Japanese Language Weekly Newsletter

Japanese Language newsletter

Top new questions this week:

私は猫が好き and 猫は私が好き

I'm an absolute beginner. I've learned Japanese in my spare time for less than two months. This is my first question here. Even though I think this question is potentially trivial, it's perhaps the …

grammar particle-wa particle-ga wa-and-ga  
asked by Damkerng T. 9 votes
answered by pudding 5 votes

What is the rule to write furigana (ruby)?

I am confused in determining the correct way to write furigana. Is a furigana only allowed to be attached to a single kanji character? In other words, can a furigana attached to more than one kanji …

furigana  
asked by Please don't touch 6 votes
answered by snailboat 6 votes

How impolite is it to call a waitress お姉{ねえ}さん?

Were I in a situation where I want to get the attention of a waitress in a noisy restaurant, I kind of feel like calling-out: "お姉{ねえ}さん、すみませんが、ビールもう一本お願いできますか?". I think that I've seen this done in a …

word-choice politeness  
asked by user312440 6 votes
answered by Enno Shioji 5 votes

How would you say 'the past ____'? (i.e. the past 'hour', the past 'day)

I've been wondering how to say 'I spent the past [time frame] [insert action]'. For example, "I spent the past hour studying Japanese". Would it be translated to something like... …

time  
asked by miki 6 votes
answered by 非回答者 5 votes

「〜がする」 the extended use of する (to do)

I'm going through some basic grammar and this one website teaches the "extended" use of the word する. There is a confusing example which looks like: 波の音 がする The translation is: "(I) hear the …

translation nuances verbs syntax  
asked by chlenix 6 votes
answered by drawl 3 votes

Use of ㈰, ㈪, ㈫ in enumerations

Today, in some official document I received, an enumeration (of items to address) had each line prepended with ㈰, ㈪, ㈫ etc. From context, it is reasonably easy to guess that this might be an …

kanji  
asked by Dave 6 votes
answered by Aujury 6 votes

電話する or 電話をする to form the verb

I'd like to know if there is any difference between 電話する and 電話をする, if they mean the same, or if 電話をする doesn't even exist. I ask this because in an exercise in my book it says to use をする with 電話 to …

word-choice  
asked by Daniel 6 votes
answered by jkerian 2 votes

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

Ways to end a phone conversation

Despite its being one of the most basic element of daily-life Japanese, I often find myself looking for a proper way to end certain phone conversations. Of course, I know the standard: [それでは]失礼します, …

business-japanese greetings idioms  
asked by Dave 10 votes
answered by Dave M G 10 votes

What's the difference between wa (は) and ga (が)?

When is it correct to use は but not が, and when is it correct to use が but not は? Are there any times when you can use either without changing the meaning of the sentence? How does switching change …

grammar particles particle-wa particle-ga wa-and-ga  
asked by nevan king 66 votes
answered by jkerian 64 votes
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