Questions tagged [usage]

用法・使い方. How to use certain words, phrases, particles, endings, constructions, and their variants.

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51 votes
5 answers
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What is the meaning of ~んです/~のだ/etc?

This sentence ending has started to creep up more and more in my current Japanese classes, and I'm still a bit unsure what all it can mean, how to use it, or even when I should think to use it. My ...
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25 votes
3 answers
3k views

Making sense of transitive usage of 行く and 来る - 「を行く」 and 「を来る」

I think it's known that some intransitive verbs can take を particle and be used as transitive verbs such as for example 「私のことを分かってくれない」. While using 分かる transitively would require specific scenarios ...
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125 votes
1 answer
58k views

What is the difference between the nominalizers こと and の?

As Derek mentioned in his postscript, both こと and の are nominalizers that can turn a verb into a noun. ピアノを弾く【ひく】。 I play the piano. ピアノを弾く【ひく】のが好き【すき】です。 I like playing the piano. ピアノを弾く【ひく】ことが好き【すき】...
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61 votes
8 answers
28k views

Particles: に vs. で

I have progressed pretty far in Japanese, but when I construct Japanese sentences, I still get these two particles mixed up. For example, when talking about being inside something, I don't know when ...
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25 votes
1 answer
7k views

What is the meaning of りゃ in this phrase?

I came across this phrase while reading an interview. そういう時はなんて答えりゃいいんだ。 I think it means "At a time like that, such a reply/response is good." But I don't understand the usage of りゃ. I couldn't ...
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  • 1,061
6 votes
2 answers
483 views

Can を used with だ/です? 君沢さんを犯人だと思い込む

I came across the following passage in a mystery manga. The main character is explaining that the as of yet unknown criminal intentionally made the listener think that Kimisawa was the criminal (...
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25 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can we optionally include (or exclude) an を particle in between the noun of the する-verb and the する itself?

When we have a する verb (e.g. 支{し}度{たく}する、案{あん}内{ない}する、心{しん}配{ぱい}する), is it true that we could optionally insert an を particle in between the noun and the する? Because in the example sentences here and ...
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105 votes
10 answers
16k views

How should I choose between [知]{し}る and わかる?

Both 知る and わかる get used for "know", "understand", "learn", "find out", and various other concepts. How do you know which to use when? Are there any rules to help you decide? Additionally, both of ...
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33 votes
3 answers
37k views

The many ways to say "and" in Japanese

In English, we just have one word for the conjunction and which works just fine for many categories, but in Japanese, there are separate words: と joins nouns together in a closed list や joins nouns ...
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19 votes
3 answers
37k views

Differences between くれます, もらいます and いただきます

I have been taught that they are used when receiving something (or a favor) from someone. But how exactly do they differ? I've searched the web for an answer and One site suggests that くれます is ...
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23 votes
3 answers
5k views

When describing time span, are 間 {あいだ} and 内 {うち} interchangeable?

Both 間 {あいだ} and 内 {うち} can be used to describe time span relative to specific situations, similar to "while" in English. But are they interchangeable all the time? Are there any scenarios ...
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24 votes
2 answers
13k views

Does the particle "を" (wo) have a special use when at the end of a sentence?

I thought the character "を" (wo) was only used for the particle whose only job was to indicate the direct object of a verb. But today I saw it at the end of an exclamation on a sign I think on a shop:...
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10 votes
1 answer
508 views

Function of と when used with 続く

I don't understand the function of と when used with と続きます From this sentence in my textbook: 世界で一番インスタントラーメンをたくさん食べる国は中国で451.7億食、その次はインドネシアの137.0億食、日本の51.0億食、アメリカの43.2億食、ベトナムの39.1億食、韓国の33....
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8 votes
2 answers
2k views

<動詞の辞書形> + がよい ― How is this allowed?

I've come across this form many times in my Japanese Bible. The meaning is quite obvious based on context, and seems to be one of the following: ~べきです, ~ほうがいい, ~なさい, or ~ように (let it be ~). Here are ...
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24 votes
3 answers
27k views

Usage of ~じゃん (~じゃない)

I'd like to know if I can put ~じゃん at the end of every adjective, if there are any exceptions to that usage, and if it's different from ~じゃない. Adj (na) + じゃん 便利じゃん 便利だったじゃん 便利じゃないじゃん ...
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  • 2,173
31 votes
6 answers
7k views

Pluralization in Japanese: usage of -たち and -ら

I know that -たち and -ら pluralize the nouns they come after (or indicate a group that the noun is part of), but most of the time the plural in Japanese is implicit. When is it appropriate or necessary ...
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20 votes
1 answer
3k views

"slightly/somewhat" の 「~[目]{め}」: Usage and limitations

I'm somewhat confused about the usage and limitations of the ~め suffix that means "somewhat/slightly". I've only ever heard it on a handful of words: 大きめ 小さ目 多め 少な目 早め and maybe a ...
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  • 42.5k
10 votes
1 answer
745 views

In Japanese, can we say an object asks a question?

