Questions tagged [expressions]

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

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1answer
160 views

Difference (if there is any) between 知るか and 知ったことか

From what I researched online, I have read that most of the times these phrases are interpreted as "I don't care", "Who cares?" " "I don't give a damn!" "It's ...
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262 views

龍 安 寺 蹲 踞 『吾唯足知』 [closed]

¿ Can you trace the ancient Chinese roots of the sentence 吾 唯 足 知 。 In the 茶の湯 garden of 龍安寺 🇯🇵 there's a stone dubbed 蹲踞〔つくばい〕where there it's written on it :   五 矢 囗 隹   止 and the 囗 is a basin of ...
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explanation of 状況が摑めず固まったままの俺

I have difficulty to understand the expression in the following sentence "その美少女は、髪と同色の、透き通った水色の瞳をパチパチさせ、状況が摑めず固まったままの俺をじっと見ていた" It has been translated as: This beauty stare at me with ...
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1answer
96 views

Is the use of "だって” regional or is it used everywhere?

I recently came across "datte" for example: "だって眠くないんだもの" Is this specific to a dialect or used all over Japan?
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1answer
185 views

meaning of the expression 順調に回る

I have found the sentence 勉強会が始まり、なんだかんだ順調に回り始めていた that was translated as The study group seemed to have gotten off a good start But I could not break down "順調に回り", could you explain?
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1answer
120 views

Equivalent to the 5 Ws in English

Is there an equivalent to the English, "who, what, when, where, why" method of inquiry?
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208 views

Japanese equivalent to nonliteral "sounds like"

I am trying to find phrases that mean the same thing as "sounds like" in English when used in the sense of It sounds like they are sincere, but they are trying to trick you. or That doesn't ...
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1answer
108 views

What does ってのか mean in this sentence?

In this sentence: 俺にあの日の再現をさせようってのか I know that ってのか is short for というのか But what does he mean by that sentence? 返事してくれてありがとうございます!
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万端 vs 完了 in this context

I was listening to a song the other day when I saw this. The lyrics in question: [帰宅]{きたく}[完了]{かんりょう}。ダウンロード[完了]{かんりょう}。[配信]{はいしん}スタート。[準備]{じゅんび}[万端]{ばんたん}。 According to Jisho 万端 means all; ...
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1answer
81 views

What does 歯が欠ける mean?

I would like to know what does 歯が欠ける mean: Lacking teeth? Broken teeth? Context: 人の幸せを素直に喜べないやつ理解出来なさすぎて、また歯が欠けた。 My translation: I can't barely understand people who cannot honestly be glad for other'...
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71 views

Can 二度と~ない be taken literally?

Let's take the following situation as an example: After having driven a car for 20 years without any problems, someone is one day involved in a horrible car crash. They then might think to themselves:「...
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2answers
133 views

How do you say "You sound like a ___?"

I've been singing on a karaoke app recently and I wanted to comment on a person's voice. How would I go about saying "You sound like a rockstar!" I was thinking 「Aさん、ロックスターみたいなぁ~」
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What conjugation does出す/出せる take in this expression;元気を出せよ。?

Now i know that 元気を出せよ。=Cheer up. But i have no clue what's going on in the expression. Here's my attempt to literally translate it with the help of Jisho.org: 元気を出せよ。=You can reveal/show full spirit/...
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156 views

Etymology of the exclamation 「よし」

What is the etymology of the exclamation 「よし!」? I mean the one that's made before people decide to take some kind of action (such as standing up, or starting to do the dishes).
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251 views

Can 耳が痛い be used to mean 何度も同じことを言われて聞くことがつらい?

This usage of 耳が痛い seems to overlap with 耳に胼胝ができる, and is not listed in any dictionary I checked. 三省堂: 人の言うことが、自分の弱点や欠点に触れているようで、聞いているのが辛い様子。「彼が先生に注意されているのを聞いていて、私も耳が痛かった」 明鏡:  ...
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1answer
375 views

How to say "how are your Japanese studies going?"

