Questions tagged [meaning]

意味. The meaning of words or phrases within certain contexts, especially when it does not seem to match the standard definition.

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2answers
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Nuances in the word “smile”

So as the title indicates, I'm wondering about exactly what is the difference between all the existing words that mean "smile", I originally learned only 笑い, which I feel is the most regularly used ...
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1answer
819 views

Comparing 気にする vs. 気になる

Consider this example sentence from SPACEALC: あなたがどうしているか気になっていた。  "I was concerned about how you were." What is the difference when 気にする is used instead? I.e., あなたがどうしているか気にしていた。 ~なる seems ...
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1answer
751 views

How do 自他 triplets of related verbs work?

I thought this had been asked before (possibly by me), but I couldn't find it. I'm wondering why for certain verbs/words, instead of just a 自他 pair, there is a triplet (or possibly more) where two of ...
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5answers
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Why does 悪く(は)ない give a condescending feeling?

I thought it just meant "It's not bad" but I read some comments from Japanese people who said that it can sound too condescending or like the speaker feels superior to the listener. Why is that? In ...
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2answers
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Pronunciation and meaning of  [closed]

I just received an email ending like this: 是非是非また誘って How to read the  ? Zero results on Google. As for the meaning, is it equivalent to よ ?
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What does 食べたいものを好きなだけ食べる mean?

食べたいものを好きなだけ食べる seems to be weird for me because in my understanding this sentence mean I just eat the food I like from the food that I want to eat The complete sentence is as follows. ...
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3answers
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一応: Usage and meaning

I've never really fully grasped the meaning of [一]{いち}[応]{おう} since it seems to have no good English equivalent. What is the meaning, usage, and nuances of 一応?
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1answer
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Meaning of ところ in アメリカのいいところ

I feel as though I understand what the below sentence means, but what I think it means makes no sense. 日本に行ったら、アメリカのいいところも発見できるかもしれないですね。 My translation: If you go to Japan, you might be able to ...
12
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2answers
342 views

Is there a subtle difference between 少なくても and 少なくとも?

My sense is that the meaning is identical but that 少なくとも is somewhat more formal than 少なくても. Is that observation valid?
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どうしますか vs 何をしますか

I always interpreted 何 as "what" and "どう" as more of a "How or How about?" and thus was under the impression that if one wanted to ask "What will you do?" or "What did you do?" you would say 何をしますか ...
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1answer
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Is there a different meaning for ごちそうさま!

I have posted a "status" on Facebook: Dear santa, I would like for you to bring him for christmas My boyfriend commented: Your Wish is my command! And my Japanese manager (from our office) ...
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1answer
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What is the significance of a large く character in literary texts?

I am currently reading an early story by Tanizaki Junichiro in Japanese. I have come across both the hiragana く and ぐ written twice the size they usually are, taking up the same amount of space on the ...
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1answer
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What is the meaning of あるある?

I saw it used on Twitter several times, but googling around I couldn't figure it out. Here are some examples. "@mao_sid: 24あるある。シーズン2ぐらいから、あのちょいちょい入ってくるデジタル時計いらないなぁって思いだす。" "@mao_sid: 24あるある。...
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1answer
769 views

The meaning of うがった見方

I'm kind of lost with the phrase うがった見方 used in NHK's special news program subtitles. They were showing U.S. President Trump speaking about his Russia ties allegations. The voice commentary was ...
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3answers
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Relation between 大学, 学校 and 大学校

These are the specifications, that I do already know: [学校]{がっこう} = school, including [小学校]{しょうがっこう}, [中学校]{ちゅうがっこう}, etc. [大学]{だいがく} = university (used frequently) [大学校]{だいがっこう} = university (not a ...
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1answer
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What is the difference between 部屋 and 室?

