Questions tagged [expressions]

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

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1answer
96 views

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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229 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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444 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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184 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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166 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
472 views

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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368 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
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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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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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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
363 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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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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384 views

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
603 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
296 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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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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103 views

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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What is the equivalent to old wives tales in Japanese

What is the equivalent expression to "old wives tales"?
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281 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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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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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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「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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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 ...
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1answer
180 views

How to translate 入っていいのかな?

I came across the sentence 入って{はいって}いいのかな and I wasn't able to translate it into English. If I'm not mistaken the first Kanji is read as "Hai" annd this should mean "enter" right ? Then it goes ...
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Correct phrase for “I'm just browsing” in a store

I've been trying to figure out what the correct translation is of the phrase "I'm just browsing", in a context such as when one is looking at goods in a store (e.g. if you're walking around the shop ...
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1answer
213 views

ですが vs が, what are the differences between them?

In my textbook, there is a sentence: 中国語の発音は難しかったが、漢字はあまり難しくなかった。 And there is also a sentence: 「日本史」は難しくなかったですが、「翻訳」は大変でした。 I'm confusing that is it still a correct expression with removing of ...
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1answer
56 views

Can someone explain how になって works?

According to Jparser it means to carry on shoulder to bear (burden) to shoulder (gun) I'm not sure if this is correct or not Can you give me a few sentences? Also is this a conjugation form ?
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115 views

I have questions about the usage of でもある and さっそく in this context

Here's the sentence: 魔法のメッカでもある魔界に、(観光で)いくことに決め、さっそく靈夢にないしょで出かけていったのであった。 I understand what's being said: "Since, Makai was the Mecca of Magic, as a sightseer, [she] decided to go [there], but ...
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307 views

“fancy meeting you here”

Is there a phrase that Japanese people use to express amusement when seeing each other unexpectedly? For example, if you just said goodbye and then ran into each other somewhere else?
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120 views

Meaning of 民度低い

I overheard Japanese people talking about what school to put their kids in, and they kept talking about what places are 民度低い, then the discussion switched to whether most fat people are 民度低い or not. I ...
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Meaning of 華の独身

I just read this 自己紹介: ■誕生日:1986年XX月XX日生まれ ■出身:神奈川県 ■家族:華の独身​ ■趣味:ランニング What does 華の独身 mean in this context? No definition from my search engine nor in my dictionary. 独身 means unmarried, ...
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How to say “to do one's hair”?

As in "I wake up, do my hair, have breakfast". Is there a verb for this? I'm guessing you can't just use 髪をする.
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284 views

rationale of するんじゃない as informal negative imperative

I know verb-んじゃない can be used in colloquial speech as a negative imperative (e.g. するんじゃない) in lieu of verb-な (するな), but why exactly does it function that way? That is, what is the rationale/etymology ...
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Can 寂しい be used to describe an insufficiency?

In the sentence: もしにおいを説明するのに、「いい香り」と「臭い」しか言葉がなかったら寂しい。 I'm confused by the use of 寂しい. My interpretation of the general meaning of the sentence is: Even if you explain/describe a smell, only ...
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How does one say 'my compliments to the chef'?

What is the expression 'compliments to the chef' or 'give my compliments to the chef' in Japanese? Is there a suitable matching phrase, or something that expresses a similar message? (Please ...
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2answers
108 views

How can 関係 be used when there is only one subject?

In my textbook there is a clause that I don't really understand: なぜ占い好きと関係があるというと、、、 So my understanding takes me this far: It's a question asking why 占い好き something It's asking why something about ...
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2answers
106 views

Natural way to talk about food served in a restaurant

I'm looking for some good ways to express whether food or other consumables are served at a restaurant. Here is some ideas I have: この辺のレストランではラーメンを出してない (or "〜が出てない"?) この辺のレストランではラーメンを扱ってない ...
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160 views

meaning in context of 矛先 and 逃げ切る

I'm writing my thesis on the newly perceived generation of さとり世代. My Japanese reading is fairly good but I have this one article that I cannot crack. My question is regarding the meaning of a word in ...
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1answer
417 views

what is the meaning of 悪ぃ

I have come across this a few times when reading: 悪ぃ(わりぃ). I have seen it used as an expression and as an adj. from the context it looks like it carries a meaning of "sorry" or "my bad". is this a ...
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2answers
451 views

Hello, there is a certain phrase that I've been trying to translate but because of a few expressions I am stuck (this is a multi-part question)

Here is the phrase: メーラーの設定によってクリックのみでは正しく開けない場合があります The expressions that have me stuck are: みで - I'm not sure what this expression could be... is it some kind of modifier possibly or is it some ...
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300 views

“Supposedly” in Japanese

How do you express in Japanese that something is generally claimed to have a certain property without positioning yourself to clearly as to the veracity of the claim? For example, how would you ...
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1k views

How would you say “the ___ family”?

So in English, we might talk about a family by saying (for example) "the Johnson family" or "the Johnsons." Is there an equivalent you use in Japanese? And would you use the same language when talking ...
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3answers
507 views

How do people Japan learn about onomatopoeic words and why does everyone agree on most of them?

Japanese has a great number of onomatopoeic words, which are essentially sound-like expressions for describing different things for weather conditions (べたべた, hot very humid sweat weather), over ...
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2answers
252 views

Which native speakers would be familiar with the expression [竜頭]{りゅうとう}[蛇尾]{だび}?

Background: The expression 竜頭蛇尾, which is literally "dragon's head, snake's tail", seems to imply that the front is more impressive than the back. [EDIT] It seems usage is typically time-like, eg an ...
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4k views

sou ka na and sou ka

Is "sou ka na" roughly equal to "so ka" being "is that so?" and the difference is that "sou ka na" conveys more emotions?
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163 views

Using 胸が苦しい when talking about love

What can it mean when someone is talking about love and they use this phrase? Example:  恋愛感情。  俺があの人に対して抱いている気持ちは、それなのだろうか。  綺麗だと思うし、ずっと見ていたい。今日のあの出来事を、忘れたくない。思い出すと胸が苦しくなった。  ...