Any particular reason why the「〜形」vocab item accepts "form" but not "shape" as its meaning?

The kanji’s meaning was always translated as “shape” (though “form” is among the accepted synonyms). And the meaning’s explanation for 「〜形」says that the meaning is exactly the same as the kanji’s. Yet the meaning “shape” is no longer accepted.

This could be a random omission, and I can add the synonym “shape” myself, of course. But then maybe there’s a reason for this? There are subtle differences between the words “shape” and “form”, at least in some contexts.

I was a bit surprised not to find an existing post about this on the forum. But maybe I just suck at searching?

Cheers ^^


I don’t remember it accepting shape (not doubting you, I just never tried), since I always understood the intended meaning of that vocab item to be as a suffix meaning “grammatical form” or “tense.” The part of speech is listed as suffix.

ひてい形 (the negative form in Japanese)
かこ形 (past tense)

Yes, shape names can end in 形, but those are just part of the word, not a suffix.

The example sentences line up with this idea.

The meaning explanation part is probably just a bit overzealous in saying “they are exactly the same.” Yes, “form” is accepted for both, but the meaning of the vocab is a subcategory of the full meaning of the kanji.


Thank you, that confirms that “form” is indeed a better translation for this than “shape”. :slight_smile:


No problem. It might be worth emailing them to let them know the “they are exactly the same” part was confusing.


As far as I can tell, the addition of ~ to a kanji, at least in this program, implies that we’re exclusively talking about the suffix version of that kanji. So “~形” is a different flashcard than “形”, ”~人" is a different flash card from “人”, et cetera, While both “shape” and “form” are still acceptable answers for “形” as a standalone word, only “form” is acceptable on “~形” as a suffix, because it’s a slightly different concept than “形” by itself.


I can’t answer any of your questions, but I wanted to thank you for making this thread, since it helped me learn something new.
After learning 〜形 on WK, I thought that Shibuya-kei and visual kei must be written with it, so I always wanted to answer “type” or something like that. But now that you’ve made this post I’ve finally googled it, and it looks like it’s actually a different kei (~系).


I did and they fixed it. ^^

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