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Questions tagged [expressions]

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

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3answers
8k views

Proper way to say “it looks good”

Let's say you're at the barber shop and he's using his mirror to show you how your hair looks like after he's done cutting it, what would be the appropriate and natural way to say "It looks good (...
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What is the difference between 迷惑をかけた and お騒がせしました?

What is the difference between ご迷惑{めいわく}をかけた and お騒がせ{おさわがせ}しました? They both seem to mean that one has caused inconvenience.
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100 views

Can the word 新鮮 be used as an expression?

I know the word 新鮮 means fresh and it is used as a na-adjective like for example a fresh salad (新鮮な野菜サラダ) However I've recently seen it used in the following short sentence: あわててるリサさんって新鮮…! It ...
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Natural phrasing when introducing yourself and the reason you are arriving somewhere

I'm looking for a natural expression to introduce myself and the reason I have come to a certain place. In my specific case, I will be going to a school to observe (with an appointment at a specific ...
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1answer
480 views

Can もうbe used to express frustration?

Can もうbe used in instances where a person may be frustrated? I heard the term uttered by itself only, but it seemed like the person may have been a little upset. I'm not sure of a specific meaning. ...
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1answer
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Is this referring to an Idiomatic way to say someone is smiling?

Here's a line from a piece of Japanese fiction: 切れ長の目が、さみしげに細められていた。 I'm wondering if this is simply saying: He narrowed his lonely(?) eyes (? - It's hard to tell without Kanji but I think ...
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559 views

What is the meaning of しも?

In a recent class, my Japanese teacher taught me the use of しも as something akin to a formal version of でも as in the following sentences: いつでも暇{ひま}じゃないんですよ。 いつしも暇{ひま}じゃないんですよ。 I was told the above ...
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What does ぶわははは mean?

I am participating in online chats to improve my Japanese, and occasionally receive chat words or expressions that I do not understand. Thank you.
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159 views

What is a term for “good to go”?

I want to verify if 行ってもいい is the correct term, or if another word(s) can be used.
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2answers
156 views

Replying to a refusal of an invitation

By now, it's pretty simple to find different ways of refusing invitations in Japanese. However, what I can't really seem to find is a reply to a refusal. Something like I'm sorry you can't make it, I ...
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1answer
238 views

What verb is 「つく」 in 「~に気がつく」?

I was studying grammar from this site. I figured what き meant through the kanji, but I couldn't pinpoint what verb つく tsuku was. Then I googled it and found a site where it says that 「に 気 が つく」 ...
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What is the etymology of the expression 「そんな」?

If its original meaning is "that kind of", which is what I think it is, why is it used to say "it can't be"? Is that the same word or is it just a coincidence?
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1answer
279 views

How to say, want something from someone or to use someone (negative meaning)

How would someone say, someone just wants something from me/you/him/her with a negative nuance. For example, "No one speaks to me unless they want something from me." Or, "I thought she liked me, but ...
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How to say “within” / “in the context of”/ “as a part of”?

Many times I have interchanged the English phrase "in frames of" into Japanese "~の一環{いっかん}として" or "~の一環で". Although not so long ago I have noticed, that it is not as natural expression in Japanese... ...
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1answer
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How to say to my boss “Please don't hurry and take your time.”?

another question has awaken in mine mind. My boss writes me, that he will arrive later to the place we are supposed to meet. I wish to answer him "Please don't hurry and take your time. I will wait ...
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Interesting usage of the phrase「心までは砕ける」

In a story I am reading I came across the line: 「心までは砕けていないので、今は勘弁してください」 The context is that a waitress gets injured and a waiter (the main character) discovers this, gives her some ice, then ...
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〜んだった to express regret?

I was surprised to see this Tumblr post describe ~んだった used to mark regret. I can only assume it's true, but I'm not sure (1) how much of a colloquial expression/slang is it? (2) what does it come ...
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Can I use “Sumanai” like “Arigatou”? [duplicate]

I have seen and heard people say "Sumanai" to "thank" somebody for doing something. So what I think is that they are not saying "thanks" but "sorry for bothering you", but I am not sure. Can Sumanai ...
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Which of these sentences is correct?

