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Questions tagged [prefixes]

接頭辞. A type of affix prepended to the beginning of a word to change its meaning.

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Use of ものの as a prefix

ハリーはものの見事にロンに負けた。 Harry lost spectacularly to Ron. Would I be correct in thinking that ものの can be omitted from this sentence? What is the effect of adding ものの as a prefix? Jisho gives 'only', 'no ...
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The origin of the ご reading of 御

The prefix 御 can be read three different ways in modern Japanese: お, ご and み. I believe み is the original reading, and お maybe comes from 大御, but where does ご come from? I understand it is not ...
Saegusa's user avatar
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On the usage of the prefixes お/ご in the plain form of female speech

I know that there are many differences between male and female speech, but my question is about plain form. Women use prefixes o- and go- more often than men. Is it true also in plain form? For ...
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Examples with prefix 専 (せん)

Jisho says that 専 (せん) can be used as a prefix with meaning "having a fetish for ...; specializing in ...; majoring in ...​". https://jisho.org/search/%E5%B0%82 However, I can't find any ...
kanachan's user avatar
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How to know which names of food items can be prefixed with "o"?

I realize that we can prefix the names of some food items such as "sushi", "sashimi", "mizu", and others with "o". However, there are other food items, such as &...
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Prefix 正 (しょう) before a number

According to jisho, 正 (しょう) can act as a prefix before a number with meaning "exactly; precisely", but despite not having any label of "Archaism" or similar for that meaning ...
kanachan's user avatar
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Is there a general way to communicate the idea of a non-A where A is any noun? [duplicate]

I’m trying to say “Survivorship bias is a logical fallacy that leads to the consideration of survivors as opposed to non-survivors.” Is there a way to say non-survivors, or more so non-anything? For ...
Fish In a Tree 0's user avatar
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Augmentatives and Diminutives in the Japanese Language?

Augmentatives and Diminutives are modifications (like affixes) that "increase" or "decrease" the "value" of some word's meaning: Overlord, duckling. I found this question ...
SevenOclock's user avatar
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Meaning of お in 奥さんのお誕生日のプレゼント [duplicate]

Why does お appear in 「奥さんのお誕生日のプレセント」 if it is not part of the word 「誕生日」?
Eduardo S's user avatar
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What is the meaning of もの in ものすごく? [duplicate]

I don't understand the function of もの in the following sentence: 薬がものすごく苦かったから、急いで飲み込んだ。 The sentence makes perfect sense if I omit もの altogether, and I am not sure what is its function in the ...
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Reading of prefix 大

While reading, I'm finding difficult to understand how to read an initial 大, since it can be read だい (大好物), たい (大使館), おお (大蔵省). When I can find the word on a dictionary it's not a big problem, I can ...
Mauro's user avatar
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Short form of extra modest expression

I recently came across an example of someone saying 'お返しする' rather than 'お返しします' about 18 seconds into this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vazHI4jN6lc&t=18s Under what circumstances should ...
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What effect does adding 「取り~」 before a verb have?

I've encountered many verbs with 「取り~」 inserted. Up till now I've treated 「取り+verb」 as separate vocabulary, but quite often, the definitions are not much different than the base verb alone. In ...
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Why is there ご in 判断

I was wondering why there was ご in ご判断. I saw this in a sentence in anime called Oregairu ep. 10. それとお手伝いの件 城廻先輩の ご判断もありますし
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Implicitly self-referring honorifics

I am told that ご連絡します for “I will contact you“ is not more polite than 連絡します but simply wrong because the honorific ご should qualify actions done by the interlocutor, not by myself. To make it polite ...
lyudmilla's user avatar
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What part does 「成」 play when tailed to a word?

So I recently came across a song called 「未完成」 by Leo Ieiri. I know 未完 means "Incomplete" or "Unfinished". I'm interested in knowing what that 「成」 represents when used after 「未完」 and what are other ...
MJShinichi's user avatar
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What does お do in ケーキはお好きですか? [duplicate]

ケーキはお好きですか So I started learning Japanese and something caught my attention quite often. In some sentences there is an お in front of a verb. What is it doing? How does it affect the sentence. Can ...
Arif Baykara's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
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Differences between ひ弱い and か弱い

How did the prefixes ひ and か come about and what are the differences in meaning between ひ弱い and か弱い? Are either of the prefixes pejorative like how ド is in the examples in dainichi's answer to '...
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What does エセインテリ mean?

is it like a pseudo-intellectual or something else?
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Adding 駄 on the beginning of the word

I've met a word 駄女 だおんな though not sure if wrote it well in kanji. Can I use this 駄 with other words? For example, like 駄先輩 or 駄宏 (with the name of a man)? Are there words that suit this scheme most ...
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On the topic of 美化語 (Refined Language), are there any websites that list words that take お〜, ご〜 or neither?

