Tag Archives: expressions

Japanese expression “〜するも” (~suru mo) and vagueness of the が (ga) particle

Recently I read the very enjoyable short story “麦本三歩は今日が好き” by 住野よる in the literary magazine 小説幻冬 (Dec 2016 edition). I even translated a short excerpt of it into English here. There was one line of the story whose grammar I just couldn’t figure out, and I thought that it was either some strange pattern I had never… Read More »

Spoiling and being spoiled in Japanese: 甘やかす (amayakasu) and 甘える (amaeru)

甘やかす (amayakasu) and 甘える (amaeru) are two words I use somewhat frequently in daily life which are little tricky to express in English. As a hint to their meaning, it’s good to notice that both of these words contain the Kanji “甘” which is the same one as used in the word for “sweet” (甘い, “amai”). Let’s… Read More »

Being girly in Japanese (“womens language”)

One thing I’ve tried to be cognizant in my Japanese studies is the different nuances of each word or phrase. It is by older men, younger men, or maybe only girls? Though the dividing line between “mens language” (男言葉) and “womens language”   (女言葉) is not black and white, I think there are some expressions which… Read More »

Three expressions in Japanese for “by the way”

The casual English expression “by the way” is used to transition from one conversation topic into another. In this post, I’ll go over three different ways to express this type of feeling in Japanese, each with it’s own unique nuance. そういえば 「Sou ieba」 This phrase does not contain a subject and literally means something like… Read More »

Japanese 手(hand) : usages and expressions

In Japanese, the word for ‘hand’ is written as 手 and pronounced close to the English “te” sound from “tell”. In this post I’ll talk about a few words that use this character, plus other meanings of it. To start with, in baby-speak the word “お手手” (otete) is often used to mean “hand”. The word for “wrist”… Read More »

Expressing a state with「でいる」

In Japanese, you may have learned that the “ている” form can be used to express a state rather than an ongoing action, like ”壊れている” (broken). There is another way to express state using a noun or na-adjective, plus “でいる”. The “で” is the “te” form of “だ” (is), and “いる” is the same as in… Read More »

Japanese verb 切る and related expressions

The Japanese verb 切る, pronounced “kiru”, is one of the verbs typically introduced in basic level Japanese textbooks. This is because it is an example of verb that end sin ‘iru’ but is conjugated as a constant verb, and also because it’s easy to understand conceptually. In this post I’ll show some related uses of… Read More »

Japanese expression “kke” (っけ) – for the forgetful

For today’s post I’d like to focus on the Japanese expression “kke” (っけ) which is typically used at the end of a sentence, and signifies that the speaker/writer is trying to remember something. For example: 今日は何曜日だっけ? What day of the week was it again? This expression can be used when you are talking to yourself in an… Read More »

A few pitfalls when using Japanese

In this article I’d like to discuss a few things to watch out when learning Japanese, most of which were something I struggled with personally. The first is when talking about meeting someone in Japanese. If you aren’t careful, you might first think “I want to see you tonight” and then translate this as “今晩、君を見たい” which… Read More »