外国人が日本語を話すのをは女々しい、日本人の女の子と言っていました. 日本人の女の子は、外国人が日本語を話すのをは女々しいと言っていました. I want to say this: "A japanese girl said that foreigners speak japanese effeminate" (The girl that said this expression to me ...
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1answer
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How is ください used?

I was wondering how I would use kudasai. Could I use it for asking for items (私はこれがほしいですください)or for a polite, almost English 'Can you let me sit here please'? Thanks!
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Nuance and conversational use of なきにしもあらず

In a story I am reading, a woman (who I assume is in her 20-30s) uses the expression: なきにしもあらず A simple dictionary lookup shows this means something like: ないわけではない 少しはある While this fits the ...
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134 views

Are 頂きます and ご馳走さま used when eating in public?

I have heard these words used when dining in a person's home, but I am not sure if it's appropriate to use them in a restaurant.
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What is the difference between 遅れ気味 and 遅れがち?

I know that がち means "tend to..", while 気味 means "to have the feeling, to be a little..". Like 病気がち, tend to get sick, and 風邪気味, have / feeling like having a slight cold. But how about this: ...
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1answer
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ありませんと - possible interpretations

My understanding of ありませんと is that it is an abbreviated form of ありませんと(だめ/いけない/ならない), but the formal ません throws me off. I was under the impression that the formal part should be always the last one, ...
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What is the difference between these two expressions? [duplicate]

私は勉強するようにしています。 / 私は勉強しようとする。 What is the difference between ように and Verb-volitional + うとする
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254 views

Confused by the meaning of ~なかな at the end of a sentence [closed]

でも人通りが多すぎてちょっとうるさくないなかあ。近所付き合いが大変じゃないといいんだけど。 The sentences are regarding to the situation of renting an apartment. For my own guessing, the first sentence probably means There are too many people ...
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1answer
474 views

Describing facial expression

Edit: The link provided by @broken headphones has helped resolve my する/している problem (I think). I have one problem remaining though. Given @Sonny365TANAKA's answer that 彼女は長い髪の毛です is not grammatical, ...
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194 views

How to understand どうかしましたか? [closed]

I could not figure it out. What does どうかしましたか mean?
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1answer
170 views

How 「何と言えばいいのかわからない」 works

I'm having a bad time with this expression: 何と言えばいいのかわからない I kind of know what it means after a long time spent searching on the Internet, but I just can't grasp how this expression works on a ...
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3answers
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whats the different usages of interjections ちがう, いえ, いや?

I understand the meaning of interjections (ちがう, いえ, いや, え?, ん?,何だ?, は?). But i dont really know in what kind of situation i can use those words. Especially i would like to know the different of ...
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1answer
429 views

「でしなに」とは、どういうこと?

フクスケが部屋をでしなにふりかえると、部長はかるく額に手を当てて眠りはじめた様子であった。 日本三文オペラ 316頁(開高健著) この小説に「でしなに」という表現が二、三度も出ますが、辞書を引いても出ててきません。 「出た途端」、あるいは「出て行く最中」などと推しますが、正確にどういう意味ですか。
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Greeting for a newborn baby?

How can I start my Japanese greeting card for a newborn? Is the following a correct sentence, in Japanese? 新しい両親になるからおめでとうございます
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1answer
122 views

Meaning of the sentence : 「成すべきことを成す」

I came across this sentence in a manga and its meaning is rather obscure to me: 成すべきことを成す。 I tried to translate it as: To do what has to be done. Moreover, it would be great to know if this ...
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2answers
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Saying “That's exactly what I meant”

One of the things I struggle the most sometimes is finding an expression in Japanese that equals to the one I'm used to use in English. In this case, I was talking in english to this girl and she ...
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1answer
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Is there an english expression equivalent to 「先祖も酷ければ子孫も子孫」?

