

How to express “play on guitar”?

I wanted to say the following: "I am trying to learn to play Mexican songs on the guitar." I know how to express try to, but I am not sure about the rest. Perhaps メキシカンな歌{うた}...
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Why is 「~といわず」 the correct expression in this sentence?

The following question is taken from a JLPT N1 grammar/expressions prep book: 彼女はよほど花が好きらしい。家の(  )花でいっぱいだ。 1 中といわず外といわず    2 中といっても外といっても 3 中はともかく外も      4 中外もかまわず In the book, no. 1 is ...
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Exact definition of 針千本 in the 指切り idiom

I'm trying to learn more about idioms and expressions, and I came across this (which is apparently said when making a [pinky] promise): 指切拳万{ゆびきりげんまん}、嘘ついたら針千本{はりせんぼん}呑ます Casting the first part ...
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Indicating a subject and objective thoughts of inevitability

How do the Japanese show the nuance between the inevitable outcomes of actions based on their thoughts versus their findings? After the Tsunami of 2011, Japanese Volcanologists predict an inevitable ...
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なんだけど Meaning and grammar patterns [duplicate]

I would like to know what (なんだけど / なんですが) means? I think these two forms are the same, but when I asked in class their meaning, I was told that they mean nothing, so I'm kinda confused. For example, ...
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Why から is used instead of は/が?

I found several から quite confusing for me. The context is about a boy and a girl, and she's trying to ask him out, but she eventually can't do so, and asks him to meet the next day: Girl: あ…...
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132 views

Is 二人の顔はそっくりだ a possible way to say “Both of their faces look the same”?

This is my attempt at translating the sentence "Both of their faces look the same": 二人の顔はそっくりだ Does it make sense or is it completely wrong?
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How to respond to ポイントカードが宜しいですか。

When I am paying for my goods at a supermarket or konbini, the cashier always asks me that question. On dictionaries, the meaning of 宜しい is "fine / good" and it made me confused, "What is good about ...