I'm just wondering, because I think it would be helpful to know which words should be prefixed with お〜, which words should be prefixed with ご〜, and which words should not be prefixed with either of ...
Micheal Gignac's user avatar
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一 (いち) before nouns

I sometimes come across expressions like this: 土地、宅地の利用区分の"一形態"で、受託の用途に供せられる土地のことを言うことが一般的である。 (definition of 住宅地) 特に、国家・団体などが立てる、"一会計年度"の収支の見積もり。(definition of 予算) Basically you ...
hgiesel's user avatar
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Difference between「未熟練労働者」and「不熟練労働者」

I am writing an essay in Japanese and want to talk about non-skilled labor, but found two different words for the opposite of a skilled laborer: 「未{み}-」and「不{ふ}-」+「熟{じゅく}練{れん}労{ろう}働{どう}者{しゃ}」. I was ...
archaephyrryx's user avatar
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What does 数% mean in 数%程度でしかなく?

The phrase in question comes from the Japanese global warming article. その一方で太陽放射等の自然要因による変化の寄与量は人為的な要因の数%程度でしかなく、自然要因だけでは現在の気温の上昇は説明できないことが指摘されている I think I understand the gist of 数%程度でしかなく. My ...
Robert's user avatar
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Historically, how would a military lord and his direct subordinate address each other? [closed]

I am currently writing a short story, for a text prompt demanding I set my plot among medieval Japan's nobility, but I am unfamiliar with older honorifics. The main dialogue takes place between a ...
Confusing fiction's user avatar
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Use of お in the beginning of these question phrases

Studying Japanese in a book, I saw this dialogue: A: お名前は? B: ペドロです A: お国は? B: スペインです From what I know, the お works as an honorific of respect, then, it is used only in formal phrases. But these ...
Macabeus's user avatar
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3 answers
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How to speak about "one" thing in Japanese?

In short, what I mean is, how can I mention about one certain thing (not one thing in amount) in Japanese? For example "one morning" in the following sentence: As Gregor Samsa awoke one ...
fenestra's user avatar
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Can the honorific o be used in front of all nouns?

Can the honorific o be used in front of all nouns? I was thinking of sentence structures and wondering if o could be placed in front of all nouns. Thank you.
Jack Bosma's user avatar
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「~ない」 vs 「無/不/非/未~」, 「的(な)<漢字>」, and general 熟語/漢語 affixes versus grammatical forms)

When trying to write in Japanese, I often come across words that have multiple possible translations into Japanese, and am unsure which one to use. Though it is difficult to make any general rule over ...
archaephyrryx's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
276 views

Appending 物 to certain adjectives

Certain adjectives (凄い and 足りない come to mind) seem to be able to take 物 as a prefix, but I haven't been able to find anything on the internet regarding this. Are the forms with 物 more formal or ...
Angelos's user avatar
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6 votes
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Closed: [休]{きゅう}〜 vs. [閉]{へい}〜

Are there particular rules on when to use one or the other? 休〜 appears to be more of a temporary closure or suspension (with implied continuation at some point in the near future)... この図書館は改装のため、...
istrasci's user avatar
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What is the difference between 非親告罪 and 親告罪?

非親告罪【ひしんこくざい】 vs 親告罪【しんこくざい】 To my understanding 親告罪 means: A type of crime which requires a formal complaint from the victim in order to prosecute. 非【ひ】 means: a mistake, negative, injustice, non, ...
ConstantFun's user avatar
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1 answer
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What does the word 「ぶっぱたく」 mean?

A little girl who said the following sentence holding a geta in her hand is angry that officers not allow her and her friends to go inside a place. ひいきしやがるとぶっぱたくぞっ。
George's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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と prefixing a verb?