I was just wondering, because in English we can say "This story begs the question" etc. The wording for English is very versatile, and I was wondering if Japanese has this as well, for example in this ...
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1 vote
2 answers
851 views

How is と used in these sentences?

I have some sentences that involve the usage of と that I still don't understand: 1. This is from another user's post 私はあなたがいつも忙しいと分かっています。 2. My previous question いつもと変えてたまに外で食事しよう。 At the very ...
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  • 1,906
36 votes
2 answers
14k views

How do we construct sentences ending in わけ?

The is a certain way of talking where you can end just about anything you say in わけ. What is the sentence structure for this way of talking?
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24 votes
3 answers
4k views

Confusion about "Seemingly not ~"

So there are several ways to express something is "seemingly not ~": ~なさそう ~そうにない ~そうもない ~そうにもない (is this one even real?) I was always taught ~なさそう in my Japanese classes, and it was ...
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  • 42.5k
27 votes
1 answer
6k views

What does っつの mean?

I recently saw 冗談だっつの. What does it っつの mean, or how does it modify the meaning of a sentence?
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  • 5,125
9 votes
1 answer
657 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 ...
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  • 42.5k
4 votes
1 answer
5k views

上手ではありません or 上手じゃありません

I've read somewhere that to say you are not good at something say for example Japanese language, you use: 日本語は上手ではありません but can I also use: 日本語は上手じゃありません Is there anything wrong with this? ...
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23 votes
5 answers
38k views

What is the meaning of のか and how does it differ from か?

What is the meaning of のか in the following sentences? Does it have the same meaning as のですか? 漢字はどう正しく書くのか、どう正しく読むのか、彼らは時々迷います。 参加するのか、参加しないのか、ここではっきり返事しなさい。 Also, I have found sentences of the same ...
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  • 467
14 votes
2 answers
683 views

What are some well known exceptions for 居る (いる) and 有る (ある)?

Today I heard 人形がいる, so I googled around because I thought 居る was only for living things, but I found many examples of this usage. Many for 人形がある as well. Are there other exceptions for いる/ある?
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  • 5,125
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

About っていうか&っていうの&っていうんだ

Please help me with the following three sentences: ①俺が何をしたっていうんだ。 ②一人だから、何だというんだ。 ③彼女の何がダメだっていうの。 All of them are copied from lines of some Japanese drama. I can't figure out how such ...
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  • 111
6 votes
4 answers
5k views

Why should I use つかれました and not つかれたです

I said to a Japanese person last night, meaning to say "I'm tired": つかれたです。 She corrected me to: つかれました。 I'm curious as to why this is. I thought つかれたです was grammatically correct. Does it ...
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  • 2,721
5 votes
1 answer
476 views

What is the meaning of よ in the phrase 雨よ雪に変わってくれ

Read this phrase in a blog. I think the basic meaning of the phrase 雨よ雪に変わってくれ is "The rain is changing into snow." But I don't understand the usage of よ in this case. Is it a particle? Or is it a ...
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  • 1,061
45 votes
4 answers
59k views

What do the shapes △ ◯ ╳ ◻ mean in Japanese? And are there variations in meaning, depending on whether or not the shape is filled?

I am interested in Japanese culture and the symbolism used in Japan, specifically I'd like to know what the △ triangle, ◯ circle, ╳ cross and ◻ square mean to a Japanese person. How are those shapes ...
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  • 567
23 votes
5 answers
17k views

What is the difference between 見える【みえる】/聞こえる【きこえる】 and 見られる【みられる】/聞ける【きける】?

In Japanese, there is a potential form to express that it's possible for something to be done. My own examples of potential form: 辛【から】い食【た】べ物【もの】が食【た】べられる。 (I can eat spicy foods.) ギターが弾【ひ】ける。 (I ...
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  • 3,327
17 votes
3 answers
18k views

In what situation can I use ~かい (for interrogative question)?

