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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16
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3answers
1k views

How do Japanese understand “non-standard” words without looking at kanji?

This question seems so "obvious" that there might be a duplicate but could not find any. Anyway, while I try to think how to better rephrase the title, let me explain briefly what I mean. I'll give ...
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2answers
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What does 逃げっこなしにしよう mean?

So, I was reading a children's story and came across this sentence: 「いいか、この最後{さいご}のローソクが消{き}えたら、本当{ほんとう}のお化{ば}けが出{で}るかもしれん。だが、どんなお化けが出ようと、お互{たが}いに逃{に}げっこなしにしよう」 What I'm having trouble ...
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1answer
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What's the meaning of もの in this sentence?

てっきり、兄{あに}は腰{こし}を下{お}ろすものだと思{おも}っていた。 I have no clue about what it could mean.
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1answer
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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 ...
10
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1answer
838 views

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 ...
9
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2answers
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Confused in choosing 早い versus 速い

In my understanding, 速い is used for motion and 早い represents "early". Which one is the correct one in this example? A: 授業がそろそろ始まるので、早く来てください。 B: 授業がそろそろ始まるので、速く来てください。
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4answers
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The etymology and meaning of Oss, Osu, Ossu

I am training at a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy, and their use of the word "Oss" is ubiquitous. I have asked and also answered the question What is the etymology and meaning of Oss? in the Martial ...
9
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2answers
370 views

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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3answers
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Meaning of も vs でも for “even”

I'm wondering about the difference between も and でも for their "even" meaning. Using example sentences from A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar, 私は難しい仕事でもする。(original, pg 112) 私は難しい仕事もする。(...
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2answers
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What is さすが when referring to oneself?

It means "as one would expect" when referring to others, and it's sort of a compliment. But you're not supposed to compliment yourself in Japanese. So does さすが have a different meaning when ...
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想い vs. 思い - Do Both Mean Feeling?

Do both 思い and 想い mean "feeling", and if they do are they used interchangeably? If not, what is their difference in meaning?
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1answer
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Can もの be used to imply the value of something that is a こと?

I thought of this question and quickly realized that I already knew a possible example. Japanese band ZONE's most popular song is called 「secret base~君【きみ】がくれたもの~」. The lyrics can be read here or at ...
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Is there a reliable translation of the kangxi radicals?

Inspired by the Wikipedia page on Kangxi radicals I decided to study the meaning and writing of radicals before I tackle the much more numerous kanji. But in working my way through the list, I started ...
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1answer
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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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1answer
733 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 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
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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
338 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
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“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
622 views

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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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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2answers
557 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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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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What is the name of the writing that appears on the screen when watching television?

When watching the news and other shows on television, I often see various written content displayed on the screen for brief periods of time, usually on the bottom, but sometimes on the right. I just ...
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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
612 views

ことか to place strong emphasis on something?

According to this website (http://www.jlptsensei.com/grammar-lesson/kotoka/) "ことか is used to place strong emphasis on something." This is the only explanation I could find. I was wondering if that is ...
7
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1answer
580 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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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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3answers
995 views

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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別に to mean “not particularly”

I hear 別に used as "not in particular", did this usage come about just directly from the meaning of "separately"? So when used, it means that someone has a separate interest, like, etc. and hence they ...
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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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1answer
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What is the difference between 調子【ちょうし】 (choushi) and 具合【ぐあい】 (guai)?

Both words mean condition. In what context do we use them? Is one for expressing the condition of living things and the other one for the non-living things?
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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 ...
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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 ...
4
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2answers
309 views

にだけ vs だけに - Difference in meaning?

What exactly is the difference in meaning of にだけ vs だけに? My dictionary gives an example of: 僕にだけ話してください.vs 僕だけに話してください。 These are translated as the following: Please tell it to me only/Please tell ...
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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
370 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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3answers
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The meaning of そう

I know when placed after a verb it means "seems like" or "looks like", but what I want to know is what the そう in そう です か means. I know そう です か means "Is that so?" but I've seen そう used with other ...
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2answers
208 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
215 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 ...
2
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1answer
213 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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3answers
498 views

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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5answers
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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 ...