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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1answer
3k views

Meaning of noun + だったりする

すごく背が低いけれど、いつも堂々とした態度で、颯爽とした雰囲気がある。 そして――‥‥彼女は僕の彼女だったりする。 What exactly is the meaning of "だったりする" here? I've read in A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar by Seiichi Makino that when たり is used ...
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What is the difference between どうかな and どうなんだろう?

My native Japanese friend said that both どうかな and どうなんだろう can be translated as "I"m not sure". Do they actually mean the exact same thing? Or are there subtle differences in their usage?
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1answer
414 views

What is the difference between 「Adj-さと言ったらなかった」&「Adj-いと言ったらなかった」?

Could someone explain the difference between the following two expressions: 恐ろしさといったらなかった 恐ろしいといったらなかった I am struggling with the first which my text book tells me means とても恐ろしかった. Why is the ...
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3answers
325 views

もはや used with しか

I know that もはや+negative verb means "no longer", and しか+negative verb means "only", "nothing but". But seeing them used together, as in the following sentence, got me a little confused. ...
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~ようと… Japanese grammar

お百姓と、その息子を殺したヘビ  ヘビがお百姓(ひゃくしょう)の息子の方へはい寄って来て、噛み殺してしまいました。  お父さんのお百姓は、悲しくてたまりません。  それでオノを持ち、ヘビの穴のそばでヘビが出てきたらすぐに叩き殺そうと待ち構えていました。  そのうちにヘビが一匹、穴から出てきました。  お百姓は、 「それっ!」 と、オノを振り下ろしました。  ...
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What does the nakaguro (・) between these two words mean?

The first sentence on the Mac OS X article on the Japanese version of Wikipedia reads: Mac OS X(マック オーエス テン)は、アップルが[開発]{かいはつ}・[販売]{はんばい}する、Macintoshコンピュータ[用]{よう}の[現行]{げんこう}オペレーティングシステム (OS) である。 ...
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4answers
616 views

“Unsolvable problem”

What is the correct construction of "unsolvable problem"? Is it "解{と}けられない問題{もんだい}"?(Question 1) Plain(intransitive): 解{と}ける "To be solved". Potential form(of intransitive): 解けられる "can be ...
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1answer
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What does アタマ mean in reference to food/portion sizes?

I came across this at a Yoshinoya and I've never seen this before on a menu. I can't figure out what this is supposed to mean; all I can infer from the pricing is that maybe it's a size in between 並 ...
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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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554 views

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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2answers
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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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1answer
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Usage (correctness) of だと after verbs

I've noticed だと showing up after verbs for a while now in various forms of media, such as blogs, anime, regular TV shows & also when speaking to Japanese people. However, I was originally told ...
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1answer
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What do ー, 「, and 」 mean? [duplicate]

I’m a bit new to Japanese and I’m a little confused about what they are used for.
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2answers
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Understanding 'ありのままで'

I know that 'ありのままで' means something like 'as I am', but how would one go about understanding the bits and pieces of the phrase, such as 'あり' and what its function in the phrase is? Thank you for your ...
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1answer
543 views

Difference between ついでに and たびに in the following example

In Nihongo so-matome N3 grammar p53. In question I number 4 there is this question written where both answers seems fine to me. おとなりのひとはりょこうの(a.たびに、b.ついでに)おみやげをかってきてくれます。 If we choose たびに the ...
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3answers
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What is the meaning of「一強・安倍政権」?

I was reading a political news when I came across this phrase 「一強・安倍政権」 My guess is that this is meant to say the Abe administration is "strong" (has strong support from the people, can withstand ...
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1answer
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Meaning and grammar of やるっきゃない

I few minutes ago on NHK news 「注目」 I've heard/saw the phrase 「やるっきゃない」. I have no idea what it means.. And what grammar rules are here?
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より not used for comparing?

