Questions tagged [word-usage]

語法. Word usage. 単語の使い分けと単語の使い方 This tag should be used for questions about how specific words are used in speech or writing.

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36 votes
2 answers
15k 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?
3 votes
1 answer
510 views

Difference between だの and など/とか

I'm reading an old book (こころ by 夏目漱石) and there's an unfamiliar grammatical phrasing that has fallen out of fashion and/or that he was rather fond of: ~だの~だの, e.g.: 。。。イサベラ何何の墓だの、神僕ロギンの墓だのというかたわらに。。。 ...
10 votes
1 answer
590 views

Existence verbs in the Kansai Dialect

In this part of this Wikipedia article, it states In other areas such as Hyogo and Mie, いる /iru/ is hardly used and おる /oru/ does not have the negative usage. What I want to know is, does this ...
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8 votes
1 answer
279 views

What is nuance of using 外来語 for simple nouns?

I've been wondering lately about the usage of 外来語 that seem especially redundant, such as ドライバー instead of ねじ回し, ヘア instead of 毛, or マップ instead of 地図. I understand many of the purposes of 外来語 when a ...
1 vote
1 answer
286 views

The meaning and nuance behind the phrase "話は通してある"

話は通してある This is a phrase I've come across a few times recently in manga. For example: 「ユキにも話は通してある」 I'm not familiar with it so I'm not quite sure of it's correct meaning and usage, looking ...
5 votes
2 answers
667 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 ...
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5 votes
3 answers
4k views

Difference between 者{もの} and 人{ひと}

I never heard 者{もの} alone, just for work profession. Both means person right? Is 者{もの} old-fashioned, when used alone? Example: [...] 居る者
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10 votes
4 answers
5k views

What's the difference between そうです and そうでしょう?

In 『よつばと!』, よつば says 「ここ家がいっぱいある」 to which her father replies 「そうだろう」. What's the difference between そうです and そうでしょう? I know when we use そうです but I can't figure out the other. I know ましょう is used to ...
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6 votes
1 answer
5k views

What are the differences between 金、料、代、and 費?

For example, 入学金 is correct; we can't use 入学費・代・料; that's not 日本語. But all of them mean costs for something. Could someone please explain this?
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5 votes
3 answers
581 views

Can ところで be ambiguous (time vs. location)?

I was studying the usage of ところ with particles and came across the following sentence and translation (linked at the bottom): 駅の近くでケーキを買ったところで彼女に偶然{ぐうぜん}会った。 I met her by chance when I just bought ...
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2 votes
1 answer
845 views

The differences between そうです ・ ようです

I'm recently revising my Japanese for the upcoming JLPT this July (I'm taking N4), and I came up with difficulties in using these 2 items. For example: 気分が良くなりました。やっとねつが (下がりました...)。 (I ...
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4 votes
2 answers
503 views

Why is こと used in 「私に何かできること」?

How does it turn this into a noun clause? All I get from it is “I can do something” but I don’t see where こと fits in.
  • 1,551
3 votes
2 answers
600 views

そんな used in disbelief

I know that そんな means "like that", but as I read more and more mangas, I get the feeling that it is also used as an expression of disbelief. Can someone elaborate and do similar words like ...
7 votes
1 answer
422 views

Ways to specify "intra-" or "extra-" usage of 北・南・東・西

I Was trying to describe that a certain castle was located south of Kyoto, I would expect the phrase to be: 「伏見桃山城が京都の南にある。」 I was then thinking, how would I say that it is in Kyoto, but the southern ...
5 votes
2 answers
5k 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。
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is this 10^40 thing?

While checking out "正" (as in 正坐, specifically) I found that apparently one of the associated meaning would be 10^40 (i.e. 10 elevated at the 40th power). Example -taken from Tangorin.com: sei 【正】 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
200 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} :...
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1 vote
1 answer
569 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 ...
  • 1,433
1 vote
1 answer
183 views

What does 「ニゴでした」mean?

