Questions tagged [phrases]

句. More than one word in a row. In linguistics, this term is used for a string of words that forms a syntactic constituent, generally with a head and zero or more dependents, above the word level but below the clause level. However, on this site, the tag is used with the simple definition non-linguists are more likely to be familiar with; linguists can understand this definition as "strings of more than one word".

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1answer
96 views

When or What is your date of birth?

In English we'd ask: ''What is your date of birth ?'' Is this the same in Japanese or is the use of ''What'' allowed ? 貴方の生年月日は何ですか 貴方の生年月日は何時ですか Which of these are correct ? Can both be ...
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1answer
112 views

I don't understand the structure of かたじけない しのぶ!!?

I don't understand... well, that's what it was there in the manga ... like this: bubble1:侍達を一人残らず抹殺せよ!!! bubble2:ぐわア!!! bubble3:かたじけない しのぶ!!武器は助かった!! bubble4:いえ and nothing else ...
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1answer
46 views

XもVba YもV pattern

A girl is on a date with a hot guy in a flashy sports car とにかくザックは注目を集める。  車も目立てば、本人も目立つ。信号待ちで止まろうものなら道行く女性は皆振り返るし、中にはスマホのカメラを向ける人すらいる。 Why is も used twice here and not, for example, a は in ...
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1answer
130 views

How would 「問わず語りの心」 translate into English?

It's a line from [寺尾]{てらお}[聰]{あきら}'s ルビーの[指環]{ゆびわ} くもり硝子の向うは風の街 問わず語りの心が切ないね 枯葉ひとつの重さもない命 貴方を失ってから Youtube Timestamp: https://youtu.be/ICJc53FXu4g?t=16 Now, I understand what he ...
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0answers
33 views

Why is ことに used the way it is in this sentence? [duplicate]

In 窓ぎわのトットちゃん, the author talks about the window. だいたいこの教室の窓というのが、トットちゃんにとっては幸福なことに、先生にとっては不幸なことに、一階にあり、しかも通りは目の前だった。 ことで seems more intuitive to me in this context. Why is ことに used instead?
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1answer
186 views

Does「ペーペー」and the “PayPay” digital wallet sound like a ダジャレ? Isn't that weird for marketing?

"PayPay" is a smartphone digital wallet used in Japan. Yet, 「ペーペー」is also a slang term for the 肩書き of 新入社員。I always said my 肩書き was either 「ペーペー」or 「カバン持ち」。 I am so confused. (1) Is "ペーペー" really, in ...
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1answer
122 views

What are acceptable ways of saying “to develop a photographic film”?

Tom Gally's Reading Japanese with a Smile has a nice story in which the author says: 父は、フィルムを現像に回すまで五年かかったのである。 I like the connotation of the rotation here because the film has to be unfurled. ...
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2answers
312 views

I want to ask the meaning of this words 痛い女

I tried to look at it dictionary but I can't get the real meaning behind it. What does 痛い女 mean?
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1answer
415 views

Does saying “私は次男坊です” in self-intro sound humorous? why?

I had a list of items to mention during extended 自己紹介 (like during a lunch or 飲み会). With those whom I also hoped to have friendship-like connection with, I'd also mention "私は次男坊です。" This allowed me to ...
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1answer
66 views

I'm looking for some pointers on polite, standard sentences when working in a service-oriented capacity [closed]

I've recently begun work in the tourism sector, mainly behind the hotel's bar and in the restaurant. I'm expecting some Japanese guests in the next few months. While I've studied Japanese language ...
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2answers
245 views

In what contexts can 旗色が悪い be used?

According to コトバンク, 旗色が悪い can be used when there is some connotation of a battle, war or fight - which makes sense because it literally translates to something like the color of the national flag is ...
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2answers
136 views

How would you ask “What makes your mouth water?” in Japanese?

I want to ask "What makes your mouth water?" in Japanese, but I'm not quite sure what is the right way. I was thinking of saying: あなたは何でよだれが出る?
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2answers
907 views

Meaning of つかみどころがない on a person

I have seen the literal translation of the phrase 「つかみどころがない」, somewhere along the lines of being either slippery, vague or elusive. I encountered this phrase 立花{たちばな}さんつかみどころないんだよなぁ… I cannot ...
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731 views

Meaning of 舌の根の乾かぬうち

I think I got it, but I would like to confirm just to check if it is correct or if I am missing some subtlety that happens when I translate. What is the meaning of 「舌{した}の根{ね}の乾{かわ}かぬ内{うち}に」? From ...
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1answer
82 views

How to use「足がすくんだ」

I want to say "The building was very high, so I froze with fear". Would I be right to say: 「建物がとても高くて僕は足がすくんだ」
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2answers
579 views

How to say “turn around!” in Japanese?

