Questions tagged [word-choice]

使い分け. The differences between two or more words or phrases and how to select the best one for a given situation.

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7
votes
7answers
3k views

What is the difference in meaning between 先生 and 教師?

Apparently, the terms mean the same thing. They both refer to a teacher.
7
votes
1answer
372 views

Why does this text use both 下さい and ください in the same context?

After a trip to Japan, I got a slip stapled to my passport, the first bullet point of which reads: 活字体で記入して下さい。黒色又は青色のペンで記入してください。 "Please type or print clearly. Write by using black or blue pen....
7
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the difference between [上手]{じょうず} and [上手い]{うまい}?

I've read that [上手]{じょうず} is formal and [上手い]{うまい} is casual... nothing else?
6
votes
1answer
263 views

Difference between 沸騰する and 沸く

I don't really get the difference since the two of them seem to be translated as "boiling". Do we have to use them in different situations?
6
votes
2answers
472 views

人前{ひとまえ} and 人前{にんまえ}

I have been conviced for a long time that both 人前{にんまえ} and 人前{ひとまえ} existed. Which is backed by this wikitionary page. Recently, I just wanted to warn another Japanese learner about this pair of ...
6
votes
1answer
494 views

Difference between 損害 and 被害

What is the difference between 損害 and 被害? My dictionary lists them both as "damage", and I can't figure out any differences from the example sentences it gives. In fact, there are some examples that ...
6
votes
1answer
946 views

Are 世界の一番 and 世界で一番 both correct?

Are both phrases grammatically correct and how do you translate both? 世界の一番ゆうめいです 世界で一番ゆうめいです
6
votes
5answers
841 views

Meaning of うち in “無意識のうちの行動なのだろう”

Given the context I think that this sentence means "it's probably an unintentional action". But I am unsure of what meaning/nuance the うち adds here. I am used to seeing うち meaning "while" and that's ...
5
votes
1answer
437 views

When is it appropriate to use お宅 to refer to the second-person?

An answer to "What is the most natural way to refer to someone when you don't know their name and don't have a close relationship with them?" suggests that お宅 may be used to refer to the second person....
4
votes
2answers
543 views

Difference between 獣{しし} and 野獣{やじゅう} (beast)

I learnt the words 獣{しし} and 野獣{やじゅう} and their definitions look too similar. Can someone explain me the difference between them? While searching more for beast words, I also found that 獣 could also ...
4
votes
1answer
283 views

VかV-negか vs. V | V-neg vs. Vかどうか

Is there any difference in meaning between these three structures? I think they all roughly mean "whether or not" but are they interchangable? Examples below: 両親は賛成するかしないかにかかわらず、僕は君と結婚します。 vs ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How to introduce myself in relation to my wife?

I know there are a few ways to essentially say "husband" (夫、旦那、主人). Can all be used by a speaker to refer to themselves? Examples I thought of: (私はAの)旦那/夫/主人です。 旦那/夫/主人の○○です。 I have a ...
4
votes
2answers
536 views

に/で as time particles. What's the difference?

I've read a post on this topic, but really not sure of the difference when applied to something like this: 私は朝飯のみに茶を飲む 私は朝飯のみで茶を飲む From what I read, I'm guessing one of them is incorrect, as に ...
4
votes
1answer
201 views

Differences Between 蘇生する and 蘇る

I'm trying to understand the difference between 蘇生する{そせいする} and 蘇る{よみがえる}. My research thus far tells me that 蘇る is intransitive and can be used for recalling memories in addition to the mutual ...
3
votes
1answer
286 views

What is the difference between 生活 and 暮らし?

When I was looking through the main page of OKWAVE, and I saw that the questions are put in categories. One of the categories says 生活・暮らし. When I looked them up on Weblio, 生活 has the meanings of “(a) ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Is “da” used often in the casual speech?

Is "da" used often in the casual speech? Or is it often omitted whenever it's possible? For example: 1) Genki (da)? 2) Suki (da)? 3) Ke wa atsui (da) ne?
2
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2answers
332 views

Difference between AとB and AやB

Is it grammatically correct to say something like: 友達と遊ぶことや食べることが好きです。
15
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3answers
998 views

What is the difference between 防止 and 予防?