One day, I asked my japanese friend how I could invite some friends to eat. He said "一緒に食べに行くかい?" I know that we could also say: 行きましょうか(行こうか)? 行きませんか(行かない)? 行きますか(行くの)? but I got interested ...
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  • 2,173
12 votes
1 answer
3k views

と、て、って Quoting Particle Usage

と、て、って What's the difference between these three quoting particles? Is there any grammatical difference, or are they just casual/formal variations of one another? 田中さんは行きましょうと言った 田中さんは行きましょうて言った ...
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  • 901
17 votes
1 answer
2k views

When the agent takes を in the causative form

I've seen a few sets of terminology when referring to the causative form, so for the basic case, I will use the following: instigator が agent に 〇〇 を v-させる。 In its most basic, text-book form, we have ...
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14 votes
4 answers
4k views

Verbs + ところ / Verbs + とこ / Verbs + ばかり

I learnt: 食べるところ:about to eat. 食べているところ:in the middle of eating. 食べたところ:just ate. 食べたばかり:just ate. I would like to know if I can change ところ for とこ in spoken language. and if there is any difference ...
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  • 2,173
13 votes
1 answer
843 views

How do 自他 triplets of related verbs work?

I thought this had been asked before (possibly by me), but I couldn't find it. I'm wondering why for certain verbs/words, instead of just a 自他 pair, there is a triplet (or possibly more) where two of ...
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  • 42.5k
10 votes
2 answers
561 views

How does one use the "[V ます stem] に [Vタ]" pattern (as in 待ちに待った)?

Every now and then I hear 待ちに待った, as in: 待ちに待ったライブ a long-awaited concert I started wondering if this pattern can apply to other verbs, and it certainly seems to, if Google is any indication. I ...
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  • 23.1k
13 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the meaning of 〜たりして?

I've just come across "〜していたりして" at the end of a sentence in a post on Facebook, so it's probably very casual. Does anyone know the correct meaning and typical usage?
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5 votes
2 answers
5k views

How to use こっち、そっち、あっち and どっち

Could you tell me when to use: こっち、そっち、あっち、どっち? I don't understand when to use them.
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  • 319
14 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is there a difference between 赤{あか} and 赤色{あかいろ}?

While studying Japanese I've met some problems with distinguishing some vocabulary. For example we have: 赤{あか} = Red (color) 赤{あか}い = Red (adjective) But what about 赤色{あかいろ}? Is there a ...
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  • 3,039
3 votes
1 answer
257 views

Explanation/Usage of 瞬きしては

Could it become 瞬【まばた】いている? Why is there 瞬きする instead of 瞬く? And why is there a は at the end? Sentence from the song キラキラ星【ぼし】: きらきらひかる おそらのほしよ まばたきしては みんなをみてる きらきらひかる おそらのほしよ
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  • 31
8 votes
2 answers
5k views

Can you use the polite form ます with ので?

I was recently told by someone that you cannot use the polite form ~ます and ので; that is, ので must be used with the plain form. (Specifically, he was saying that 「勉強していますので」 was wrong, and had to be ...
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  • 105
72 votes
4 answers
245k views

でも (demo) versus けど (kedo) to mean "but"

I learned that you can use でも (demo) at the beginning of a sentence to mean "but," and that you can use けど (kedo) at the end of a sentence to mean "though." However, I don't see a difference between ...
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  • 1,701
41 votes
3 answers
5k views

How indistinguishable is blue from green really?

青 ao seems to be used very much interchangeably for both blue and green. Why is that so, and how does 緑 midori play into this?
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  • 5,615
19 votes
1 answer
3k views

ねば in 食べねば; relation between ねば and なければ

I would like to know a bit more about the "ねば" grammatical construction. Every now and then, I hear people say sentences like 東京に行かねばならぬ 粘々丼を食べねば倒れる なんとかせねばいい It's quite clear that ねば ...
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  • 11.8k
16 votes
2 answers
9k views

What is the difference between なぜなら、だから、and なので?

I'm trying to get clarification on how to use these three pieces of grammar and whether or not they all hold some kind of "Because" meaning.
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  • 705
18 votes
4 answers
6k views

What is the *proper* differentiation between 来る and 行く?

In many beginning Japanese classes, 来る【くる】 and 行く【いく】 are presented as "to come" and "to go," respectively. Dictionaries generally also define them this way. However, every once in a while in more ...
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  • 7,409
5 votes
1 answer
7k views

Difference between と・や and も for lists?

I know that you use と for complete lists, and や for incomplete ones, but when would you use xもyも instead of xとy or xやy? Doesn't も usually replace は or が? Why is も used for lists at all?
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22 votes
3 answers
6k views

Why censor this one kanji?

I was watching an old Saturday Night Live sketch from the 1970s, called Night of the Moonies, making fun of the Unification Church by putting them in the context of the movie Night of the Living Dead. ...
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  • 24.2k
14 votes
4 answers
609 views

History of 十干(じっかん)and modern uses

As I was studying vocabulary today, I happened to come across the titular 十干 which are as follows: [甲]{こう} • [乙]{おつ} • [丙]{へい} • [丁]{てい} • [戊]{ぼ} • [己]{き} • [庚]{こう} • [辛]{しん} • [壬]{じん} • [癸]{き} ...
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