Questions tagged [synonyms]

類義語・同義語. Words which share a meaning in at least one of the senses of each.

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14
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4answers
10k views

Usage of お[冷]{ひや} & お水

I just went out for lunch with a friend and when the waiter asked what we want to drink, I ordered 'お[水]{みず}下さい' whereas I noticed my friend asked for 'お[冷]{ひや}下さい'. Which expression would be more ...
2
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2answers
152 views

What is the difference between 怖じける and 恐れる?

I wanna ask you about the difference between [怖]{お}じける and [恐]{おそ}れる. Both mean to be scary right? Which is more common? How do I use each in a sentence? Are they interchangeable?
11
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2answers
991 views

The French language, furansugo vs futsugo

I've always used ''furansugo'' to express the French language. But I've noticed another word, namely ''futsugo'' which also means French. My guess is that ''furansugo'' is used in normal speech ...
4
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1answer
247 views

What is the difference between 「いろいろ」and 「さまざま」?

According to the dictionary, they both mean "various". What is the difference between both words?
9
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2answers
156 views

Are 近畿【きんき】 and 関西【かんさい】 two nouns for the same concept and same region or there is an actual difference?

I have learnt that the 関西【かんさい】 area of Japan is also called 近畿【きんき】. According to my findings (see this entry on another stackexchange site), 関西 is a more popular term than 近畿. I would like to know: ...
4
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2answers
155 views

Are 「ないで」(when used adverbially) and 「ずに」 absolutely interchangeable?

I have been browsing the related questions in this site that deal with ず, ない, ずに and ないで and they are very informative. However, I couldn't find a post dealing with ずに and ないで (adverbially) ...
1
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1answer
128 views

Different words for bookshop

I see there are many different words for bookstore: 本屋, 書店, 書肆, 書籍商 and even ブックストー. What is the difference between all of these bookshops? I guess the most common word is 本屋, and ブックストー must be a ...
2
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1answer
123 views

Is 「食品」 a shorter synonym of「食料品」or there is a difference in meaning between both words?

I found an excellent Q&A addressing the differences between 食料 and 食品. However, I don't know how the word 食料品 relates to 食料 and 食料品. I guess that 食品 is just a short form for 食料品, just as 警官 is a ...
8
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1answer
404 views

What is the difference between 「変更」 and 「変化」?

I came across the word 「変化」 meaning "change, alteration". I already know the word 「変更」 that means "change" as well. What is the difference between both terms? I found a related question where they ...
9
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1answer
1k views

What is the difference between 「名前【なまえ】」 and 「名称【めいしょう】」?

I am learning the word 「名称【めいしょう】」. According to the dictionary, it means "name", but so does 「名前【なまえ】」. What are the differences in terms of meaning and usage between both words? I noticed that the ...
4
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1answer
182 views

What is the difference between「家族【かぞく】」and「家庭【かてい】」?

Aside from "home" or "household", I understand that 家庭 can mean "family" as well. In such case, is there any difference in terms of usage or nuance between 家庭 and 家族? when is it more suitable to use ...
2
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1answer
147 views

Unable to interpret these sentences: 「まいばんくにのかぞくにでんわします」「このまちにはゆうめいな建物があります」

Hi there I was given a couple of exercises, from which I can figure more or less the right answer but I can't interpret it totally (I see no logic between the sentences and the possible reply) First ...
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0answers
42 views

What is the difference between 「首都【しゅと】」and 「都【みやこ】」? [duplicate]

As far as I know, both mean "capital city". Is there a difference in terms of nuance or usage between both words? よろしくお願いします!
5
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3answers
359 views

What is the difference between 「警察」and 「警官」?

I understand that 警察 is a broader term to refer to the police in general, but it can be used to refer to a police officer. In such case, is it equivalent to 警官 or there is still a difference between ...
22
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1answer
3k views

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,...
22
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4answers
6k views

Since Japanese already had several words for rice why was “ライス” (raisu) borrowed from English?

Last night I had dinner in a ramen restaurant in northern Japan and was surprised to read the katakana "ライス" (raisu) on the menu. This is obviously the English word "rice" borrowed. But what kind of ...
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2answers
6k views

When do I use all the words meaning “song”?