My dictionary defines both 防止 and 予防 as "prevention", with 予防 having the additional definitions of "precaution" and "protection against". I sort of understand the latter definitions for 予防 as acting ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

When is it appropriate to refer to yourself using your name, rather than 私 (or others)?

I have heard—though not often—people refer to themselves using their first name, not by using a pronoun for "I." Does this have special connotation in Japanese? Nothing about the usage (to me) seemed ...
9
votes
2answers
218 views

Dismissing an expectation

What can be said when I need to dismiss an expectation? Here are some examples of what I mean by "expectation": I ask someone what time it is, then I remembered that I'm actually wearing a watch. ...
8
votes
2answers
8k views

Is there a form for “I have never heard of”?

Some examples of what I'm trying to convey: I have never heard that song before. I have never heard of Miyazawa Kenji I have never heard of that before? I've never heard of that store? What verb ...
8
votes
1answer
669 views

What exactly is 我が家, and how is it used?

I know the phrase 我が家 means "our home" or "our family". My question is when would you use it, as opposed to say 私の家 or 私の家族? It seems poetic to me, or something that wouldn't exactly be used in ...
8
votes
1answer
239 views

What is the difference between あっての and とあって?

From what I can tell they both mean "Because of", and the only differences in meaning I can see seem to be very subtle. あっての: Because of A (strong emphasis), B Thanks to (various things), (...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

「電車が空く【すく】」 と「 電車が空く【あく】」

「電車が空く【すく】」と「電車が空く【あく】」はどう違いますか? 説明が難しい場合は、例文を教えていただけませんか。
6
votes
1answer
580 views

The difference between するには and する為には

The one answer I have really found says there is no semantic difference. Is there a formality difference? Is する為には more formal than するには?
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Which is the correct phrase to say saving money?

I like to tell that I am saving money to buy Mac Book . So two sentence come to my mind , which one is more suitable to use .. 僕はMACBOOKを買うためにお金を貯金しています。 僕はMACBOOKを買うためにお金を節約しています。
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Multiple older siblings

I have 2 older sisters. When talking to other people about them, do i refer to them both as 姉 or do i refer to the younger one as 姉 and the older one as 姉上? Thanks! P.S I thought this question would ...
6
votes
2answers
602 views

Difference between こんにち and きょう

My dictionary says 今日{きょう} is a special reading. My textbook presents it in the third lesson, so I'm guessing it's a normal pronunciation. So... what's the difference between 今日{こんにち} and 今日{きょう}?
5
votes
1answer
212 views

difference between しきりに or しきりと?

While looking up the meaning of 頻繁{ひんぱん}, I happened to notice that one of the definitions quoted by デジタル大辞泉 states: しきりに行われること However, there's also an entry for しきりと (same しきり as the first, I ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

が早いか versus や否や

が早{はや}いか and や否{いな}や both seem to mean "as soon as". They describe a relation between two actions, where one action occurs when another does. I'm a little fuzzy on the difference, though. I think, ...
5
votes
2answers
146 views

What's the difference between 母方 and 母系? The same question goes to 父方 and 父系

I saw these words a while ago but just now I decided to ask it here because I didn't find the answer anywhere. As the title says, I don't really know if there is a difference between 母方【ははかた】 X 母系【...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How do you say “If only things were different”?

Context: Bob is angry that event X happened today. A series of unfortunate events throughout his life led up to this crappy day, and thus he thinks to himself, "if only things were different". How do ...
4
votes
1answer
381 views

Using こっち to replace 私

I have heard people replacing 私、俺 with こっち in casual speech. For example: こっちは忙しいんだ instead of 私は忙しいんだ. The question is, under what circumstances can one use こっち instead of 私. I know that そっち can mean ...
4
votes
1answer
447 views

Difference between 妬【ねた】ましい and 羨【うらや】ましい

Considering "How to define 羨ましい?", it does not seem that 羨【うらや】ましい conveys a strong intensity of jealousy. How does 妬【ねた】ましい compare to 羨【うらや】ましい then? Does 妬【ねた】ましい convey a stronger sense of ...
3
votes
2answers
360 views

Is there any difference between 流石 and 予想した通りでした?