The title of a piano arrangement of a Touhou song (Hakurei Reimu's Theme) is: 「東方永夜抄 - Imperishable Night.」 より 博麗霊夢のテーム (Question) What does より do in the title? If it were to mean "from the game ...
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900 views

Meaning of adjective + にする

When you say 部屋をきれいにします You mean "Clean the room" (make it so that the room becomes clean). On the other hand, when you say 静かにする You mean "Be quiet". If these meanings are right, would the ...
5
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1answer
679 views

What does こういうの refer to in こういうのって天然が一番怖いのよ

どこまでドジっ娘なのよ、あの子 あはは…ま、まあ、わざとじゃないんだし こういうのって天然が一番怖いのよ context: あの子 forgot something back in her room that they need and is in the process of going to get it and the other two then begin to ...
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2answers
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What does (volitional form) + ったって+(potential form of same verb) mean?

I came across this and don't quite understand is meaning. One character orders another to forget something, who nods agreement but thinks to themselves: 忘れようったって忘れられない What does 忘れようったって mean here?...
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3answers
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Explaining the phrase お世{せ}話{わ}になります and お世{せ}話{わ}になりました

I can understand what the phrase means 「お世{せ}話{わ}になりました」- "Thank you for everything". But literally it's quite strange to me. Could you explain the logic of it? Also would be very nice to know more ...
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3answers
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Word for “British”? (I don't mean “English / イギリス”)

If I were to explain the (pedantic) difference between "English" and "British", what would be the word for "British"? I might want to perform the following explanation in Japanese as in this question ...
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1answer
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What are the meanings of ました, ます, and ません?

What are the uses for ました, ます, and ません? For example with the word, ありがとう, what are the differences between ありがとうございました, ありがとうございます, and ありがとうございません? Also, is it possible to properly use どうも as a ...
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1answer
297 views

Detailed distinction and relationship between 文、文書、文章、本書、本文、作文、文字、作成、表記 (and possibly others)

Every time I come upon these words, I get confused, because the meanings of them are either very similar with each other or have more than one meaning. For example, on goo辞書, the first meaning of 本書, ...
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1answer
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What does it say on my Japanese alarm clock? [closed]

I bought an alarm clock (good clocks with AA batteries instead of button-like) with Japanese characters and found it difficult to understand, even with a dictionary. Could someone explain what is ...
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1answer
209 views

How does the passive form work here?

This is from a visual novel. A dude is talking to his underlings: さって本日よりきさまらに新たな命令が下されるわけだが It translates to "Well now I’m calling you to give new orders" I was under the impression that ...
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2answers
206 views

Meaning of ぐらいでいいのでは in 「三回ぐらい噛んで飲み込めるぐらいでいいのでは?」

Can you tell me what ぐらいでいいのでは means? Also, I don't understand why potential form of the verb is used in this sentence Can you help me to translate this sentence? Context: The questioner asked how to ...
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2answers
213 views

How does しばらく work with ていない?

私たちはしばらく肉を食べていない。 We have eaten no meat for several days. I don't get how you get the meaning of "have not eaten for several days" from "しばらく肉を食べていない." I can only see it being "we will not eat ...
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3answers
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What do いっぱいいっぱい and 余裕 mean in this context?

I'm translating this manga, but I'm having a hard time because I don't know what's the best way to translate these words Context: see pics... sorry that there are 7 pics, but I felt that explaining ...
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Is it ok to use 電車 for non-electric trains?

電車 has the kanji for "electric" in it, but is it more or less ok to use it even for non-electric trains, such as steam trains? I saw a steam-powered train being used as the picture for that word in ...
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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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母 (haha) and お母さん (okāsan)

What is the difference in meaning and usage between 母 (haha) and お母さん (okāsan)?
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2answers
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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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2answers
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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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2answers
844 views

Meaning of …立てちゃいなよ

I am organizing an event and posted a flyer on a famous SNS. Someone commented on it saying: イベント立てちゃいなよ From the context I guess it is advising me to create an event (SNS feature), am I mistaken? ...
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How accurately can 使い be translated as “angel”?

