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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What does かの日 mean?

In my Japanese Bible, I've seen several passages that use the phrase かの日. Here are a couple. ある人たちの習慣に倣【なら】って集会を怠【なまけ】ったりせず、むしろ励【はげ】まし合いましょう。かの日が近づいているのをあなたがたは知っているのですから、ますます励【はげ】まし合おうではありませんか。 ...
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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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Does しかたない imply disappointment?

From the context of the original Japanese text, is seems that しかたない does not imply a negative feeling such as disappointment or dissatisfaction. Instead, it seems to mean "That's just the way it is" ...
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Why are 前 and 後 used backwards from how I would expect on this site?

I was practicing katakana reading here, and noticed at the very bottom of the page that the "forward" and "back" buttons have the characters I understand to mean "after" and "before," except that "...
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How is 何者にもなれない translated?

何者にもなれない Let's break it down... *何も here means nothing (with negatives) *者 means people *に is the target particle *なる means to become *なれない is the negative potential of なる How in the world does ...
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What conjugation of 願う is 願わくば, and what does it mean here?

This is my first post here, I'm sorry if I didn't follow any formatting or posting rules. Original sentence, from a character's monologue: 願わくばこの時間が少しでも長く続くことを。。。 The English translation I have (...
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Would 私は怖い mean “I'm scared” or “I'm scary”?

Or does it mean both? If so, is there any way to explicitly distinguish between "I'm scared" and "I'm scary"? If it only means one and not the other, how would you say the other?
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How can 「うん」 be used to mean both “yes” and “no?”

I was told by my Japanese teacher that 「うん」 can be used as a casual way to say "yes" as well as "no." If this is true, how can you tell the difference, absent any additional information?
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How broad is the meaning of 薬?

I saw on a board the other day someone referring to insecticide as "薬", which doesn't really fit with the English conception of "medicine". I looked up "薬" in Kenkyuusha, and sure enough, "chemical" ...
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「探してくる」には「見つける」という意味は含まれますか?

今まで、「探す」には「見つけようとする」という意味しかないと思っていました。辞書が挙げる語義にも、現代において一般的な用法(下記1.と2.)では「見つけようとする」以上の意味は含まれていません。 1. 必要なものや失ったものを見つけようとする。「安い下宿を―す」 2. ものを見つけるためにかき回す。「押し入れを―す」 3. 中にある物を表し出す。「...
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What nuance does ガールフレンド have?

Does ガールフレンド have a meaning of a female friend (like girl friend), or a female romantic partner? Someone told me it had the former meaning, and I should use "彼女" for a romantic partner. However, the ...
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What does “ちるの、びるの” mean?

Context: 織次{おりじ} the protagonist is trying to buy back a set of drawings from his father's friend, who is mysteriously evasive about the matter. [織次]{おりじ}も[後]{のち}に[東京]{とうきょう}から[音信]{たより}をして、[引]{ひき}[...
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What does 台 mean when proceeded by a number (of yen)

I came across this phrase in a news article about a budget reduction: ....6千億円台になる.... I was wondering what this use of 台 means. I did a Google search of 円台 and the amount of yen doesn't seem to ...
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What's the meaning of もの in this sentence?

てっきり、兄は腰を下ろすものだと思っていた。 I have no clue about what it could mean.
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meaning of: ういっく

I'm reading a manga and ういっく has come up three different times. Unfortunately, it's the only word/phrase so I can't garner what it means based on context. I've attached the three panels in which I've ...
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[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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How do I decide when to use plain or past verb form?

In (1) 明日、家へ帰って、母が作ったおいしい料理を食べます。 why is it 作った when it’s a future event? If I wanted to create a clause meaning 'delicious food my mother makes', it would be 母が作るおいしい料理. Does changing 作った in (1) ...
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What does ~たまえ mean exactly and how do you use it?

I've seen the verb 給え【たまえ】, usually written in hiragana and after the stem of another verb, ending a prhase. I'm not too sure on its meaning. I've read that it means "...please" but is that the only ...
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Meaning of トッツケ on a house plan

Same as with my question about a Kanji I tried to identify on a bad image source, I have a katakana word I need to understand / translate. The word reads トッツケ, as marked in this image: I tried to ...
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Looking for an explanation of the usage "あったものじゃない”

I'm looking for an explanation of the usage "あったものじゃない”. 例文 1)ムードも何もあったものじゃありませんね (context:Girlfriend and boyfriend were out on a date and the boyfriend's stomach made a large noise because he ...
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Did standalone noun “好き” mean a person in classical Japanese?

In classical Japanese, did standalone noun “好き” mean a person who likes something? I do not think that it does in modern Japanese, although it sometimes means a person when used as a suffix (e.g. ...
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Qualitative intensifiers e.g. とても, とっても, 超, etc. How are they different?

How are とても/とっても, でかい/でっかい, 超 (and others that I have yet to encounter) used differently? I figured that for とても/とっても-type difference is that the double-consonant(geminated) version is stronger i.e. a ...
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X+これを久しゅう meaning

In sentences like here. What does it mean? Which of the dictionary meanings of 久しい do I apply here? 幽谷先生が感歎これを久しゅうしたのも無理ではない。 と、私は慨嘆これを久しゅうしたことであった。 etc. (there are many more in the link)
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What are the differences between すぐ、もうすぐ、すぐに?