How do you order someone to turn around in a direct and forceful manner, like the way a police officer or soldier would say? Thank you.
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1answer
1k views

Is it appropriate to say おじゃまします when entering one's own room?

Let's say my friend is in my room and I am out in the kitchen. At some time I decide to enter my room. Is it appropriate to say おじゃまします when I am entering my own room?
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1answer
106 views

What does 普段からmean in this sentence?

中山さんは普段からよく運動するようにしています。 I think it means Mr. Nakayama tries to do exercise regularly But I'm confused about what 普段からactually means and how it differs from 普段and 普通
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1answer
97 views

“One step behind” or “one move too late”

I heard this phrase that sounds like 「いいえ、一手のさで、私どもの勝ちです。」, which in the context should mean one is one step behind, or one move too late, or being overtaken by someone else in doing something. But I ...
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1answer
165 views

What is the most casual way to ask ''What do you reckon ?'' in Japanese?

I want to know a colloquial way to ask: What do you reckon/think ? For example: I just cooked a meal and I turn to my Japanese friend and say: What do you reckon ? (I'm seeking approval whilst ...
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1answer
95 views

What is the difference between 初めは and 初めに?

What is the difference between 初めは and 初めに? I see that both mean "at first," but it seems like the phrases are not interchangeable. Thank you for your explanation!
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1answer
135 views

Last Minute + Studying/Questions etc

In English "last minute" is a pretty common phrase, but I am having a hard time finding a parallel in Japanese. I want to say things like Any last minute questions? I am doing some last minute ...
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1answer
127 views

Meaning of やっぱり in this context?

Son: まずいよ、このクッキー。 Mother: やっぱりまずい?ニンニク味だから。 The above excerpt is part of a dialogue in which a mother gave her son a garlic-flavored cookie because he asked for a cookie. After tasting it he ...
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1answer
104 views

Please help to translate phrase “the flying octopus” correctly [closed]

Could anyone give me a correct translation both in transcription and in hieroglyphs, please? Google translate gave me "tobu tako" couple of weeks ago, but now it offers "Hikō tako" only, so I'm kinda ...
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1answer
199 views

What does “Denzen/Zenzen haitenai dame” mean on a telephone message recording?

I hear this message after dialing a phone number. I know that I cannot enter for some reason, but I don't know what the reason is. Is the message box full? Is the number not being used or misdialed? ...
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1answer
144 views

Is 何それ a rude phrase?

I searched the term on the site, and I noticed that while it could mean "what's that", it also had some negative meanings. What would be a better way to ask "What's that?"
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2answers
186 views

What is the Japanese word for a track beaten in the woods? “A beast road”?

One of my Japanese classmates was having a hard time understanding the phrase "off the beaten track" and came to me for help. I told her that "beat" could also be used as "to make a path", as in "a ...
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1answer
107 views

What does どうしてこのサイトに来てるのかな?

My question is why is かな being used in this sentence? The person is asking me why I come/came to he site? or wondering why I came to the site? Would かな be added after the の? I am used to seeing かな ...
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1answer
159 views

Is は a particle in こんにちは and こんばんは? [duplicate]

Is は a particle in こんにちは and こんばんは?
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2answers
180 views

How would I say “This place is Heaven on Earth”?

How would I say "This place is Heaven on Earth"? Would このところは地球上の天国です。 be correct?
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1answer
717 views

What does 「花に育てる編集」 mean?

I encountered this line while reading a passage. Context: 知名度の高い執筆者ばかり適当に揃えて一冊の雑誌をつくる編集は、たとえて言えば、インスタント食品をうまく使って食卓を賑わす料理人みたいなものだ。失敗の危険は少ないかもしれないが創る喜びは少ない。 そこへゆくと、まだ固いつぼみを見つけ出して、これにあたたかい春の風を送り、...
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1answer
90 views

What does 「ひざっこぞうをたたいてみるよ」 mean?