On jisho.org, 使い is translated with words such as "errand", and the same holds true on translate.google.com. Neither site is offering "angel" as a suggestion. Yet in Matthew 1:20, the phrase: ・・・...
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4answers
588 views

Why is coffee with shochu or awamori called コーヒー割{わ}り “split / divided coffee”?

About five nights ago I went out with a local friend to a traditional Okinawan club in Naha. We were of course drinking 泡盛{あわもり} (awamori) with water and ice. But the girl working there had a drink ...
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1answer
269 views

Why is くれる used here and not あげる

The lines are taken from a visual novel and the translation as well Example 1 逃れるつもり ? 逃れる? 違うな世界の終焉までに時間をくれてやろうというのだ What are you running away? Run? No. I'm simply giving you time to ...
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3answers
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Reason for 「のか」 and 「かもしれません」 in 「何を言っているのかわからないかもしれませんけど」

One time I was formulating sentences on a website, to practice my Japanese and get natives to correct them. I had written 「何が言ってわかりませんけど」 which I now understand was wrong, but when they corrected my ...
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4answers
785 views

「のだろう、」 mid-sentence

私は自分では淋しくも何ともないから、彼女と私とでは、一般的にいう「不幸」という点で、どっこいどっこいのような気がするのだが、彼女は自分のほうが私よりも「ちょっと幸せ」だと感じているのだろう、結婚には失敗したけれど、子供が三人いる。これが彼女が私よりも幸せだと思う最大の理由だと推理したのである。 What is the meaning of のだろう here and how does it ...
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2answers
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Difference between 回復【かいふく】, 修復【しゅうふく】, 復旧【ふっきゅう】 and 復興【ふっこう】

Here is the sentence: 約{やく}300年{ねん}前{まえ}の絵{かい}画{が}の __ が終{お}わり、~。 This sentence fragment is taken from JLPT1 test book. And there you have to pick one correct answer from 4 words to fill in the ...
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1answer
420 views

Does くだく mean “destroy”? What does いい mean at the beginning of a line?

Would the following be a good translation of the text in the above two speech bubbles? "Everything in this universe is composed of atoms. Destroying something is equivalent to destroying the ...
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1answer
351 views

Exact meaning of も (maybe emphatic?) in a sentence

I read in a Japanese Grammar(*) written in French: 息子【むすこ】は元気【げんき】で,私達【わたしたち】も安心【あんしん】した. ~ "My son is healthy, and we feel reassured". (translation from the French translation given by Reiko ...
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1answer
97 views

Meaning of く も in this sentence

This sentence is from Doraemon: そんなのめずらしくもないよ. I think it means "It is not that rare/uncommon". But I don't understand the use of く も here. Should it be interpreted as めずらしく + も? 1. Why they use めずらしく ...
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1answer
603 views

Is it appropriate to use irasshaimase when welcoming someone to a private office?

I want to say welcome to people when they enter my office. I am not in a store or selling anything. I have only heard this term used in large common public areas. There may be a more appropriate term. ...
5
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3answers
238 views

Difference between 「彷徨う」 and 「彷徨える」、「狂う」 and 「狂える」 etc

In 大辞林, the definition of さまよえる as in さまよえるオランダ人 is あてもなくさまよっている。 while the (primary) definition of さまよう is 当てもなく、あるいは目指す所が見つからずにあちこち歩き回る。 What's the difference between the two words, and ...
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1answer
305 views

Meaning of として in this sentence

I don't get why として is used instead of を in this sentence, as it doesn't seem to fit with the "as" sense that I know. 品詞と無関係にコソアドとして一括して扱うのが一般的です。 What I understand is this: Treating コソアド as a ...
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1answer
161 views

What is おばあちゃん子?

I attempted to find the meaning of おばあちゃん子 but it seems that it does not exists in the dictionary. What does it mean?
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2answers
312 views

What does “子役の闇” mean?

a few days ago I find out that the term "子役の闇" exist, but I can't quite understand its meaning. I have seen it used on places like twitter and 2ch but it seems there's no English equivalent for this. ...