Questions tagged [word-usage]

語法. The usage of the words.

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20
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the 中 in ダウンロード中?

I was downloading an update for a phone game I set in Japanese and on the screen it said 「ダウンロード中」and I don’t understand the use of 中. Middle? In the middle of downloading?
15
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6answers
3k views

知っているはずです is over complicated?

I would like to ask, "How many kanji are you supposed to know?" My best guess was (漢字を)何字知っているはずですか。 I omitted 漢字 since it was in context This was reviewed by a native Japanese speaker and I had ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

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?
12
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2answers
39k views

when do I have to use naru hodo, and when do I have to use wakarimashita?

When do I have to use naru hodo, and when do I have to use wakarimashita? As far as I know, they both mean something like "I understand" or "I understood".
10
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3answers
710 views

Why is “language” represented by 言葉【ことば】 instead of 言語【げんご】 in this book for learning Japanese?

In みんなの日本語初級I book, the word 「ことば」 is used to mean "language" (English, Japanese, Russian, etc.) However, I found 「言語」 as the most proper word for this type of language. The first variant (which ...
10
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4answers
4k 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 ...
10
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1answer
474 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 ...
10
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1answer
977 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 ...
10
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2answers
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Difference 先 vs さっき vs 前

can someone pls explain the difference and usage of these words? I never saw an explanation on how to use them correctly. Right now, all 3 are just "(some time) ago, previous, before ..." for me.
10
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1answer
238 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。 ...
9
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1answer
510 views

How to use やんの?

Here is an example from the comic GANTZ. (This should be fair use of the image at least in the US as it's for scholarly commentary.) It's easy to tell that emphasis is being added, and the speaker is ...
9
votes
1answer
297 views

What does 「生き残る目」 mean in this sentence?

I came across this sentence while reading 下町ロケット. 「ウチで密かに調べてみましたが、佃製作所はいま、資金調達すらままならない苦境にあるそうです。どう転んだところで、佃製作所に生き残る目はありませんよ。それにですねーーー」 The most obvious interpretation for me was, We searched from ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Why is ば in this sentence?

そんなトコで何ばしよる。 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 speaks in a ...
9
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1answer
260 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 ...
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2answers
1k views

Is there any difference between 旅行者 and 旅人?

Is there any difference between the words 旅行者 and 旅人? Which one is more frequently used?
8
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3answers
1k views

What's the difference between 上手い, 美味い, 旨い, and 巧い?

All four of these words are read as うまい and have the same meaning in my dictionary so I was wondering, can these four words (上手い, 美味い, 旨い, and 巧い) be used interchangeably?
8
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2answers
218 views

Aspects in stylistics/meaning of 東雲

Does the word 東雲 shinonome have some stylistic pecularities? What's the difference between this word and others with the same meaning "daybreak; dawn"?
8
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2answers
205 views

“the cows were happy and friendly”: is “親しい” the right word?

I am writing an email to my friends, about a trip. We went walking by a field and the cows came over and were happy to be petted. I want to say "the cows were happy and friendly" but the word I have ...
8
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1answer
218 views

Is there any practical difference between しばらく and しばらくの間?

While answering How does しばらく work with ていない? I started to wonder if 暫く{しばらく} and 暫く{しばらく}の間{あいだ} were fully interchangeable? Or are there any examples where you would use one and not the other?
8
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2answers
473 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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3answers
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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「...
7
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3answers
305 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 ...
7
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1answer
1k views

What does のそ mean in this picture?

What does のそ mean in this picture? A friend of mine said that it was "a moment later...", but I'm not really sure if that's the real meaning. What does this annotation mean?
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2answers
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What does ひと匙 mean in this manga and has it been used colloquially?

I’m reading this manga and I came across this scene that the character is describing the new member of the school team that 音駒【ねこま】にあとひと匙【さじ】 欲しかった決定力になり得る存在 *Note: 音駒 is the highschool name. For ...
7
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2answers
182 views

What are some special ways to use よく besides “often” and “well”?

I’ve seen よく used in a variety of contexts outside of the basic “often” and “well”. 「よくよくのことがないと実家には帰らない。」 「よく聞いたら試験は、明日だった。」 「よく言うよ!」 Just a few examples. What are some different ways it can be ...
7
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3answers
3k 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
7
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1answer
420 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 ...
7
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1answer
6k views

What is the difference between ayumu, sanpo and aruku?

