Difference between 女, 女の子, and 女子?

I am stumped on the difference between these three words 女, 女の子, and 女子 . They all mean “Woman/Girl” in some context like both 女の子 and 女子 can be used for “young woman/young girl” (At least I think so).

Can someone explain the difference with these three words and some contextual sentences to show how to use them?

ありがとう

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I have even come across (amongst native speakers) the simplest of them, 子. :exploding_head:

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Destroy the 子

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“I’m coocoo for 子子 puffs!”

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女 = Female
女の子 = Girl
女子 = Woman

I would guess. But wouldn’t bother with it too much, many words are used interchangeably.

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I’ve read that 女子 is mostly used for school aged girls.

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That’s helpful. Thank you.

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When we say school aged girls are we talking elementary, middle, or high school girls that use 女子 ?

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I would probably use 女子 for high school girls in that case, and older. As in young woman. But Idk.

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Ah, makes a bit more sense now. Thank you

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In a manga I read, the girls are middle schoolers and they are referred to as 女子

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Yeah, it’s a bit all over the place. I wouldn’t personally bother with it all that much.

Same discussion could be had with the words “Girl”/“Woman”/“Female”. All one could agree on is that a 90 year old woman, isn’t a girl. And that prepubescent girls aren’t “women”.

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Yeah for sure, but I do translate the manga so I usually translate it like this:

子 = girl
女子 = girl
女の子 = girl
女 = woman

They’re just so interchangeable as you said so that’s why I usually use girl since it makes the most sense in the context

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They’re interchangeable in English, yeah, but you don’t want to be using the wrong word in Japanese. Translating a manga and talking about someone in Japanese are very different cookies.

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Yeah if I were to use Japanese I’d use 女 for an adult, 女の子 for a child and 女子 for a schoolgirl. I probably would rarely use the simple 子

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Time for a repost of this might be in order:

Also, for other types of words to navigate the nuances of:

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