I wanted to ask that to a friend that is also studying Japanese about how he is doing, and thought maybe asking "日本語の勉強はどうですか。" but I have no idea if it is correct. How do I say "how is (something) ...
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Is 入れ物 different from other A-物 expressions? [duplicate]

While I can understand the meaning of the word, I cannot wrap my head around the logic behind it. In all similar cases, the basis of the expression is the object of the action: Aを食べる ⟶ A: 食べ物 Aを飲む ⟶ ...
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meaning of お世話になる in this context

I'm currently watching terrace House boys and girls next door and heard came across this line; Daiki: てっちゃんには言ったじゃん、俺出るって。 Tecchan: うん、きいてたね 俺はね。 Daiki :でもちょっとまだお世話になろうかな。 I looked up 「お世話になる」 and ...
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私のうち Usage & Meaning

Here is a quote taken from the Genki 1 textbook, it is one of the expression notes (page 141): 遊ぶ means "to play," "to spend time pleasantly" or "to pay a social call." 私のうちに遊びに来てください。 Please ...
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Can 所{ところ} in 「日{に}本{ほん}の良{い}い所{ところ}」 have two possible meanings: places or points?

Context: 記者{きしゃ}: こんにちは。えっと、今日{きょう}はですね、日本{にほん}について、日本{にほん}の良{い}い所{ところ}について、(はい)、お聞{き}きしてるんですけど。 翻訳{ほんやく}: Hi there, today I'm asking people what's great about Japan. The English official version ...
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Meaning of で+やる

I asked a friend how they were doing and they replied "元気でやってるよ". What is the meaning of でやってる? Is this some variation on である (to be) or is it a form of やる (to do)? If it is the latter, why does it ...
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198 views

What does "言葉の裏の想いが 心の首筋舐めた" mean?

I was listening to the song Ain't Nobody Know by Gen Hoshino and looking up the translation, which said for this sentence "the feelings behind our words licked the back of our hearts' neck". Since ...
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1answer
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Question about phrase in よつばと!

The context: Yotsuba goes to the front door to welcome her friend, and says 「どうぞおあがり。おまかいですが。」and her friend visibly confused responds with 「何だそれ?」I didn't manage to find this おまかい expression on the ...
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130 views

ないと attached to a verb

I know that 頑張らないと would mean "I have to work hard" (as if I am forced to work hard). What if I see someone (my friend) working hard and I am motivated to work hard too. In this case, would 頑張らないと or ...
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How to interpret 身にしみる in this sentence?

In this paragraph: ちなみに私の語学力は日英ほぼ同レベルだけど、会話だけは日本語のほうが得意。つまり日本語力の問題ではない。仲良い友達も日本人が多い。英語という逃げ込む場所があるから違いが身にしみるだけで、もし日本語しかわからなかったら自分は人見知りなんだと思うだろう。 My interpretation of 身にしみる is for something to ...
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98 views

How to interpret あたり in this sentence?

From this link, ずらずらとでてくるので、無関係そうな所は除外しています。ignoring nonexistent directory "/dammy/xxx" というあたりがそれっぽいですね There is another question, where あたり is used in the following way: 「(an example) + あたり + (...
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1answer
91 views

What particles can be used with 気にしない?

I would like to say "I don't mind that," or "That doesn't bother me," but I'm not sure what particles to use for 気にしない when I would like to specify both a subject and an object. These are the ...
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1answer
136 views

What does 不変的なもの mean in the context of music?

I'm trying to read an interview with a musician who is also a songwriter. In this context, what is the meaning of 不変的なもの? Does it mean that lyrics contain nothing to indicate a time period? ...
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576 views

How does one express uncertainty when describing numbers e.g. 170-odd cases

I found myself stuttering when I tried to tell my boss that I had finished sending a-hundred-some-odd emails yesterday. I've ask a similar question on HiNative a long time ago, and here I quote the ...
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163 views

あかさたなはまやらわ mnemonics

What mnemonic phrase / jingle, if any, is used by Japanese children to memorize the あかさたなはまやらわ sequence? Or could you come up with some? To help myself memorize this, I could possibly fashion an ...
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1answer
101 views

Meaning of 羽目になる

I have found that 羽目になる means: to get stuck with (some job); to end up with (something unpleasant) But I cannot make sense of it for the following sentence The context is of a veteran police ...
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3割引 =3 %? 33.3 % ? 30 %?

