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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14
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1answer
6k views

Difference between Fire : 火【ひ】and 火事【かじ】?

Both of them mean fire. But what are the difference between the two ? For the sentence : There is a fire in my room. Can I use both of them ? And what about for the sentence : Fire is part of the 5 ...
14
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1answer
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Difference between 少し{すこし} and 少ない{すくない}

I know 少し{すこし} and 少ない{すくない} both as 'few', but what's the difference?
14
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1answer
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What's the difference between ちゃんと, きちんと, きっちり and ぴったり?

The four of ちゃんと, きちんと, きっちり and ぴったり all seem to mean something like "perfectly", "precisely" or "exactly", and there seems to be a lot of similarity between their definitions. Daijisen says that ...
14
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1answer
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Why did オレンジ replace 橙【だいだい】?

This question about colours got me thinking: Why, and how, did オレンジ come to replace 橙【だいだい】 to refer to the colour orange? It seems weird to me that a word taken from a foreign language became ...
14
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2answers
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Usage of ~やら~やら vs ~や~や

What is the conceptual difference, or difference in nuance between these two constructions when used to mean 'and'? I realize there are some syntactic differences, such as や not appearing after the ...
14
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1answer
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"Your sniffling is driving me crazy!"

There are people in Japan who seem to think nothing of sniffling their nose indefinitely as they sit in a coffee shop, in an office, on a train, or anywhere with other people around. Sometimes ...
14
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2answers
791 views

What is the implication when a gruff old man ends a sentence with わ?

In this question, it seems to me it was clearly established that わ, at the end of a sentence, is decidedly feminine. There was talk of a Kansai-ben わ with slightly different implications, but still ...
14
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2answers
774 views

Different conventions for animal meat

After reading this awesome question, I got to thinking about different animal meat. Upon researching a little, there seems to be different conventions in referring to different meats. Using 訓読み (...
14
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2answers
2k views

What's the difference between どうしたらいい and どうしていい?

Particularly in the following phrases, what's the difference between どうしたらいい and どうしていい? The following both seem to mean something like "I don't know what to do": どうしたらいいか分かりません どうしていいか分かりません ...
14
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3answers
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How to tell whether a building is マンション or アパート

Given a building, how to classify it as マンション or アパート? Non-subjective set of criteria preferred. In particular, if there is any legal definition of these terms that would be the best. I used to ...
14
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1answer
404 views

Can I always use 色々な or do I have to use 色々の sometimes?

On the web I can find many occurrences of both 色々な and 色々の. 色々な seems to be used more often though. Can I always use 色々な and get away with it, or is 色々の the only choice in some particular cases? If ...
14
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1answer
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How did the verb 掛ける come to have many meanings?

I think that this verb is the only one I've seen in Japanese that has so many definitions. とる and つく have multiple definitions as well (quite a bit IIRC). But not as many as 掛ける. In any case, I am ...
14
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1answer
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Does タメ語{ご} mean "casual speech"?

A debate came up on the use of タメ語{ご} in this question, and I thought it was worth its own analysis. The question is, does タメ語 simply mean "casual speech", or does it mean "speech between equals". Or ...
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Are there differences in nuance and usage of [内]{ない}[緒]{しょ}, [秘]{ひ}[密]{みつ}, [隠]{かく}し[事]{ごと} and [秘]{ひ}め[事]{ごと}?

They all carry the meaning of "secret" in English, but are there differences in nuance and usage of each of them: [内]{ない}[緒]{しょ} [秘]{ひ}[密]{みつ} [隠]{かく}し[事]{ごと} [秘]{ひ}め[事]{ごと} Incidentally, ...
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7answers
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What is the opposite of 初心者?

As in, I want to say veterans/old hats at doing something instead of beginners at doing something. Edit: Thank you for all the responses. I wasn't looking to imply skill, so I think 経験者 is the word I ...
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6answers
964 views

Shouldn't this phrase using だけのこと mean "just for that"?

In a grammar textbook I have, there is this phrase: 幸{さいわ}い日本{にほん}で日本語{にほんご}を勉強{べんきょう}して、かなり話{はな}せるようになりました。日本{にほん}に行{い}っただけのことはありました。 The translation given is: Fortunately, I studied Japanese ...
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2answers
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Is it rude to refer to a person as 古い?