I see three different words when I look up "walk". Can someone explain why there are two and why one would be used instead of the other?
7
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1answer
912 views

Difference between tatami mat counters 帖 and 畳

What is the difference between tatami mat counters 帖 and 畳 (both pronounced じょう)?
7
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1answer
357 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。...
7
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1answer
448 views

How best to respond to 「ご無沙汰しています」

I just received an email from a good friend in Japan, who has notably over the past few months been instrumental in connecting me to various people, for some research interviews I've been conducting. ...
7
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1answer
162 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 ...
7
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2answers
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 ...
7
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1answer
4k 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?
7
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1answer
245 views

Do you call the feeling of acid burns as 燃える too?

Doesn't have to be the kind that melts your face off. Like your detergent(alkali but nvm that) prickling your hand after leaving it for a bit too long on your hand. Would toothpaste or menthol's ...
7
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1answer
252 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
193 views

Is 上京 appropriate in a setting where Tokyo doesn't exist?

Does it make sense to use 上京 in a fantasy setting where the geography is totally different from our world? In my mind this word is very strongly associated with Tokyo. I know that according to some ...
7
votes
1answer
624 views

Family Household Clan

Good day, I just want to ask in-general if these words have a different level of meaning or are they interchangeable when attched to a family name 家、氏、藩、閥、族、一族、一門、家門、閥族 。 I'm somewhat aware that a 藩 ...
7
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1answer
373 views

Best translation of “subtle”?

The obvious translation of "subtle" is 「微妙」, but in current usage it seems to carry a bit of a pejorative sense, even implying "dubious". Are there better translations for phrases such as "subtle hint"...
7
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2answers
457 views

What's the difference between 同然 and 同様?

As in the title, what is the difference between these two? dictionary.goo.ne.jp says: 同然: 同じであること。また、そのさま。同様。 同様: 同じであること。ほとんど同じであること。また、そのさま。 and on the 類語 page these two are listed under one entry:...
6
votes
5answers
25k 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?
6
votes
2answers
366 views

How to use またしても?

I know that またしても means "again, moreover, in addition" and it often comes with relative nuance. However, given the below sentences, I don't know why it's only proper in a sentence but not ...
6
votes
1answer
678 views

Book error: パパは銀行に出かけていていないよ

There is this phrase パパは銀行に出かけていていないよ And the given translation is Your dad has gone to the bank. But here I think it is a negation instead. Which is correct?
6
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3answers
218 views

敬遠の使い方について (how to use the expression 敬遠)

日本語 クリスマスプレゼントとして、『日本酒辞典』という本をもらいました。読んでいると、以下の文が出てきました:  (前略)ついつい頼んでしまったり、気になるけど注文しづらくて敬遠している、なんて人もいるでしょう。 理解できていると思うのですが、国語辞典と外国人のjdictで「敬遠」を調べてみたところ、どのセンスがあてはまるか分からないです。 本文の定義としては、「難しいと思って、回避する」...
6
votes
3answers
492 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
763 views

What is the difference between 盲目 and 目の不自由な?

Both words mean blind. I tried doing some research but I couldn't find the difference.
6
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1answer
2k views

Differences between the various readings of 描く and 画く

Are there any differences between the following? 画{か}く 画{えが}く 描{か}く 描{えが}く
6
votes
2answers
8k views

How is こちらこそ used?

I don't understand the usage of こちらこそ in the following exchange: A: はじめまして、たなか ゆうこです。よろしく おねがいします。 B: たなかさん、こちらこそ よろしく おねがいします。 In the translation, I was told that it meant "it is I, not you". ...
6
votes
3answers
233 views

Is there any difference in meaning between 陥る and 落ち入る?

These two words appear to mean the same thing and the entry on Google dictionary gives the definition as the same for both. Are there any cases where you would use one instead of the other?
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Cooking in Japanese with verbs

A dictionary search for verbs related to cooking pulls up many examples. 炊く 炒める 煮える etc. The differences between them seems to be related to the method of cooking (boil, fry, etc), or what you ...

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