My question is Is there any difference between 流石{さすが} and 予想{よそう}した通{とお}りでした?
3
votes
1answer
124 views

About the differences between 貯金 and 節約

As the title says, I would like to know differences between 貯金{ちょきん} and 節約{せつやく}. Both mean "saving money" and have the irregular する verb ending: 貯金する{ちょきんする} : To save money 節約する{せつやくする} :...
3
votes
1answer
916 views

What is the difference in terms of grammar between ~かける and ~っぱなし?

Spawned from What is the difference in terms of grammar between きり and っぱなし?; I started thinking about ~かける. Don't these essentially mean the same thing? I'm failing to see any difference except ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the correct way of saying “third” in different contexts?

What would be the correct way of saying "third" in the following contexts: Chronologically (This is the third time this happens) Ranked (I am the third best player in the world) Other? Maybe other ...
2
votes
1answer
445 views

Is there a difference between 嘘つき and 嘘つけ ?

Any subtle differences in meaning or respect? Which is more common? Or is it just another one of those words like やはり/やっぱり/やぱり, しょうがない/しかたない、あんまり/あまり etc. with no difference at all other than ...
2
votes
1answer
256 views

How to use 彼 and 彼女?

The first time I saw these two terms, they were used in a love context, to mean "boyfriend/girlfriend". Later, I came to know that you can also use these to refer to "that guy/girl". So, what I ...
2
votes
1answer
150 views

「お誕生日には何をされたんですか」Why される?

「お誕生日には何をされたんですか」While the answer to this like likely very simple, why is される being used in this case rather than する? What is it implying grammatically? The Potential Form? Is it an indication of ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

mittsu vs san - what's the difference and what are these two forms called?

I am trying to learn the numbers and I see there are two different translations for the number 3 (and other numbers). When should I use one and when should I use the other? Is there a name for the ...
1
vote
2answers
15k views

How do I say “cat”? And do I use kanji, hiragana, katakana or rōmaji?

猫, ねこ, ネコ, neko Which of these means "cat"? Is it all of them? Which situation do I use each of these in?
1
vote
1answer
183 views

神 compared to 神様

When the Abrahamic God is referred to in Japanese, 神様 is very common, but on occasion I simply see 神 on its own. This even applies when they are clearly speaking reverentially, using words such as 御心{...
1
vote
1answer
532 views

Describing facial expression

Edit: The link provided by @broken headphones has helped resolve my する/している problem (I think). I have one problem remaining though. Given @Sonny365TANAKA's answer that 彼女は長い髪の毛です is not grammatical, ...
1
vote
2answers
546 views

Is でござる used in Modern Society?

If one speaks Japanese to a, say, stranger in Modern times, is 「でござる」still acceptable? If somebody says 「でござる」, what would be the people's general reaction?
0
votes
1answer
7k views

What's the meaning of ですね in here?

I know that ですね is a form of saying right? but in this sentence これビデオですね what does that means? I understand that means "it's a video" but I don't understand the ね. A friend was recording a video and ...
51
votes
3answers
23k views

What's the difference between なぜ、どうして and なんで when meaning 'why'?

I've been meaning to ask this for a while. What is the difference between these 3 words. I was taught they all mean "why", but obviously, being different words they convey different nuance and would ...
22
votes
3answers
6k views

What is the difference in usage between 準備 用意 and 覚悟

The dictionaries translate these three words roughly as preparation/preparedness or ready/readiness. I don't think I undersand the subtleties of their usage. Not to mention できる also has another ...
44
votes
4answers
29k views

What is the difference between 大事 (daiji) and 大切 (taisetsu)?

These are two words that seem like they are basically interchangeable at most levels, as they generally are. The difference between them appears to be small, but what is the difference, if one exists? ...

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