Objects, you can refer to as 古い with impunity. But I have never once heard a person referred to as 古い, so for a long time I thought the word just didn't apply to people. Still, searching 古い男 on Google ...
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4answers
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Konnichiwa and Konbanwa

What is the difference between Konnichiwa and Konbanwa? Is it appropriate to use either one in everyday conversations?
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2answers
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Passive vs. active form of verb (past) What is the difference?

I was wondering what the difference is if I use passive form or active form of a verb. For example: ネズミは猫に食べられた。The mouse was eaten by the cat. 猫は、ネズミを食べた。The cat ate the mouse. What EXACTLY is ...
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2answers
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Younger uncles and aunts

If you are older than your uncle or aunt, do you still address them as 叔母さん or 叔父さん? I see no reason why you wouldn't, but I recall once seeing a description saying that family titles are only used ...
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2answers
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How do you know when to use みな or みんな?

Are there any tips for deciding to write みな or みんな? If I'm not sure can I just go with 皆? Also, in speech is there a distinction made? If not, which pronunciation is more common in standard Japanese?
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1answer
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Difference between だろうか and ではないだろうか

In my opinion, they both share the same meaning of "~, isn't it". However, it seems that they cannot be used interchangeably. For example, in the following sentence, according to my mock exam textbook,...
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4answers
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「とおり」と「ように」の違いは何ですか

I have a question about the difference between とおり and ように. 先生が言ったように、試験は難しかった 先生が言ったとおり、試験は難しかった
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2answers
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Polite Way to Ask "How old are you?" : 何歳 , いくつ ,年齢 , ご年

I think the sentences: 何歳ですか? いくつですか? 年齢は? お年は? are all sentences that ask "How old are you?" How are they different? What form is most polite?
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1answer
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Why is 一日 used instead of 日 to ask how your day is?

I spoke with someone from Japan on Tandem and she said to me “今日はどんな一日でしたか?” and I’m wondering why 一日 was used since I thought that meant the first of the month?
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2answers
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嬉しい vs 幸せ. Which one to use in this case?

Both mean happy. 嬉しい is an i-adjective, and 幸せ is a na-adjective. If I want to say, "The happy boy studied at the library", which one should I use? The boy in the sentence is feeling happy at the ...
13
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2answers
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The various ways of saying "all"

While trying to write a plugin to (unofficially fan-)translate this website to Japanese, I've been noticing that "all" has multiple different translations. What exactly is the difference between 全部(...
13
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1answer
937 views

What is the difference between using を and と with the verb 言う?

I apologize if this is a basic question, but it's something I've never been entirely clear on. When using the verb 言う (to say), I can never figure out whether to use the particle -と or the particle -...
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1answer
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What's the difference between ぜひ and きっと when inviting someone to do something?

You can say for example ぜひパーティーにいらしてね そのうちまた是非お出かけください 「今晩お伺いしてもいいですか」「ぜひどうぞ」 and きっと来てくださいね きっと訪ねて来てください I would translate both ぜひ and きっと in these sentences with "by all means", but I'm sure (...
13
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1answer
357 views

Is 花見 only for "cherry blossom" viewing?

Textbooks usually teach that 花見 / お花見 means "cherry blossom viewing". Tatoeba has a couple of examples supporting that: ヒラヒラと桜の花が舞っている。もうお花見の季節も終わりだな It looks like cherry blossom-viewing ...
13
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2answers
19k views

What is "Almost" in Japanese

I have never actually seen the words for almost used in Japanese. Below are the various translations for "Almost" that I came accross: 「大方」 「粗」 「九分」 「殆」 「もう少しで」 Could you please highlight ...
13
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2answers
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What are the differences between「目的」and 「目標」?

