Questions tagged [set-phrases]

成句. Phrases with fixed words used as a single unit, such as idioms. For questions about a particular idiom, please use the tag "idioms".

3
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141 views

How do I decipher each word in a sentence, if all is written in hiragana?

I don't know what this sentence means. "相変わらずつーといえばかーだね". I tried using google translate but it produces way too different meanings, when I try to translate the sentence bit per bit. ex. ...
5
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2answers
327 views

What's the 日本語 equivalent of “Wipe them off the map”?

皆さん、こんばんは! What is the 日本語 equivalent of saying the semi-set-phrase(or whatever you call set-phrases with parts you can fill in) "Wipe them off the map"? Like when you say "North Korea knows that if ...
2
votes
1answer
110 views

What does 三馬を偸んで mean?

I found it in 吾輩は猫である in the sentence この間おさんの三馬を偸んでこの返報をしてやってから、やっと胸の痞{つかえ}が下りた. After the cat has tried for several times to climb into the kitchen. Is that 三馬{さんま}を偸んで{ぬすんで} (3 horses stolen?) ...
11
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3answers
3k views

Why does なんてね mean “Just kidding”?

I very often see なんてね or some similar phrase being translated to "Just kidding"? but why does it mean this and how does the grammar behind it work?
5
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2answers
2k views

What is the Japanese equivalent for words like 'go' in 'go team!'?

Here's something I just realized I didn't know how to say in Japanese. What is the Japanese equivalent for words and set phrases used to express excitement for what someone is doing, while also ...
3
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1answer
173 views

Icebreakers to use with strangers

Let's say I am in a gym and had an eye contact with a person working out next to me, is it OK to say 今日は、如何ですか。 どうも、元気か。 What are the best simple expression to break the ice with complete ...
2
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1answer
2k views

いいことですね vs. いいですね

Is there a difference between these two responses? いいことですね。 and いいですね。 Examples: A: 日本語のために、毎日日本語のラジオを聞いています。 B: 勉強のためですか。いいことですね。 A: 週末は大阪に行くんです。 B: そうですか。それはいいですね。
5
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1answer
159 views

Does it sound unnatural to say “タダイマ” after someone says “オカエリ” to you?

When you return home, the normal exchange is: (oneself): "タダイマ" (family member at your residence): "オカエリ" My interpretation is that "タダイマ" means "hey, I've just got home.". And, "オカエリ" means "...
4
votes
1answer
99 views

What is 思う doing in this sentence?

What does the first 思う, right after なったら, mean here? 私は大人になったら思う存分ライブに行きたいと思う。
2
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2answers
216 views

Nである程度 ― the degree to which one is N

Looking up ある程度 on Weblio yields a lot of phrases like Xである程度 --> to the extent that something is X is this to be understood as Xである 程度 or X で ある程度 ? I don't know if this is a set phrase or not, ...
6
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2answers
5k views

Is there any phrase similar to “may he rest in peace”?

George Michael just passed away... is there any phrase analogous to "may he rest in peace"? To me at least, that English phrase is emotionally tinged. I mean, I really do feel sad. But of course, I'd ...
5
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1answer
554 views

Understanding ただより高いものはない

「むかしっからなァ、ただより高いものはないっていうことわざがあるんだぞっ。」 From the old days there's a saying that "nothing costs as much as what is given to us". I've taken the translation of ただより高いものはない straight from the dictionary,...
7
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2answers
690 views

What kind of grammar is it in 調査に調査を重ねて?

I did not find any resources explaining the following grammar. N に N を V For example, 調査に調査を重ねて事故の原因を究明した。 What kind of grammar is it? What does it mean?
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3answers
467 views

Can 全部 be used like 「全部の月は忙しいですか?」

全部の月は忙しいですか? What that is supposed to say is: Will you be busy all month? But I feel that using 全部 in this way might mean all of the months in the year. So first, when talking about the entirely of ...
10
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1answer
959 views

What does 次行ってみよう mean?