I sometimes see と apparently being used as a verb prefix, e.g.: もう、とぼけないでよ。 Stop joking around. Can somebody explain what the と does in cases like this?
python dude's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is お in お元気ですか?

Sorry if this is a very basic question, but I'm trying to understand everything in my first lesson (online, Rocket Japanese). I don't understand what the purpose of お is in the phrase お元気ですか, which ...
Andy's user avatar
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What does the word 「さし心地」mean?

I have seen it from a sentence in an eye drop instruction manual. Here it is. かつてない気持ちいい、さし心地...それは、極小一滴だから! In my opinion, I translate it as "the very feeling" by referring 「さし」from a source that ...
George's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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What is the function of "o"?

Why do people have to add "o" to "namae" like "Onamae wa?"
kikita123lion's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
867 views

How do I read 初商業誌?

I searched google, jisho, and yahoo. I couldn't find a proper pronunciation for 初商業誌.
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10 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the difference between 各 and 毎{ごと}?

I think the difference is mainly just a nuance: 毎{ごと}・・・each ・・・それぞれの 各・・・every・・・すべての I think 毎 is used mainly with 名詞や動詞 「年毎に」 「会う人毎に」 Or there is any other difference?
alicef's user avatar
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1 answer
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What does the word 「たたっ」 mean?

I'm not sure if it means "very long time" in this sentence. If it means that, what does the 「っ」 do in the sentence? ジョーのやろうは刑{けい}務{む}所{しょ}へたたっこまれるようなことになるんでしょうか?
George's user avatar
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9 votes
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What does the word 「ぶったてる」mean?

What does the word 「ぶったてる」mean? このドヤがいの西{にし}のはずれにりっぱな総{そう}合{ごう}病{びょう}院{いん}をぶったてること!
George's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
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Prefix お for names - how is it used?

I recently watched a Japanese drama titled 「おせん」. The title comes from the first name of the main character - the character's name is 半田{はんだ}仙{せん} who is a young お上{かみ} of a traditional restaurant. ...
Szymon's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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a few words have an honorific 「お」or「ご」 as a necessary prefix, right?

I just came a across the word 「お巡りさん」。While 「お巡り」 is a word, 「巡り」 is not. Likewise, 「ご飯」 is a word, but while 「飯」is a word, the reading changes to the 訓読み (めし)。This means that the 「ご」in「ご飯」is not ...
davewp's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
491 views

Does 本 work as a general purpose prefix?

The motivation for this question is the phrase 本法廷 which I recently read. Does ほん (本) work as a general purpose prefix? By this I mean can I look in the dictionary and pick any noun and put 本 in ...
HAL's user avatar
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18 votes
3 answers
542 views

What is the か in「か弱い」?

I'm wondering what the か in か弱い, か細い and similar words is. It seems to act as an intensifier. The Daijisen tells me simply that this か is a 接頭語, and translates it as いかにも; it doesn't seem to have its ...
Billy's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
363 views

inter- and intra- prefix

What would one use for the equivalent of the "inter-" and "intra-" prefixes in English? e.g. intercity, intracity, inter-server etc I did a fair amount of looking around. 間 looks like it might be ...
paullb's user avatar
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23 votes
3 answers
5k views

Are all kanji compounds considered words?

A friend once commented to me that Japanese has a larger vocabulary than English. I said I didn't think it did, because it wasn't really accurate to call all kanji compounds "words". My friend said I ...
Questioner's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
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does anyone know of any o-words or go-words which are absolutely neutral?

Does anyone know of any o-words or go-words which are absolutely neutral (have no nuances of being polite / courteous / respectful / womanly / cute etc etc)? The only ones I'm aware of currently is ...
Pacerier's user avatar
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20 votes
1 answer
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Honorific prefixes: 「ご」 vs 「お」

Some nouns take the 「ご」 prefix: ご両親 {りょうしん} ご家族 {かぞく} ご無事 {ぶじ} ご安心 {あんしん} ご丁寧 {ていねい} While many others take the 「お」 prefix: お母さん お仕事 {しごと} お月 {つき}さま お家 {うち} お客 {きゃく} In general,...
Lukman's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
535 views

Is 超 (chō) seldom used in written works?

Is it true that the prefix 超 to mean “very” is seldom used in written works (like novels, not counting direct speech), and is usually only used when talking?
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