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67

I am a native Japanese, and I discussed this today. To be honest, this was quite interesting for us. I see many good answers here. The concept of "inside or outside" in another answer strikes close to a good point. But, I think that answer is a little bit confused because it fails to understand that "to know" is a stative verb but 「知る」is ...


39

There is a fairly big difference in meaning between 「~~てみる」 and 「~~ようとする」 that makes them virtually noninterchangeable for the better speakers/writers. 「~~てみる」 means "to try something out (usually for the first time) (to find out how it is, how you like it, etc.)". whereas 「~~ようとする」 means "to attempt to ~~ to achieve some kind of goal (however ...


32

"Tomorrow" is said in three different ways in Standard Japanese. In the order of formality, those are: みょうにち、あす and あした. (In kanji, all three are written as 「明日」.) What that inevitably means is that the native speakers learn the three "words" in the reverse order. 「あした」 is definitely the most intuitive for us. あした is by far the most common pronunciation ...


32

There is an article about the difference (although in Japanese): 「そして」/「それから」の一考察 As shown in the picture below, in a nutshell, this article says that それから involves a shift in viewpoint, while そして adds information from the same viewpoint. Let me try to explain this. When you describe something happens after something, basically you can use both そして and ...


28

Why are there so many terms for these generic words? Most of them have different meanings. Some are used for Western royalty, some are used for Chinese royalty. 王 - (in general) King e.g. アーサー王 King Arthur 王 - (in historical China and historical Asia) One of the titles of the lords in the Imperial China, or the King of the Imperial Chinese tributary state ...


27

[閉]{し}まる is intransitive, [閉]{し}める, [閉]{と}ざす, [閉]{た}てる are transitive, and [閉]{と}じる can be transitive and intransitive. [閉]{し}まる -- intransitive. Something (physically) closes. 「ドアが閉まる」 a door closes 「門が閉まる」a gate closes 「店が閉まる」 a shop closes / shuts down [閉]{し}める -- transitive. To (physically) close something. 「ドアを閉める」 close a door 「門を閉める」 close a gate 「...


26

去年 can be used in almost any situation. 昨年 is more formal and not good for casual conversation. For example, 1) 去年、結婚いたしました。 2) 昨年、結婚いたしました。 2) is better because いたしました is a humble form but 1) is totally acceptable. On the other hand, 1) 去年、結婚しちゃった 2) 昨年、結婚しちゃった 1) is natural but 2) sounds a bit strange. The same applies to: 昨日{きのう} vs. ...


25

As a customer, using either one is completely fine. Among us native speakers, it is like each person has a habit of using one over the other. Point is each eatery tends to use one word over the other among its staff members as well, meaning that even when you order by saying, for instance, 「[卵]{たまご}なしで = "with no eggs"」, your waiter/waitress might reply ...


25

「め」 is a suffix of contempt when attached to a noun or another person's name. 「この[犬]{いぬ}め!」= "You stupid dog!" 「[許]{ゆる}せん、[田中]{たなか}め!」= "Will never forgive Tanaka the bastard!" Translation is an art. You could use whatever word you feel appropriate for the context that expresses contempt, scorn, disdain, etc. Please note, however, that it becomes a ...


24

デイビット is actually David. そうです indicates a similarity based on direct (probably visual) evidence i.e., David appears/behaves like a good chef based on what you see. In this usage, そう is attached to the i-form of verbs and stem of adjectives. (だ)そうです is a report on what you've heard before. In this usage, そう is attached to the dictionary form of verbs, ...


22

I think it may sound condescending because it sounds like you have the right to say something is clearly bad. Typically, you can directly say 悪く(は)ない to someone when you judge their performance/creation as a teacher/expert/senior/etc. When the creator/performer is not present, 悪く(は)ない tends to be more often used. (For example it's usually safe to say ...


22

Repeating a word using は is a way to emphasize something. There are several patterns. X + は + X + が/けど/けれど works like "indeed ~ but ~" or "it's true that ~ but ~". X can be an adjective, a noun or a verb (usually used with に). See: What is the meaning of 「読むには読んだ」? and Need help with understanding X ことは X construction おいしいはおいしいけど、量が少ない。 ...


21

利用 is a very general way of saying 'to use something', and often the purpose is to benefit the user. For example, you can say 「あの会社のサービスを利用する」 (use the services provided by that company), which implies that you use the services for benefits. You can also say 「彼は私を利用して妻を騙した」, which means he tricked his wife indirectly, 'using' me. So 利用 can be used to replace ...


21

ほうがいい Is used to say that out of a number of possibilities the stated one is preferable. お菓子を食べすぎないほうがいい It would be best if you didn't eat too many sweets. ことだ(です) Is used to say that something is important. (虫歯が嫌だったら)お菓子を食べすぎないことです。(If you don't like getting cavities then) not overdoing the sweets is a key. しないこと。 Is used to state rules in ...