I haven't done too, too much in-depth research on this one, but a general search seems to show that this is a joke or a meme. Either way, I'm very interested in knowing a bit more about the context of ...
6
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1answer
1k views

“But it is true that…” in japanese

I am trying to translate a sentence from English to Japanese in order to include it in an email, but I can't really find a satisfying equivalent in the target language. The sentence goes as : But ...
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2answers
175 views

Meaning of それどうする気

Yamada has just collected a lot of insects and is asked: 「それどうする気?」 I'm guessing this is a set phrase along the lines of "What were you thinking?". I can't get any sense out of a literal ...
3
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2answers
192 views

function of the particle も in 「~も辞さない」

I came across the sentence「訴訟も辞さない」in a book today and even though I am able to understand its meaning, I can't figure out the actual function of も in this case. I looked into my grammar dictionary ...
3
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1answer
660 views

Regarding 何と言うか、というのがある

regarding this bit, 日本人がアメリカ人によく聞かれて困る質問の一つに、”How are you?" は日本語で何と言うか、というのがある I'm guessing the meaning is something along the lines of "One of the troubling questions that Japanese are asked often ...
2
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1answer
123 views

Is saying Subjectは熱が痛いです correct? I thought we use あります

Saying I have fever is 熱があります. But my teacher messaged me that there won't be any class today because apparently 先生の女の子は熱が痛いです. Isn't saying 熱が痛いです is wrong because "fever" cannot feel pain?
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3answers
304 views

“Once upon a time” is to “The End” as “昔々” is to “______”?

(Question A) "Once upon a time" is to "The End" as "昔々" is to "______" ? Here are my thoughts and problems with some possible answers: ザーエンド using ザー as "the". But this seems problematic since I ...
7
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1answer
315 views

Why does Siri say 座布団1枚お願いします when I told him he is an interesting person?

I use Siri to practice my Japanese. I basically say random things to him and see how he responds. (I know this is not even close to effective, don't judge me...) Today I said to Siri that he is an ...
7
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3answers
2k views

What is the Japanese equivalent of “to pick up a girl” or “to hit on girls”?

How do you say "to pick up girls" in Japanese? I would like to say: I'm going to go and pick up some girls! I tried: 女を持ちに行くぞ! But I don't think 持つ is the right verb to use here
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1answer
303 views

Saying 'A little bit' instead of 「はい」 when asked 「日本語ですか?」 or similar?

みなさんこんにちは! Let's say a 日本人 asked you 日本語ですか? or whatever to ask yes/no if you can speak 日本語 or not. If you can KIND OF speak it... but not really(or at least not well...), and thus wanna answer with ...
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1answer
127 views

Kanji or kana for いってきます?

Should I use kanji or kana for the first and second verbs in いってきます? When each verb is used individually there's usually kanji if I recall correctly, but I'm wondering if it's changed for being used ...
4
votes
1answer
969 views

How to confirm plans?

If you make plans to meat with someone, what's the best way to confirm the plans are still on. Something like "We're still meeting up tonight, right?" Would anything like the following work, or is ...
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3answers
296 views

“fancy meeting you here”

Is there a phrase that Japanese people use to express amusement when seeing each other unexpectedly? For example, if you just said goodbye and then ran into each other somewhere else?
1
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1answer
152 views

When might someone say おしたいしておりました?

In what situation might a Japanese person say おしたいして おりました and what is it most commonly used to imply?
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2answers
182 views

Phrasing queries about doko

Should I use "doko wa otearai desu ka?" Or "otearai wa doko desu ka?" Or are they the same?
3
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1answer
155 views

meaning in context of 矛先 and 逃げ切る

I'm writing my thesis on the newly perceived generation of さとり世代. My Japanese reading is fairly good but I have this one article that I cannot crack. My question is regarding the meaning of a word in ...
6
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2answers
260 views

How does the までに work in ご参考までに

I know it means roughly "for your reference", but I can't really grasp why it means that based on my understanding of までに (which I consider roughly as 'before' or 'by'). I can't really come to any ...
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1answer
96 views

Meaning of 勝つ手に

Dad is being told off for eating too fast and not leaving enough food for grandma and grandad. He replies: 「おう、これでも遠慮してるんだぞ。じいさんもばあさんも、どんどん勝つ手に食べりゃいいんだ。」 Even though it looks (bad) I'm holding ...
2
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2answers
613 views

Is there some set sentence for 「XXXX年度海外予算会議社長講評」?