Both「目的」and「目標」have a common meaning which is "goal", but what is the difference? When can we use one but not the other?
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1answer
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The first: 第一 vs 一番 vs 第一番

What are differences among 第一, 一番 and 第一番, all of which seem to mean "the first" in English? Are any of them more suitable for some specific scenarios than the others (e.g. 安全第一 but 世界で一番)?
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3answers
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What is the difference between 残念ながら and 残念なことに

I hear both 残念ながら and 残念なことに when expressing that something was unfortunate before the actual sentence, much like the English "Unfortunately, ...". However, I'm not sure on where these two phrases ...
13
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1answer
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What is the difference between 予想、期待、予期、思惑 for the meaning of "expectation"?

What is the difference between these 4 words for the definition of "expectation": 予想{よそう} 期待{きたい} 予期{よき} 思惑{おもわく} Specifically, which would you use for "managing customer expectations (for project ...
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1answer
3k views

what's the difference between 返事 and 答え?

both have the similar English of "answer," but when do you use one over the other?
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1answer
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How to use 十分. Differences from ずいぶん、けっこう

while studying japanese grammar I bumped into this expression that I've quite understood, but it isn't clear to me enough yet. It's 十分 (じゅうぶん). These are the phrases in which I've found it: ...
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2answers
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Difference between にさせる vs にする(as in 幸せにさせる vs 幸せにする)

What's the difference when we say 幸せにさせる compared to 幸せにする? I'm now confused between using させる and にする. Can anyone please provide an in-depth explanation?
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1answer
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What kind of a thing is a "やつ"?

I've been seeing やつ used for "thing" reasonably frequently in Manga/online etc, for example: ほとんどは本とか食玩とか細かいやつかな。 "It's virtually all stuff like books, those small toys sold with food ...
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1answer
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What exactly is ありき?

I think from looking up ありき that it means "based on", but it's usage is unclear to me. I've come across it in these two examples: まずは結論{けつろん}ありき Which I think means "the conclusion is based on ...
13
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1answer
795 views

Science writing - exact, precise, or accurate

While trying to write about an experiment I have done, I am having trouble deciding which words are appropriate for describing what I want to describe. In non-scientific English, precise, and accurate ...
13
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4answers
398 views

Is using 人口 when referencing animal populations alright?

I am writing about that Isle of Dogs movie and I wanted to write 日本の犬の人口. Since it has the character for person in it, I was wondering if it is appropriate for animals. Any help would be appreciated!
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3answers
497 views

What is the difference between 馴染む and 慣れる?

What is the difference between 馴染む and 慣れる? Dictionaries say that both represent "to grow accustomed to". In what case 馴染む cannot be replaced by 慣れる or 慣れる cannot be replaced by 馴染む?
13
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1answer
224 views

How do you express time duration when mixing time units?

When you want to express a passage of time mixing time units like days, hours, and minutes is it best to use for example 間 once at the end to show duration, or should words showing duration be used ...
13
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3answers
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When and to whom should I use the expression ご苦労様 (gokurousama)?

In what context and relationship wise to who can I safely say ご苦労様 (gokurousama)? I often defer to using otsukaresama since I'm not sure if I'm talking down to someone by saying gokurousama. Please ...
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1answer
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When do I use の/こと as a nominalizer, and when do I use というの/ということ?

I'm studying nominalizers and don't understand when to use の/こと and when to use というの/ということ. For example, in the sentence: こんなによく[遅刻]{ちこく}をするというのは[問題]{もんだい}ですよ。 Could I say: こんなによく[遅刻]{ちこく}をするのは[問題]{...
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4answers
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the logic behind "te" in "chotto matte te"

When someone says: chotto matte te, why does the te mean "... and I'll be back shortly". What's the logic behind it? Why aren't there special expressions such as chotto matte X, where X could mean "...
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2answers
2k views

How would you translate "more" for use as an interface button?

I'm working on an interface that includes several tabs to organize information about a topic. In the English version, the last tab is labeled "More", and it shows additional details about the topic. ...
12
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2answers
5k views

Is it more common to write "wakarimasu" with or without kanji?

I've had two vocabulary lists where wakarimasu is written as 分かります. However most of the time in news articles and manga I find it back as just わかります. So I wondered what is commonly used among Japanese ...
12
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3answers
4k views

What's the difference between ~てください and ~ていてください?

This question has come up on the side of at least a couple of other questions, but I don't think it's been definitively answered, so let's see if we can come up with something solid. After going ...

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