When referring to a room (in a building), what is the difference in usage, if any? I looked up the definitions and checked some sample phrases, but I could not see any real difference. I usually read ...
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に and で revisited

Consider the statement A: ホテル(に/で)泊まる. For both cases would translate to "I stay at a hotel" in English. However they are answers to different questions. Consider the questions 1.どこに泊まる and 2.(ホテルで)...
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Onigiri and nigiri

I was reading this two articles: Onigiri wikipedia's article Nigiri explanation inside wikipedia's sushi article I first thought that onigiri was a type of sushi but it's not. It calls my attention ...
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3answers
972 views

What does 彼女は私ほど自分のことを好きじゃない mean?

Consider the following 彼女は私ほど自分のことを好きじゃない。 My attempt is as follows A: She does not love herself as much as I love myself. B: She does not love herself as much as she loves me. C: She does not ...
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Nuances of: ふっと、ふと、ひょっこり、 どっと、 さっさ、不意に、唐突、突然、急に and いきなり。

I'm reading a beginner book and noticed that the author uses a lot of different words that translate to suddenly or abruptly which is interesting, so I have been trying to figure out the differences ...
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1answer
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What does 波 mean at the end of a sentence?

Here are some examples where I saw 波 at the end of a sentence :
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5answers
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Can I eat here?/ Is it ok to eat here? in Japanese

I went to Japan and want to ask the food vendors whether I can eat in front of his shop. Basically, I want to say "Can I eat here? or Is it ok to eat here?" I know that ここ = Here 食べる = Eat 大丈夫 =...
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Who scolded whom in Aに怒られる?

I can see that someone got mad or someone made someone else mad. The things that make it difficult are に and the られる form of 怒る. What does this mean? How do you figure out who did what in these types ...
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4answers
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Meaning of: イベントの前ふりをば。

A colleague is organizing an event and sent everyone an email beginning like this: 田中イベント担当の田中です。 イベントの前ふりをば。 ... (explanation about the event) The first line is a funny intro (the guy is ...
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1answer
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Is 「うそおっしゃい」 to be taken literally here?

In the video game Ripening Tingle's Balloon Trip of Love, the protagonist Tingle meets a fortune teller who demonstrates her powers to him. She asks him, "You come from a far away town, right?" If ...
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3answers
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Using 出る as opposed to 出かける

I have looked these two words up on WWWJDIC and there doesn't seem to be much difference. Are they interchangeable, or do they infer different things?
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Is there a difference between 「目を覚ます」 and 「目覚める」

I just recently learned these phrases were a thing and I can't find the difference anywhere online. Is there a difference between 「目を覚ます」 and 「目覚める」 ? Any help would be appreciated!
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755 views

What does 美味しい mean when referring to a person?

What does 美味しい mean when referring to a person? In particular, in this sentence I found, it is used together with ところ: あの人おいしーとこもってくなあ... Context: a guy is talking about another guy's bad ...
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What does ^^; mean?

I was reading through this one question on OKWAVE that was asking people what they thought of Japan’s education system. It’s a pretty long read, but it does have interesting parts to it. For instance, ...
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3answers
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Can't find the meaning of 「パー」

I have searched through a few dictionaries and through google but i can't seem to find an answer. from the fact that it's not found in any standard dictionary indicates it's an abbreviation but ...
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2answers
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What does 「なし」in 「問題なし」 mean?

I just started playing the video game Mother 3, and if you try to examine the trash can in front of his house, Lucas says, 問題なし. I expect this means something like, "no problem here", but I haven't ...
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2answers
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How do I “understand” kaomoji? (Japanese smilies)

When I see something like this: ヘ(´∀`ヘ)ヘ(´∀`ヘ)ヨイヨイ(ノ´∀`)ノ(ノ´∀`)ノヨイヨイ♪ I think some voodoo demon wants to say something to me. o_O My Japanese friends often use kaomoji. But, when they add (´▽`) or ...
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Meaning of じゃないんじゃない?

I recently came across the phrase じゃないんじゃない in this sentence: Clerk: でも うちで売ってるアイスじゃないんじゃないかしら For context, some kids are claiming they have a winning popsicle stick but the clerk can't seem to ...
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1answer
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What does 氏 mean after a name, how is it different from さん or 様?

If you look in the dictionary for the definition of 氏 you'll find it defined as: family name; lineage; birth. However I have seen it used in such a way that it is doubtful that it means any of those ...
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1answer
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What does 「/\」 mean in this sentence?