This is a line from the song 「結婚しようよ」by 吉田{よしだ}拓郎{たくろう} (youtube link) Relevant piece of lyrics: 雨が上がって雲のきれ間に お陽様さんが見えたら ひざっこぞうをたたいてみるよ 結婚しようよMMMM Source When I googled it, I came ...
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1answer
75 views

Use of 抱く in “聞かせていただいてありがとうございました”

In my textbook the sentence: 聞かせていただいてありがとうございました is translated as "Thank you for telling us about all these things" I know: 色々 is "various" so probably means "all these things" 聞かせていた means "...
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2answers
942 views

Break down the phrase “[失礼]{しつれい}しなければならないんです”

I've just heard the phrase [失礼]{しつれい}しなければならないんです (shitsurei shinakereba naranaindesu) used as Excuse me, I have to leave. The explanation said it literally translates to If I don't leave, it won't ...
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1answer
69 views

The difference between 今日 and 今日ですね [duplicate]

こんにちは。えっと、今日ですね、日本についてお聞きしてるんですけど。 今日ですね always sounds a bit funny to me because I keep thinking about it as "it's today, isn't it?" (and then the answer could be "well, yes, it's not yesterday or ...
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0answers
73 views

そっち or そちら What is the difference? [duplicate]

そっち or そちら? The terms are used frequently in chat situations. I know that the terms mean there/you. Is one term preferred over the other?
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1answer
76 views

What does 「飛びついては止める傾向」

Context: 高校も不登校中退で通信制を卒業、転職歴20回以上の息子の母です。よろしくお願いします。幼い頃から頑張りがなく飛びついては止める傾向があり遂に高校も続きませんでした。 goo.ne dictionary defines two meanings for 飛びついて 1 勢いよく身をおどらせてとりつく。飛びかかる。「子供が母親に―・く」「柳に―・く蛙」 2 ...
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1answer
136 views

What is the difference between なにかな and なんだろう?

I want to see if なにかな or なんだろう, would be used in a similar way. I asked about what would be a good chat topic and the response was なにかな. I have also seen なんだろう and jisho gives similar definitions. Don'...
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1answer
113 views

How do you say “only to find out” in Japanese

I’m trying to connect two sentences with the phrase “only to find out” / “only to discover”
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2answers
711 views

Are there different ways to say nice to meet you in Japanese?

Yoroshiku onegaishimasu is a commonly used phrase when meeting someone for the first time. Is there a more suitable phrase that would more accurately convey nice to meet you? Could I say oaide kite ...
3
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1answer
217 views

Please help me accurately figure out the kana or kanji for a colloquial phrase said in an anime?

(I can change the question if it's too vague. 😅) I'm trying to practice my listening comprehension by listening to anime and not fully paying attention to subtitles. For the most part I can ...
6
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3answers
259 views

What phrase or yojijukugo can I use for Pyrrhic Victory?

Is there any word or phrase I can use for Pyrrhic Victory, or perhaps empty victory, or both? The first being a case where one wins but suffers such huge damage in some other way that it's victory in ...
2
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1answer
118 views

こんなものか、こんなところか at the end of sentences

I often heard this at the end of sentences or just standalone by themselves, with a questioning tone. One example:纏めると、とりあえずこんな所か… I have no problem understanding it in the larger context, but I have ...
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1answer
305 views

Craving for food?

In this picture below (I snipped it from the digital copy I bought online, 兄の嫁と暮らしています) there is this phrase "もう口がアイスになっちゃった". An obvious reading is that she's really craving for ice cream. However, ...
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1answer
144 views

What is the meaning of 今回のように?

If you run 今回のように through google translate, it gives: "As of this time", and "Like this time", but nobody speaks like this in real english. もちろん。 それだけじゃありません。 今回のように有名人を島にお招きするのも村おこしの一環なんです。 Of ...
0
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1answer
297 views

What's this word I always hear in anime? “Oh no!” or “not good!” [closed]

Sometimes when a character ends up in a bad situation they'll say a word or phrase that sounds like "matsui!" or "natsui!" It's usually translated as "not good!" or "oh no!" I'm curious as to what the ...
3
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1answer
130 views

What does one call words or phrases that cannot be or rarely refered to with kanji

I have found that many words are only used in hiragana and because of this i can't seem to find a good way to learn them as i am studying words that use kanji due to the site i am using. Like-ごめんなさい, ...
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1answer
105 views

What does 今一概に言える equate to? “Now, unconditionally said thing?”

I was watching a 45 second video, but ran into some trouble with the above. I will post the entire subtitles for context purposes. テレビ番組を勝手にアップロードするのは違法だからな 10年以下の懲役か1000万円以下の罰金か、その両方だが ...
4
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1answer
96 views

What's the difference between these similar phrases for oblivious person? I.e. 気が利かない人

These are all pretty close but I don't get the nuance difference. 気が利かない人 気が付かない人 気が知れない人 気が回らない人 空気が読めない人 Kikanai seems to be someone that doesn't have a lot of forethought, ie doesn't plan well ...
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2answers
179 views

Rain in the city

東京は今雨が降っている。 literally: Tokyo now rain is falling. Question: why Tokyo is [wa]-ed but not [ni]-ed? Is it allowed to say the same idea in English manner like this? 東京に今雨は降っている。 東京では今雨は降っている。 ...

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