As far as I am aware, すぐに means "immediately", but in which contexts can you use もうすぐ and すぐ?
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The colour of 青黄色い

I'm reading Kawabata's 「雪国」alongside Seidensticker's translation from 1956. A few pages in our narrator casts a glance at a sick man's hand and describes it as 男の青黄色い手. Now I'm wondering what colour ...
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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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Meaning of 果たして?

果たして、遺産を独り占めするためだけに、それだけのことを兄さんがやってのけるのか、わしも確信は持てん。 I'll translate it roughly as "I don't think he will go that far just to have the inheritance for himself." However, I don't understand the 果たして ...
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The “cultural” meaning of 人間 (ningen)?

So, I have a general question about the word 人間 (ningen), and it's not about grammar. The most common translation for this word is "human", but I have been noticing that its usage is somewhat ...
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What does かぎのあるヱ mean?

In the Japanese radiotelephony alphabet, all kana are assigned a mnemonic code word in the form Nippon no ni (日本のニ)... except one. ヱ (we) alone stands out with kagi no aru we (かぎのあるヱ). Why is this ...
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What does 臨海学校 mean?

I ran across 臨海学校{りんかいがっこう} in a manga (ときめきトゥナイト) and I'm unsure what the exact meaning is. All the online dictionaries I've checked translate it as "seaside school", which doesn't quite make sense ...
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Does なかなか (with negative verb) mean “by no means” or “considerably”?

WWWJDIC defines なかなか (with negative verb) as by no means But shouldn't it have been considerably ? By no means means 100% not considerably means like 85% not So does なかなか (with negative verb) ...
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Meanings of 可愛くない

The main meaning of 可愛くない is of course "not cute", but I think I've heard/seen the word in other contexts, too. Is it possible for 可愛くない to be a kind of insult, like "loser" maybe? Especially when it'...
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What does うさ晴らしとばかりに mean in this context?

I have read some similar answers, which mostly point out とばかりに as meaning "as if to say", but I am having trouble understanding this meaning in this excerpt I have from a manga I'm trying to read: ...
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其之 what's the exact meaning of this?

I'm translating a comic and I found this kanji combination on the headers. It's like a counter for pages. 其之一 其之二 etc. その is the reading. I wanted to get more info about that but I didn't find ...
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How to understand 叶う here?

The following is copied verbatim from a JLPT prep book: 将棋歴30年のベテランに、初心者の私が叶うべくもない I read it as, A beginner as myself should be no match for a shougi veteran with 30 years of expertise. But I ...
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Seemingly redundant 帰る in 「今日、帰りに買って帰ります」

In my textbook is the following. あの店のパンはとてもおいしいとか。今日、帰りに買って帰ります。 From what I understand, 「帰りに買う」 means "to buy on the way back (home)". However, this seems to already imply that you are heading ...
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What is different between 分かります and 分かりました。

What is different between 分かります and 分かりました。
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Can んだった and んじゃなかった be used like the past version of んだ and んじゃない?

I know that んだった and んじゃなかった can be used to say "Should have done" and "Shouldn't have done". I am wondering, however, if they can be used as a past version of んだ Take for example this conversation: ...
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Meaning of “お戯れを”?

Can someone tell me what "お戯れを" means? I came across this in a Japanese drama. I can't quite figure out if this is almost like a formal and polite request to make somebody stop 'kidding around' or if ...
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Is there a difference between 公開日 and 発売日?

Both seem to mean "release date", but I've heard that 公開日{こうかいび} is typically used to refer to movie release dates, and 発売日{はつばいび} to book release dates. Is this true, and are there any other ...
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Usage and meaning of [passive verb]-てみれば

I am familiar with the set phrase 「言われてみれば」 as a way to say "Now that you say that", but as I examine the phrase further, the phrase structure strikes me as strange. The 〜てみる conjugation is commonly ...
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Why 皮切り is labelled as a sensitive word in the dictionary?

When I studied Japanese this morning, I found this word 皮切り in my dictionary: Example sentence: それを皮切りとして欧州の詩や文学を多数紹介するようになりました。 Translation: With that as a start many European poems and much ...
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Meaning and usage of ~としたことが

I came across the expression ~としたことが, for example: 私としたことが I'm trying to figure out the meaning and usage of this phrase, but I can't find any English resources that explain it. What does this ...
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Why is ば in this sentence?

そんなトコで何ばしよる。 I'm reading a manga and from the context of the pictures I think this sentence reads, "What are you doing up there," but I have no idea what part ば plays. The character speaks in a ...
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What's the difference between 招待, 招く and 誘う?

I've stumbled upon these 3 words. I think meaning of 招待 is: invite (as in a formal invitation) The other two seem rather confusing to me, though.
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How is 発行 different from 刊行?

Also, how does 発刊 fit into all of this? Is it that 発行 can be used for magazines, newspapers and books while 刊行 can't be used for newspapers?
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Dictionary form of verb followed by に

I've recently begun noticing that occasionally I'll see a dictionary form of the verb followed by the particle に, for example: 1.)まだ学校へ行くには早い時間です。 It's still too early to go to school. I've been ...
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Understanding なんだか

If you look up なんだか in a dictionary it's translated as "for some reason" or "somehow" but sometimes it seems it's being used more in the sense of "kinda" or "somewhat". How exactly should I interpret ...
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Do 気が付く{つく} and 気[付く]{づく} have the same meaning?

If they both mean the same, is が optional?
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Usage of 引っかかる and double meaning

In *A Frequency Dictionary of Japanese: 彼はよく詐欺に引っかかる。 is translated as: He is often caught committing fraud. When reading that sentence I understood it as: He often falls for frauds (i.e: ...