I was reading an article at Tomojuku. Link At the very end of the article, it says, ではでは ニゴでした。 What does ニゴでした mean ? I searched online but I couldn't find anything about this.
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8 votes
1 answer
322 views

How to break down the nuances of each Japanese word translating to "somehow" or "anyhow"?

There seems to be an endless supply of Japanese words and phrases that translate to "somehow" or "anyhow" in English. It's difficult, at least with J-E dictionaries, to understand the nuances of each ...
2 votes
3 answers
783 views

What do いっぱいいっぱい and 余裕 mean in this context?

I'm translating this manga, but I'm having a hard time because I don't know what's the best way to translate these words Context: see pics... sorry that there are 7 pics, but I felt that explaining ...
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10 votes
1 answer
298 views

Comparing the usage of というのは and ということは

As far as I know, both というのは and ということは can be used to give definition/explanation. 留学するということは、海外で勉強するということだ。 ユートピアというのは理想郷の意だ And are also used to make inferences. ご意見がないということは賛成ということですね。 ...
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7 votes
2 answers
1k views

What does らん in 「強からん事を祈る」 mean?

I came across this sentence while reading Osamu Dazai's Ningen Shikkaku. The sentence is pretty long, so I have only included the relevant part. あまりに人間を恐怖している人たちは、かえって、もっともっと、...
  • 1,425
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

The usage of ものの

I have trouble understanding the usage of ものの in the following sentence: 病気が初期に見つかったからいい__、もう少し発見が遅かったら命が危なかった。 A. とばかりに B. かと思いきや C. というものの D. ようなものの The right answer is D. However, I think the ...
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4 votes
3 answers
3k views

What does '........でしょう' mean?

I am not good at using '...でしょう', and do not fully understand its meaning and usage. For example: 彼はアメリカへ行くんでしょう そのことをわからないんでしょう Such sentences always make me confused. Could you explain it ...
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1 vote
2 answers
410 views

What is the meaning of どうの?

Context: a former swordsman takes his daughter to attend kendo lessons. She doesn't seem happy, so he reminds her that she decided herself to go, at which che replies: んだよ!とーさんがさんざん剣がどうのって話ばっかするからだろ!!...
  • 4,473
1 vote
1 answer
144 views

Understanding 分?

今週は大学のオリエンテーション。要は、これから一年受ける講義を選ぶための説明、及び体験期間である。自分の興味のある科目や必修科目を、進級・卒業に必要な単位の分、バランスよく選ばなければならない。 What is the function of the bold 分? Is it like 一年間の休職の分だけ、仕事がたまっていた。?
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9 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why is ば in this sentence?

そんなトコで何{なん}ばしよる。 I'm reading a manga and from the context of the pictures I think this sentence reads, "What are you doing up there," but I have no idea what part ば plays. The character ...
7 votes
1 answer
439 views

What is そんでもって?

According to コトバンク, it is the exact same as two different definitions of それで。 Then there is this ベストアンサー which gives many usage examples. Again, it seems to be a very casual filler word meaning それで。...
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7 votes
1 answer
559 views

What is the difference between 原因 and 要因, 解析 and 分析?

When I search meaning, both 原因 and 要因 mean cause. 解析 and 分析 mean analysis. But I think there will be little different meaning.
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5 votes
5 answers
32k views

What's the most common way to say you are bad at something?

Would I just use わるい? Or is there a more specific word for being unskilled at something? 私の日本語は悪いです。< Would something like this suffice?
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2 votes
1 answer
1k views

面 and 顔 difference?

There are two words for face or is there a slight difference?
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

What's the difference between 変態 and 痴女 (or 痴漢)?