There's 歌, 曲, 歌曲, 唄, etc. I was about to give a few example contexts, but in English there really doesn't seem to be more than one way in which we refer to a 'song'. I do see different words being ...
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 ...
5
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2answers
173 views

申し込みます vs 応募します (to apply)

Good day folks, Basically been studying for 3 months already here in Tokyo. Using minna no nihongo book in our school. I am just wondering because I stumbled upon もうしこみます which means "to apply". ...
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0answers
36 views

What is the difference between 「集【あつ】める」and 「揃【そろ】える」? [duplicate]

I've looked up both words and they appear to means "to collect". Even if they are synonyms, what is the nuance of each one or how do they differ? Thank you!
5
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0answers
69 views

暮らし and 生活: meaning and usage [duplicate]

Are 暮らし and 生活 interchangeable? For example: 日本での暮らし (is 日本での生活 OK?) 日本の生活に慣れた。(is 日本の暮らしに慣れた OK?)
3
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2answers
183 views

When should I use 週 versus 週間 for “week”?

I just decided I needed to know the word for week and found both 週 and 週間 mean "week". Can I get by as a beginner with only 週間? Or when should each one be used?
1
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1answer
81 views

Can「他【ほか】に」and「それに」be used interchangeably when conveying “in addition”?

I am looking for any difference in terms of nuance, usage or frequent collocations so I can tell in what situation I should use one instead of the other. On the other hand, if the case is that the ...
30
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1answer
11k views

Japanese Buts: でも, しかし, ただ, ただし, ところが, が, けど, けれど, けれども

I'm sure someone asked a similar question but I did a search and couldn't find any. Usually I just translate everything into but, but (no pun intended) I think it's about time I got into the nitty ...
5
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1answer
222 views

What is the difference between 「結局【けっきょく】」and 「とうとう」?

According to the dictionary I use to study, both are adverbs and their definitions are so similar that I can't tell the difference: 結局【けっきょく】: after all; in the end; ultimately; eventually ...
4
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1answer
103 views

Nuance for 沼沢、泥沼、沼地、沼、沼田

What is the main difference between these 5 vocab words? I understand they all equate to something like a marsh or swamp, but do they hold any specific differences like marsh/swamp/bog do in English? (...
7
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1answer
141 views

What's the difference between ~かかる and ~ところだ

After reading this question on this site, I learned that ~かかる following a verb-stem can be translated as "about to ~"; the example in the original question being 殺されかかった, or "about to be killed" (as ...
3
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1answer
121 views

Parents-in-law in Japanese

I have found three different words meaning parents-in-law: [舅姑]{きゅうこ} [義父母]{ぎふぼ} [義理]{ぎり}の[親]{おや} But I'm sure the words are not interchangeable. How are the words different? What would be the ...
2
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2answers
166 views

Is there a rough variant of 飲む{のむ}?

Just as there are so-called rough synonyms for 食べる{たべる}, namely, 食う{くう}, 食らう{くらう} and 食む{はむ}, to represent eating with different nuance, are there any known variants of 飲む{のむ} for drinking?
7
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1answer
409 views

Are 清酒{せいしゅ} and 日本酒{にほんしゅ} two words for the same thing?

As well as the several other kinds of Japanese alcoholic drinks I seem to have found two words which both mean the drink known in the west as "saké". Now I know 酒{さけ} can be used for many kinds of ...
6
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1answer
171 views

量、数 and 数量 (amount). Is there any of them that is used far more frequently than the other ones or are they pretty much equally used?

Assuming all of the three words are used to convey the same meaning, is there any of them that is used far more frequently or on the other hand they are equally used but differ depending on the ...
3
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1answer
250 views

The difference between 最高 and 一番いい

What is the difference between 最高 and 一番いい? Both mean the best. But they should be used in different situations. What would be the right use of the words? Thank you!
5
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4answers
231 views

Can 奪う be a synonym of 殺す?

In the following dialogue, and in general, is 奪う a synonym of 殺す? Maybe a more 'poetical' one? Character A: 誠士郎【せいしろう】を殺したのは鈴爾【れいじ】と雪也【ゆきなり】さんだ。 Character B: なに?誠士郎【せいしろう】を奪ったのが鈴爾【れいじ】と兄さん…!? ...
9
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1answer
531 views

How interchangeable are の/である/なる/たる when qualifying nouns?