I wonder, if there is some set sentence for the heading 「XXXX年度{ねんど}海外{かいがい}予算{よさん}会議{かいぎ}社長{しゃちょう}講評{こうひょう}」? I have tried to translate it on my own, but I had difficulties with posing the word "...
4
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1answer
136 views

ことわざ for staying out of things you don't understand

Is there a ことわざ which means "don't talk about things you don't understand"?
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2answers
206 views

Meaning of このなかでは

I keep on hearing the term 「このなかでは」 and 「そのなかでは」from news, but I can't seem to find what it means anywhere. I found a meaning for 中, which is probably what なか refers to, as "while". Does it mean "...
7
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1answer
102 views

Can お[邪魔]{じゃま}します be used in cases of long-term stay?

So I need to write an email for an assignment where I am an exchange student who is going to Japan and staying at someone's house for a period of time. I want to begin with "thank you very much for ...
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3answers
400 views

To test appliance before buying

First, I would like to let you know that I'm aware of a few topics already made regarding "try" here: • Saying "try" in Japanese • Different ways to "try" But after reading ...
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1answer
1k views

Regarding どういたしまして usage

Japanese textbooks teach us to reply どういたしまして。 when people say ありがとうございます。So generally it means "You're welcome~" But I read that a lot of people saying that when we say どういたしまして。 it somewhat looks "...
2
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1answer
123 views

Rain on your parade [closed]

How can I say something like "I hate to rain on your parade, but..." In Japanese? If there is no equivalent then kindly teach me how to say "Sorry to disappoint you, but..." Thanks!!!
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3answers
3k views

“Strike while the iron is hot” - Japanese equivalent

Is there an equivalent expression in Japanese for "strike while the iron is hot"? I've seen a few questions on here with phrases and their equivalents. Does anybody know of a site where these are ...
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3answers
3k views

Common ways of asking for someones phone number

I saw somewhere today that [電話]{でんわ}[番号]{ばんごう}は何番ですか is used to ask for someone's phone number. It seemed strange to me since I usually hear it as [電話]{でんわ}[番号]{ばんごう}何ですか, and also because the literal ...
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2answers
144 views

Meaning of 声をそろえる

What is the meaning of 声をそろえる in this conversation: 「だからってドロボーの手伝いまですることないじゃない」 お姉ちゃんがあきれたように言うと、ヒロシも声をそろえた。 「そうだぞ。そんなバカなことしない人間に育てるために、厳しくする方がまる子のためだ。...」 Literally I think it means 'to ...
3
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1answer
218 views

Context of “何様のつもりか”

I came across someone referring to the phrase "何様のつもりか" in the middle of an English-language discussion: if I were [person X], I would be shouting "何様のつもりか" (although I am not, and so I can't) ...
3
votes
1answer
535 views

verb-ている in potential form やってられないよ

A girl is moaning about how she is treated for not doing her homework then pauses and says: やってられないよ I assume this is a contraction of やっていられないよ which would literally be "I can't be doing it". I'...
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2answers
1k views

Is it ok to say 問題ない instead of 問題じゃない? Why?

問題ない vs 問題じゃない From what I understand the negative form of a noun is created with じゃない and not ない however my textbook uses 問題ない in an example (translated as "no problem"). Looking elsewhere on the ...
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1answer
125 views

How do I interpret お釣りが来るほど?

豪邸を三つ作ってもお釣りが来るほどの価値がある一級品の武器の筈だ。 I'm not sure how to interpret this part of the sentence. Is it some kind of phrase? I feel that it means something like "It should be a first class weapon that, even ...
4
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1answer
1k views

How to ask if someone is ready

I think I can ask something like もう学校に行く用意はできてるの for "Are you ready to go to school yet". I was wondering what is the most natural way to simply ask "Are you ready yet?". E.g. the wife is in the ...
8
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2answers
10k views

“Hey Bro!” how to call out friends

There is a variety of words such as ”友” ”相棒” ”仲間”, etc. to describe a person as a friend or partner. Is there a casual way to call out your friend in Japanese, instead of having to call his/her name ...
3
votes
1answer
870 views

Confusing use of と言えば

「おれは...」と田中が言えば、「おれは...」と吉田が言った。 Literally, "if Tanaka could say ... then Yoshida said ...". What is the meaning of this structure? I've seen Aと言えば to mean "speaking of A", but that doesn't seem to ...
4
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1answer
290 views

Meaning of 身もフタもない

怒られるタイプの人のことを考えていて、自分が怒られたんじゃ、身もフタもないじゃないの I've been thinking about people who are the type to get scolded and, I scold myself... I can't make any sense out of the part in bold. Literally I get, "...