In the Dead Tube manga, a girl is being accused of being a 痴女【ちじょ】, at which she replies: 私変態だけど痴女じゃないもん!! What's the difference between the two words? Is 変態 just a pervert and 痴女 someone that ...
  • 4,473
7 votes
1 answer
177 views

Titles for family

What I've learned is Japanese refer to their family differently than they would refer to other peoples family. Like 'Haha' being mother, but also 'Okasan' is mother. However, everything I've seen in ...
6 votes
2 answers
514 views

What is the reasoning behind picking お or ご as an honorific prefix?

We've learnt that お is used for 訓読み and ご is used for 音読み. I want to know why we use お上手 and お電話. Why can't we use ごじょうず and ごでんわ?
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6 votes
3 answers
2k views

What is the meaning of 「ほう」in the following sentence?

日本の労働時間は世界でも長いほうだ。 I guess the sentence means something along the lines of "Even within the [whole] world, the working hours in Japan are long". But I think it could be expressed simply without the「...
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5 votes
3 answers
331 views

あかひげ [赤髭] modern usage?

So I started watching the movie あかひげ the other night and intrigued by the title I looked it up in the dictionary where one of the definitions was: Westerner (derogatory) Does it really contain ...
  • 1,056
4 votes
1 answer
408 views

Why is はじめ written with the kanji 初 as opposed to 始 to convey "the beginning"?

I frowned upon my textbook when I saw the word 初【はじ】め (the beginning) for the first time (no pun intended). The reason is that so far, I understood the idea of "start" is conveyed by 始, ...
  • 4,629
4 votes
1 answer
923 views

What is the proper response to いらっしゃいませ?

The term is used in shops and stores to welcome customers. It seems impolite to ignore the greeting.
  • 6,597
4 votes
2 answers
292 views

Is there any difference between 速さand 速度?

From what I understood, both 速さ{はやさ} and 速度{そくど} means "speed". Some say that they are synonyms (just like speed and velocity in English), but I guess there is a nuance between them, isn't it ? 速さ{...
  • 1,029
4 votes
3 answers
1k views

Use of さ as a filler

how often is さ used as a filler like our “like”? is it very common? for example, could i say 「私さスタバへさ行ったさ…」?
  • 1,551
3 votes
1 answer
875 views

What's the difference among 夜中, 真夜中 and 夜?

I've found 3 words with the definition of the night/midnight. But some difficulties appeared. This is the answer have found: Is 夜中 or 真夜中 is more correct for exactly midnight? At about 00:00. ...
3 votes
2 answers
133 views

Can 故の mean "because" without a が preceding it?

I came across this line while reading a manga but was stuck on the 故の portion. 知識欲が行き過ぎた故の職業病なのぉ? I understood this sentence as, "It's an occupational disease because of (your) excessive thirst ...
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3 votes
3 answers
1k views

Usage of やばい and 危ない

As I know, Both words mean Dangerous. Japanese people use sometimes やばい, other times 危ない. When should I use one over other?
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

How to say "X movies" that are movies about X

How do I say 'X movies' in Japanese? By this I mean a movie about X, not X made that movie. An example to illustrate what I mean is: There are a lot of Steve Jobs movies It is clear that Steve ...
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3 votes
1 answer
587 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 ...
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2 votes
3 answers
326 views

What does 勝ったな mean?

I’ve stumbled upon the phrase 勝ったな and it was translated there as “he will win” but what conjugation is that?
2 votes
1 answer
133 views

Use of かと思ったら / かと思うと (in the context of as soon as, just when)

かと思ったら / かと思うと mean "just when; no sooner than" but what is their use (oral/written, formal/normal) ? Do native use that construction naturally or is it replaced by another one ? And I am also ...
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2 votes
4 answers
640 views

Difference between おかあさん and ははおや

What is the difference between these two terms for the word «mother»? おかあさん ははおや Is there a difference in politeness/register in addressing someone, our some other form of difference between these ...
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

Difference between ばかり, ところ, and 今?

I’ve gathered that these all can be used like “just” (right?) so I’m wondering what the difference in usage is between them. 今終わった。 終わったばかり。 終わったところ。 Are these all basically the same? (also, in ...
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