35 Answered Questions for the topic nuances


What is the こと in sentences such as あなたのことが好きだ?

*There were a lot of great answers here. I gave the checkmark to ento's answer because I felt it most completely explained all aspects of this use of こと. But many of the other answers are... more


What's the difference between でしょうか and ですか at the end of a question?

I am having a little trouble understanding the nuance of でしょうか in comparison to ですか. People say it makes it more hesitant and polite, but that doesn't explain the nuance enough for me. Why would... more
Nuances Grammar Japanese


にしても and としても, is there a difference?

にしても and としても...Don't they both have a meaning of "even if"? Is there any subtle difference between these two forms?


When the agent takes を in the causative form?

I've seen a few sets of terminology when referring to the causative form, so for the basic case, I will use the following: `instigator が agent に 〇〇 を v-させる。` In its most basic, text-book form, we... more


The differences between ~がたい、〜にくい、〜づらい?

I was wondering what the differences are between these three: ~がたい、〜にくい、〜づらい They all seem to be some sort of variant of "Hard to do ~". But it seems they are used with different verbs and/or... more


Understand the difference between [dictionary/ない + ようとする] and [volitional + にする]?

I have come across a couple of concepts that seem relatively similar, but I would like an understanding on their differences, if any. The first is the dictionary/ない form + ようとする. And the other is... more


What’s the difference between [v] たとしても and just the plain ても?

What’s the difference between [v] たとしても and just the plain ても? Example: > (1) 説明書を読んでも分かりにくい > (2) 説明書を読んだとしても分かりにくい


How to use 〜かのよう{に・な・だ}?

I understand fine how to use 〜(の)よう{に・な・だ}, but I'm not sure when or how you can add in the か. Here's an example from my book: > 4月になって雪が降るなんて、まるで冬が戻って来たかのようです。 How is this different than if... more


ならば vs なら. both are totally interchangeable without affecting the nuance of the sentence?

is it true that なら is merely a short form of ならば and as such, both are totally interchangeable without affecting the nuance of the sentence? Also, a second question is is ならば more "formal" than... more


What is 〜からです and when is it used? How does it differ from 〜ですから and 〜んです?

I have seen this expression a few times, and have never quite understood it. In particular, it seems to be equatable both to ですから and to んです, but I can't figure out where it would be used over... more


Difference between にとって and として?

What differences are there between にとって and として ? To the best of my understanding, both have meanings of stating something from a certain point of view or perspective. However, I think that... more
Nuances Grammar Japanese


what's the difference between 話をする and 話す?

I'm trying to understand the nuances between 話をする and 話す. When is one used over the other? I'm reviewing A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar, and it has the following example... more
Nuances Grammar Japanese


Usage of て-form in 知っての通り?

I have just come across the phrase `知っての通り〜` (as you know...) I have never noticed this usage of て-form before and can't find an explanation. What is the difference (if any) between this and... more
Nuances Grammar Japanese


Te-form versus "masu-stem + して" (消しているうちに versus 消ししているうちに)?

Is there any difference between 消して and 消しして in the following sentences? For example, > A: 手紙を書いては消し、書いては**消しして**いるうちに、朝になってしまった。 > B: 手紙を書いては消し、書いては**消して**いるうちに、朝になってしまった。
Nuances Grammar Japanese


What is the difference between "verb+て+みる" and "verb+(よ)う+とする"?

In Japanese there are words which mean "to try something or attempt at doing something", e.g. 試す, 試みる and つとめる. However, at the same time we also have two grammatical constructions "verb+て+みる" and... more
Nuances Grammar Japanese


Stative verbs: ~ている vs ~てある vs ~(ら)れる?

I'm not sure if I'm wording this properly, but I want to know the nuances of these "stative" type verb forms that act kind of like adjectives. For example, you could describe an open window with... more


Can placements of adverbs be altered freely?

I'm curious if there is any difference in nuance between these two sentences: 1. 彼は少なくとも週に一度車を洗う。 2. 彼は週に少なくとも一度車を洗う。 I'm aware that grammatically speaking both are 100% right, but this question... more


Confusion about "Seemingly not ~"?

So there are several ways to express something is "seemingly not ~": > * ~なさそう * ~そうにない * ~そうもない * ~そうにもない (is this one even real?) I was always taught ~なさそう in my Japanese classes, and it was... more


What are the differences between 〜ので and 〜から?

When I was studying this, my 先生 kind of brushed over the point, and then years later, I realize that they are different, but I don't know exactly how. The only thing I understand is that ので is... more


How the ~にあって form works - situations, places, times, what?

I finally started going through some JLPT N1 grammar the other day, and one of the ones I'm looking at has me a bit confused: the ~にあって・~にあっても form. The book describes its usage as such: >... more
Nuances Grammar Japanese


What's the difference between 広める 広げる and 広まる 広がる?

I find the difference between 「広める (他動詞) 広げる (他動詞)」 and between 「広まる (自動詞) 広がる (自動詞)」 to be complicated. Can someone explain?


<adv> versus <adv>+と versus <adv>+に?

I often see adverbs used in one of three ways: 1) Adverb appears in isolation in a sentence: > **あまり** 好きじゃないんですが。 2) Adverb is followed by に > **別々に** お願いします。 >... more


Why does 「電話は切れた」 sound more adversarial than 「電話が切れた」?

I noticed that while 「…、電話が切れた」 sounds just like a neutral phrase ("... and the call got cut off."), 「…、電話は切れた」 sounds more like you were negatively affected / that the person on the other side... more


why is it that some 形容動詞 accepts の after it while some only accepts な after it?

why is it that some 形容動詞 accepts の after it while some only accepts な after it? Examples: の only: 普通、大勢 な or の: 初心、特別、特殊 Is there a way for us to tell if a 形容動詞 needs a の or な particle after... more


What exactly is the difference between <verb>-てしまう and <verb>- [切]{き}る?

I've read that both the ~てしまう and ~きる (18th meaning of 切る at http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi?1MUE%E5%88%87%E3%82%8B) forms are used to signify something has been... more

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