The sentence is: あの店は今、3割引のセールをしています。 I suspect it means 30% , but maybe it means 33.3% which is 1/3? In any case I don’t understand the logic behind this. How would you say if the discount rate ...
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how to use: ~ばいいのに

what does it mean when a sentence ends with ~ばいいのに? Example sentence: そんなに聞いてほしいなら言えばいいのに and what does のに mean at the end of sentences?
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647 views

What is the それ in それゆけ?

As I understand it, それゆけ is an interjection that might be translated "Go!" or "Go get 'em!" While the second component is clearly 行け, what is the intended sense of それ here?
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131 views

unintentionally early meetings

I heard there is an expression in Japanese for when two people agree to meet at a certain time, but both arrive at the meeting point much earlier. In that situation, when the two people see each ...
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714 views

Absence of て in お気をつけください

I’m uncertain about the phrase お気をつけください, which I found where I would have expected お気をつけてください. Assuming it’s not a typo is it 尊敬語? Should I understand the honorific お as qualifying 気 only or the ...
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Effect of 発 in 発殴られる [closed]

I have the following part in a sentence: 増田に発殴られて The 発殴られて is being translated as with one hit. So I can understand why it is not simply 殴られる. But is 発殴れる a fixed term or is 発 a more common ...
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264 views

In what contexts can 旗色が悪い be used?

According to コトバンク, 旗色が悪い can be used when there is some connotation of a battle, war or fight - which makes sense because it literally translates to something like the color of the national flag is ...
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135 views

就く in sports jargon

I know that 就く{つく}means “to be hired”. But does it have a separate meaning in sports jargon (soccer, baseball...) I’m referring to the following sentence: 全員、守備に就くため走った。
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60 views

The もの in 再生したもの

How would you understand this sentence: これはペットボトルを再生したものです。 “This is the tool that fixed the PET bottle”? Or, “this is an object made from recycled PET bottles”? I typed it into Google ...
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もしもし to start a conversation in chat [duplicate]

Is it natural to say もしもし to start a conversation in chat? How about in a business setting when you want to start a conversation in chat (example: Skype)?
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1answer
275 views

80/20 rule expression (Pareto Principle)

Is there a saying (ことわざ)or 4 character phrase (四字熟語) in Japanese for the 80-20 rule (i.e. the Pareto Principle)? i.e. it takes 20% of the effort to get 80% of the results but to get the last 20% of ...
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1answer
226 views

How have writers in English spelled うん?

I write fanfiction, some of it based on anime. There is the Japanese word うん, used to casually indicate agreement, very familiar to anyone who pays attention to the audio in subtitled works. I am ...
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122 views

Meaning of verb + つもりも + potential verb + 程

In a letter by a mangaka at the end of a manga, I encountered the following sentence: 〝正しいこと〟なんて描くつもりも描ける程、自分を上等とも思っていないけど〝つまらないこと〟だけはしないようにしていきたいなって思います Is verb + つもりも + potential verb + 程 a ...
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211 views

What are simple "No" responses?

I've learned from textbooks and online sites like Duolingo that "no" is いいえ, but I've rarely heard native speakers say that. I learned さあ today as sort of an "I don't know" response. I saw a ...
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89 views

How to use「足がすくんだ」

I want to say "The building was very high, so I froze with fear". Would I be right to say: 「建物がとても高くて僕は足がすくんだ」
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113 views

Meaning of かっぱ寿司では

I found an article here, and the first sentence contains fragment ~かっぱ寿司では~. Can not translate it - what does it mean? The complete sentence: 回転寿司チェーンかっぱ寿司では、12月13日から「本格ラーメンシリーズ」の第八弾として金澤濃厚中華そば神仙監修の「...
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80 views

Question concerning 〜やがる / Imperative in "Slang" [duplicate]

I've come across these expressions in all sorts of anime, manga and light novels and now I am wondering behind the "mechanics" of it... 「勝手に言ってろ」「ほざいてろ」「食らいやがれ」 In these cases the imperative is ...
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1answer
112 views

Can なになに be used to fill in an unknown word in an example? i.e. なになにともうします。

In English you teach someone how to say their name by saying: My name is ''blah blah'' or My name is ''whatever''. Your voice drops on the words blah blah and whatever to show that your name is not ...
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517 views

Meaning of これでもかという forms

Sorry to ask a vague question, but I hope someone could explain what these following expression amount to. これでもかって これでもかってほど これでもかってぐらいに I thought I would figure this out eventually but well I don't ...

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