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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".

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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 "...
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Can I say 行ってきます if I don't plan to come back?

When can I safely say 「行ってきます」when leaving home or another place? How loosely can this phrase be used? Can you use it even if you don't plan to come back until a day/week/month later? If it is going ...
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ご無沙汰いたしました — OK for electronic communications?

In a recent comment exchange on ELU.SE, a Japanese man (my senior in years, and a "guest" in the forum whose questions I had answered regularly for some time, but not much lately as I have been ...
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How would you express the sentiment of “Happy New Era” [duplicate]

Something like 良いお時代を。? Or would you specifically say 令和? If not that, what would be a literal English translation?
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How to make comparisons using “like” in japanese?

So take the following (contrived) example in english. A: What does 'plane' mean? B: Which 'plane'? 'Plane' like 'the thing in the sky'? 'Plain' like 'hills on the ground'? Or 'plane' like 'a ...
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“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 ...
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What is the background of the phrase 背中で教える, and where does the meaning “to teach with one's back” come from?

I came across this phrase today while doing a lookup on 背中. 背中で教える I checked several sources, and all listed the meaning, amongst others, "to teach with one's back". It seems related to ...
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How does どうするんだ function here?

For more context, see the full text here: https://www.docdroid.net/RdEh6ZK/img-20170712-0001-new.pdf Taken from line 3: すると、一人の男が「そんな物、怖がってどうするんだ。...」といばった。 On jisho, どうする translates into "what to ...
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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 ...
5
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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 "...
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Meaning of nounってとこ

People are discussing the characters in a comedy show and one of them asks 高木ってとこじゃないの From the context I'm guessing it means "You like Takagi, don't you?" Again the dreaded って. Don't know if it ...
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When to use “どうぞよろしくお願{ねが}い致{いた}します。” in a greeting?

Once the context is that we are about to part ways, when I want to say "goodbye" to someone in maximum 敬語{けいご}, I say「どうぞよろしくお願い致します。それでは、失礼いたします。」. Is that usage of 「どうぞよろしくお願い致します」 correct? Is 「...
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How to interpret “一日の楽しみ”

こいつにとって水泳は本当に一日の楽しみなんだと思う。 The person in question here swims literally everyday. "I think she really enjoys swimming (everyday? all the time?)" It's hard to fit these use cases here.
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Politely asking to stay at someone's home? お邪魔させてもらう、泊めてもらう、or 滞在させてもらう?

Which of the following is the most polite? Is any of them incorrect? Is there a more standard way to ask someone if you could stay with them while in town? ~ 8日から9日まで、あなたのお宅にお邪魔させてもらえませんか。 ~ ...
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How can you express “as long as you want”?

I want to tell my friend that he can stay at my house as long as he wants. I was thinking: 泊まるのは何ヶ日でもいいです。 or 泊まりたい程泊まってもいいです。 What is the correct way?
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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,...
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The phrase 乞うご期待

What does the phrase 乞うご期待 mean in English? Can you show some example sentences?
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why ひどい神もいたもんだ means “that's a mean god”?

the english version of the material Im reading says "that's a mean god", and a friend told me that means "there is a bad god ,isn't it?" , but I don't understand why. I know ひどい神 (bad,cruel, God) I ...
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“お調べいただいた上、” vs. “お調べいただき、…”

What is the difference in meaning between: (1) お調べいただいた上、注文通りの品をお送り下さいますよう、お願いします。 (2) お調べいただき、注文通りの品を送り下さいますよう、お願いします。 I understand #2. (2) Upon your looking into the matter, please send ...
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Is there a general way to express how you feel?

For example, while I am running I feel great. This makes me feel happy. When doing lots of work for low wages I feel tired. What are the common ways to express my physiological/psychological state?
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How do you tell your parents and siblings you love them?

In English we describe the affection you have for your parents and siblings as "love", however this is vary different from the feelings of romantic love, things like limerence and sexual arousal, ...
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Is “~の方が格上だ” a set phrase of sorts?

I've never come across "の方が格上" before, I'm wondering if it's a set phrase that would describe someone being "out of your league" in terms of power/strength so the implication is that one cannot hope ...
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「私の緊張のあまり」 vs.「私は緊張のあまり」in this sentence?

sentence #1: 自分{じぶん}の番{ばん}が近{ちか}づいてきたとき、私{わたし}は緊張{きんちょう}のあまり頭{あたま}の中{なか}が真{ま}っ白{しろ}になってしまった。 sentence #2: 自分の番が近づいてきたとき、緊張のあまり、私は頭の中が真っ白になってしまった。 sentence #3: 自分の番が近づいてきたとき、...
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根も葉も火種も — is it proverbial?

I suspect「根も葉も火種も」 is an allusion to something I do not recognize. To what does it refer? Consider this couplet from an amusing song released in March by IOSYS called 「ステマの女」(CD and promotional ...
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Can someone further explain the difference between 一緒に and 共に?