20

Long post, so there's a summary in the TL;DR section at the end. If you are wanting to dive into some details; sometimes, I find that looking for words with the same (often rarely used) kanji can help to get a handle on nuance differences. 愈愈【いよいよ】 : The kanji here are perhaps the least helpful of the bunch as they are almost exclusively used, if ever, for ...


20

Here is how I (and many other native speakers) would use the two words in real life. I am answering without looking at anything. 「静かさ」 describes the bare physical degree of how "not loud" a thing is. A high degree of quietness, while it may be desired, is not a prerequisite here. Examples: 「静かさ」 is used to talk about how quiet a car, airconditioner, ...


19

住みたい means "want to live" and is the default choice. 住んでいたい is its progressive form and is used when there's some sense of progression, which works best when you're already living where you want to live "progressively". One overlap of usage is, e.g. ずっと東京に住みたい。 ずっと東京に住んでいたい。 This is not a perfect analogy, but in English we have roughly ...


19

「おいしいとこ(ろ)(を)もって(い)く」 had been an extremely popular phrase for several years until about a decade ago but it is not very 'cool' anymore. Though its novelty has worn out, it is still heard often enough. It basically means "to steal the show", "to take a big bite" or "to take the best part". For this "new" meaning, 「おいしい」 should be written in kana. Using 「...


19

I think it matters a lot and that it's best to break from the habit if you intend to speak Japanese long-term. I think for place names it's somewhat understandable because the Kana is obviously there mimicking the native place name, sort of like how a French person (no offense) might say they are from "Paris". However, many people will not understand an ...


19

「~~だけ + は + Verb + ない」 is the pattern you will need to learn as it is commonly used. It is an expression that describes the single or very few exceptions to a phenomenon. It means: "Someone [Verb] everything but/except ~~." Thus, 「それでも彼には、自分のことだけはわからない。」 means: "He, however, knows/understands everything but about himself." or "Things about ...


18

Other examples of intentionally altered readings to avoid confusion: 私立【しりつ】 (private) & 市立【しりつ】 (city-run) → 私立【わたくしりつ】 & 市立【いちりつ】 売春【ばいしゅん】 (selling sex) & 買春【ばいしゅん】 (buying sex) → 買春【かいしゅん】 波線【はせん】 (wavy line) & 破線【はせん】 (dashed line) → 波線【なみせん】 & 破線【やぶれせん】 市長【しちょう】 (city mayor) & 首長【しゅちょう】 (mayor in general) → 首長【くびちょう】 Learning ...


18

I would have no choice but to say that there is a difference. Little particles do have that kind of power and influence over much bigger words than themselves. You would sound like you are a little more satisfied with your job if you said 「[今]{いま}の[仕事]{しごと}は[悪]{わる}くないです。」 than when you said 「今の仕事は悪くはないです。」. This is a prime example of the contrastive は. ...


18

出かける is a compound verb made from 出る and かける. In that sense, it is natural that the meaning is similar. But, they are different. 出る has several meanings, but the most general idea is 'something moves out of a certain range.' 出かける is something like 'going out,' but only used when "A human being goes out for some distance by his/her own will." Something ...


18

There is no semantic difference when they mean "to wake up (e.g., in the morning)", but 目覚める sounds more bookish and literary. In the most casual settings, people usually say 起きる or 目を覚ます. In addition, each has derivative meanings: 目を覚ます also means "to regain one's sense", "to recover from illusion", "to notice one believed in something wrong". 目覚める also ...


17

In short, your waiter said what he said because it is the "in" thing to do for young workers (mostly part-time) at inexpensive restaurants, fast food places, convenience stores, etc. This speech style is called 「マニュアル[敬語]{けいご}」, 「コンビニ[言葉]{ことば}」、「ファミレス言葉」, etc. and it has been very common the last 20 years or so. (マニュアル = "manual", ファミレス = "family ...


17

"What is the meaning of のか in the following sentences? Does it have the same meaning as のですか?" It appears that you may be confusing the 「か」 and 「のか」 used at the end of wh-question clauses with the 「か」 and 「のか」as question-sentence endings. In all of your example sentences, the 「か」 or 「のか」 is used as the former kind. 「どう/だれ/いつ/どこ/なに/なぜ + Mini Sentence + か/...


17

All what you've mentioned above are common words. Despite being synonyms, each of those words has different shades of meaning even when refers to the same object. I could roughly group them into several clusters as follows: 道具 / 器具 They lay stress on direct human manipulation, typically fulfill their purposes by (wholly or partially) being handled freely ...


16

The (よ)う in ~(よ)うとする is volitional. ~(よ)うとする means "try to do ~~" "be about to do ~~", and is attached to the 未然形 (imperfective form) of verbs, as in 「[走]{はし}ろ+うとする」「[歩]{ある}こ+うとする」「[見]{み}+ようとする」etc. 私は母を手伝おうとしました。 I tried to help my mother. 日が沈もうとしています。 The sun is about to set. 出かけようとすると、雨が降ってきました。 When I was about to go out, it started to ...


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