It should mean something like "If the ancestors are cruel, so would their offsprings" right?
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1answer
395 views

How to use だんだん properly?

If I wanted to say, "Ken's getting better and better at Japanese", then would this be correct? けんさんはだんだんじょうずになります。
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334 views

Why does Siri say 座布団1枚お願いします when I told him he is an interesting person?

I use Siri to practice my Japanese. I basically say random things to him and see how he responds. (I know this is not even close to effective, don't judge me...) Today I said to Siri that he is an ...
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という used right before comma: What does this mean, and how is it grammatically possible?

Finding questions about the meaning of という isn't too hard, but the answers tend to revolve around its usage before a word particle or something, such as in ということ. However there's a sentence in a ...
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what does「今夜が峠です」mean?

When i was reading an entry about 暗峠 the writer mentioned an expression using 峠 which is「今夜が峠です」, they said that when a close person is seriously ill and are on their deathbed this expression is often ...
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What does ここじゃ何だ means in this sentence?

「そ、そうか。何か大変そうだな……ここじゃ何{なん}だ、取りあえず私の店まで来いよ」 I couldn't find the meaning...
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1answer
739 views

Meaning of phrase “Hai do do?”

When we were in Japan in July I kept hearing shopkeepers say something like "hai dodo" when I went in or even passed by the shop. I never asked anyone there, but am curious as to the meaning. ...
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1answer
308 views

「のは」 vs. 「には」 — as in 「嬉しいのは嬉しい」 「あるにはある」

Related: What is the meaning of 「読むには読んだ」? Related: には with plain form of verb dictionary.goo.ne.jp 「には」 3. (多く「…には…が」の形で、動詞や形容詞を繰り返して)一応その動作や状態は認めるが、それに関連して起こる動作や状態については関知したり容認したりしない意を表す。 「...
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0answers
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Meaning of あるにはあります [duplicate]

For example in this page, reading by context I understand the phrase あるにはあります in the sentence 足労、という言葉もあるにはありますが、「ご」を付けずに使うことはほとんどありません。 as expressing circumspection. That is, while I would ...
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2answers
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Meaning of 基本 X から Y メイン

Talking about the Umeda branch of a hamburger chain, a Japanese colleague said: 梅田店は基本デリバリーからテイクアウトメインだよね。 So, does this branch do more deliveries than takeouts? Or the opposite? Or mostly ...
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378 views

What is the equivalent to old wives tales in Japanese

What is the equivalent expression to "old wives tales"?
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3answers
298 views

What does などそれでいい mean?

Eマウントはシステムが....と言っている人の考えが、なんとなくわかってきた。アダプタでAマウントいけるとはいっても、コントラストAFが更に遅くなるというわけで、まあAFなどそれでいいという考え方もあろうし、そうじゃない人もいるだろうし。まあ人それぞれか Is it something like : "it's ok even if it's ..." ? I would be ...
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3answers
380 views

What does「勝負ありだ」mean?

From what I see, it said "It's a match." Other place have said "what a battle", "it's a win," but there no consistency. Does anyone know?
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151 views

About japanese special expressions

暖簾に腕押し noren ni udeoshi not worth doing waste of effort 才色兼備 saishokukenbi being gifted with both intelligence and beauty 白昼堂々 hakuchūdōdō openly (unashamedly) in broad daylight 虎視眈々 koshitantan ...
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1answer
197 views

「何かあるごとに」Not quite sure what it means or how to translate

What does 「何かあるごとに」 mean in this sentence, the best i can come up with is, "every time something happens", but it doesn't seem quite right. 何かあるごとに姉がこうしてくるので「抱擁」しているのですが・・・違いましたか? context, is that ...
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2k views

Is it okay to use お願いします when asking your teacher for help?

When asking a teacher for help, is it okay to use お願いします? For example, asking to check my homework: 宿題をチェックしてお願いします。 To me, "Please check my homework." sounds kind of rude. Would saying ...