This is a follow up to the question “What are the fundamental differences between the ~と一緒に and the ~とともに fragments?” Someone suggested that I post my question as a separate thread. Well, something ...
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Which one is correct 会社名前 or 会社の名前?

I'm a beginner in Japanese language. In English, "Company Name" and "Name of Company" are basically the same. In Japanese, are those two the same or different? Which one should I use? 会社名前 会社の名前
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Emphasis instead of negation in 「そんなバカなことはありません」

In this quote by Akihiro Miwa, 「そんな~ことはありません」 isn't used the way I'd expect it to be: 努力{どりょく}をしない人も[平等]{びょうどう}になどと、そんなバカなことはありません。 It's (extremely?) foolish to treat people who don't make an ...
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ムダ足だった == useless leg?

When I look up the phrase 無駄足だった, I see it translated as "It was a Wild goose chase." I found this bizarre, since it seems like it would mean "It was a useless foot/leg." is this some sort of figure ...
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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, "...
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In Japanese, how do you say you will skip ahead past one section for time's sake while reading aloud to an audience?

How do you succinctly say that you are going to skip ahead past the next section or paragraph for time's sake and tell the audience which spot you are picking up again when reading a paper aloud at an ...
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721 views

What is the difference between しかも and それどころか?

しかも is pretty straight forward: 今度、「一番」ってお店のランチに行こうよ。あそこ、すごくおいしんだよ。しかも量もおおいよ。 Let's go get lunch at Ichiban next time. The food is great, also the servings are big. うちの子は天才だよ。ピアノを弾くのが上手だ。...
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897 views

興味が湧く vs 興味が沸く​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Which kanji should we use for the phrase 興味がわく (to mean that something has caught our interest)? Some quick googling shows that both 興味が湧く (~11m hits) and 興味が沸く (~9m hits) are widely used. Is one of ...
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恐れ入ります meaning on this sentence

i think "恐れ入ります" means "sorry" , "excuse me", but it has another meaning "fear".which is correct in the bold sentence A:双葉さんから(コール)で聞きましにいつの間にか帰っていたと (don't know A or B speak ):サボタージュとは恐れ入ります
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Meaning of 長い物には巻かれろ

長い物には巻かれろ Let me/it be wound on long things I believe this has a meaning similar to the English "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em". Is my literal translation correct (I suspect not)? How do we ...
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Translating the set phrase 後は~~だけ

I'm taking a sentence from page 49-138 of Lake and Ura's Learn to Read in Japanese ブラジルに行く準備ができて後は飛行機に乗るだけです。 The first part of the sentence (ブラジルに行く準備ができて) and last part of the sentence (...
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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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What to say when answering the phone

I'm often unsure what to say when answering the telephone when I am the customer; people usually say their name and then wait for me to say something before stating their business. I'm guessing there ...
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“Safe” as an adjective?

Today at my company, I was involved in something, and I was unsure if the action we were about to do was safe. Normally in English, I would say something along the lines of "Hey, is this safe to do?". ...
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What's the meaning of はなに引っ掛ける?

I came across the following expression: あなたにはなにも引っ掛けてもらえなかった I traced it back here, and I loosely understand that this means that あなた (the character who is being spoken to) has been ignoring the ...
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“だなんだと” meaning

I don't understand the following sentence (song lyric): 聖夜【せいや】だなんだと繰【く】り返【かえ】す歌【うた】と  (then it goes like: わざとらしくきらめく街【まち】のせいかな ) More specifically, I cannot decide which character belongs to ...
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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 ...
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「周囲を取り囲む(ように)」, set phrase?

I encountered this phrase and after a bit of Googling, it seems to describe the action of crowding around a particular thing or object (people crowding around someone, trees crowding around a building)...
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Is there a way to say “crisis averted” in Japanese that retains its sarcastic meaning?

You know, as in situations that are clearly not crises. I've looked around but can't find an answer.
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How to say ''I miss you'' at the end of a letter?

I am writing a letter to a Japanese girl that I like and I want to finish by simply saying "I miss you". I don't trust Google Translate and there seem to be a few ways to say it online. What is the ...
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1answer
251 views

“Don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes”

What is the Japanese equivalent of "Don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes"?
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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。
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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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1answer
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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 ...
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504 views

How do you break down “かといって”?

In the phrase かといって or かと言って, meaning having said that, on the other hand, I'm not sure what the か and と are. My first guess is that these are the generic particles (か+と+いって), but I couldn't find any ...
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329 views

Why is 一緒に needed when it's already clear two people will be together?

A father is talking to his kid about their plans tomorrow and says, けんしんくん、お父さんと一緒に買いに行きましょうか? Why not: けんしんくん、お父さんと買いに行きましょうか? (The sentence is supposed to say, "Kenshin, would you like to ...