So we know that we can qualify/equate two things with a の. 友達のジョン → My friend John 先生の山田さん → A/My teacher Ms. Yamada 勝利者の亀さん → The winner: the turtle (as opposed to the hare) It seems ...
22
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4answers
29k views

What's the difference between “さけ” (sake) and “しゃけ” (shake)?

Today I saw onigiri claiming to contain "しゃけ" (shake). When I asked my friend what that was, she said it was the same as "さけ" (sake), "salmon". So are these two just different readings of a kanji, ...
11
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3answers
12k views

Why is gaikokujin more politically correct than gaijin?

While in English, the word "gaijin" is far more common than "gaikokujin", I've heard that in Japanese [外人]{がいじん} has been replaced by [外国人]{がいこくじん} for reasons of political correctness. What ...
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0answers
41 views

Is building 建物 or ビル? [duplicate]

context: a campus where buildings have an alphabetical order. Would you say building A is 建物A or ビルA, or something else? And why?
7
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1answer
113 views

What is the difference [一瞬]{いっ・しゅん}, [一刻]{いっ・こく}, and [(一)刹那]{(いっ・)せつ・な}

They all mean something like an instant or a moment. When are they (and when are they not) interchangeable? Is any more (in)formal/literary than the others? Do they represent the same amount of time? ...
2
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0answers
356 views

Difference between tsuma and okusan [duplicate]

What is the difference between the words for wife, tsuma and okusan? Is it a formal vs informal?
19
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6answers
55k views

What's the difference between “gohan” and “meshi”?

In answer to my question on the difference between "gyūdon" and "gyūmeshi" I learned that "meshi" just means cooked rice. But I thought "gohan" meant cooked rice, so please, what is the difference? I ...
2
votes
1answer
224 views

What's the difference between 請求, 要求, and 需要?

Here's my take: 請求 is like a compensation demand which is naturally expected to be satisfied or maybe even based on the law. Most examples feature bills payments. 要求 is more like a strong demand ...
3
votes
2answers
229 views

What is the difference between ぶつ, 叩く, and 殴る?

I have found a question regarding these words here: たたく versus ぶつ in a JLPT question Which mostly deals with idioms, however. So far as I understand it 殴る means somewhat violent beating and ...
18
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2answers
870 views

Ups and downs: かみ・しも vs うえ・した

So, we have the kanji 上・下 which can be read as either かみ・しも or うえ・した, and as I understand it, those two are antonym pairs. But what are the differences between the two? The thesaurus isn't very ...
2
votes
1answer
647 views

What are the differences between 田{た}, 水田{すいでん}, and 田圃{たんぼ}?

Jisho indicates that all three of the words are common, and gives me the following definitions: 田{た}: rice field 水田{すいでん}: (water-filled) paddy field 田圃{たんぼ}: paddy field; farm Other than 田圃 ...
11
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1answer
1k views

What's the difference between 腹切り and 切腹?

I need to add a body to submit my question, so I'll just say the Mortal Kombat seemed to believe that the term 腹切り (はらきり harakiri) was more appropriate for self slaughter (i.e., throwing a boomerang ...
7
votes
1answer
381 views

影 vs 形 vs 形状. What's the difference between them?

I've been reading a text and all three of these come up 影 vs 形 vs 形状. I know they mean shape/figure, but is there a more nuanced difference between them? I can see the logic of where they are in the ...
4
votes
2answers
289 views

What's the difference between complaints 不満 不平 文句?

I tried reading explanations in Japanese on hinative, but they tend to use one of these words to describe the other two. Usually I only distinguish formal complaints (苦情) and verbal informal ...
12
votes
1answer
868 views

Fun with synonyms - “flattery"

What are the differences in the following words meaning flattery / to flatter: お世{せ}辞{じ} 追{つい}従{しょう} おべっか 胡{ご}麻{ま}をする 阿{おもね}る 諂{へつら}う 煽{おだ}て(る) 美{び}辞{じ}麗{れい}句{く} Which ones are honest, sincere ...
7
votes
1answer
386 views

Fun with synonyms - “freeze”

I'm a little confused on the difference between [凍る]{こおる} and [凍える]{こごえる}. From what I've researched, it seems like 凍る focuses more on the physical process of something freezing, and the result being ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

Terms for Royalty

Why are there so many terms for royalty? And I'm talking about generic words like "king", "queen", etc. I seem to remember from my studies that certain terminology was used specifically for Japanese ...