皆さん、こんにちは! Now, I've been reading 竹取物語 and have come across (another) set of symbols that I've yet to understand. Given the following sentence. かくて翁やう/\豐になり行く。 What does the sudden 「/\」 mean?
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309 views

[潔]{いさぎよ}い meaning

Can anyone tell me more about 潔い? I've looked in Goo, Alc, Kenkyusha, and Edict, and the definitions refer to "sportsmanlike", "gracious", or "take it like a man". However, I'm doubtful if these are ...
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1answer
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How is 口 used here?

祖父はシベリアからの引き揚げを経験した口だ。My grandfather was one of the people who were repatriated from Siberia. I couldn't find any dictionary entries that would fit 口 in this context. What does it mean here exactly?
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Strange phrase? 「お切らせ願います。」

I was translating a song (full lyrics: http://vocaloidlyrics.wikia.com/wiki/反芻の印象_(Hansuu_no_Inshou) ) and found this phrase which I am very confused about: 「お切らせ願います。」 "Please make (let) it cut" is ...
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1answer
175 views

What is the image/feeling/concept behind 面白半分に◯◯する?

In a phrase like: 面白{おもしろ}半分に見る or 面白半分に言う What is the concept behind the 半分 and why is it connected with the verb using に? Is it like "all things have two parts/aspects": serious (真剣半分?) and ...
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2answers
539 views

What is this form : Verb + はせん?

I am currently trying to read Bleach in Japanese. So far I haven't ran into any difficulty that a good dictionary cannot overcome. However in this particular scene I am puzzled by a particular scene, ...
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1answer
739 views

What does “夢プチ” mean?

I'm reading a manga in which a character mentions the following to another character: 今月の"夢プチ"見たよ I'm assuming that "夢プチ" is a play on something but I can't find anything via Google. Both ...
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3answers
807 views

Scope of negation in 「カラオケはいちばんお金を使いません。」

I came across this sentence in みんなの日本語 I. カラオケは いちばん お金を 使いません。 I now understand this sentence means: Karaoke is the cheapest activity. (or Karaoke is the activity that spends least money). ...
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Does さえ mean “even” in the following sentence?

I encountered the following on our daily reading. どのような企業{きぎょう}も、創業期{そうぎょうき}には全社員が昼食をとること さえ 忘れてしまうほど、忙しくフル回転していたものです。 In a business, a person was so busy that he forgot to eat lunch even ...
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Using すみません instead of ありがとう

Can すみません always be used in place of ありがとう? What's the difference? When using すみません to express thanks, what other words are used with it? Could you show me some examples?
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Why is “Try Again” translated to やり直す?

In the English of iOS, when the phone can't recognize your Touch ID when unlocking the device, it says on the top there "Try Again". After I switched the language to Japanese though, it turns into "やり[...
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3answers
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What does the pattern “Past Verb + まま + N” mean?

The following sentence was in an N4 review test: 私の本棚には 買ったまま 読んでいない まんが が たくさん あります。 The meaning, as I grasp it, is "There are a lot of books that I bought in my bookshelf that are left unread." ...
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3answers
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Alternate meaning for えぐい

One of the dictionary definitions for えぐい is "amazing". I've never actually come across this sense of the word in any sentences. Does anyone have examples of where native writers have used えぐい to ...
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5answers
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What is the difference between 仲間 and 友達?

I've seen nakama used in One Piece a lot, but I've learned tomodachi in my text book. Is there a different in usage?
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4answers
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Confusion over the use of いい人

The scenario is a group of friends trying to figure out what to eat. One person says: 決を採ります! 洋食焼き[どど]がいい人ー?! Friends respond: はあーい He then says: 次に和食定食[めんぼう]がいい人ー! Response: はあーい I feel like I'm ...
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3answers
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What is the difference between 得意 and 上手?

Both 上手 and 得意 seem to both mean something along the lines of "good at" or "skilled". However, I don't understand the difference (if there is one) between them. In fact, some of the sentences on jisho....