Great great great

I cannot for the life of me keep all the words for great (or greatly or considerable) straight, and which are tai and which are oo. I can generally get 大きい because it ends with -i and 大きさ by analogy but then there’s:


Ugh. I get the impression this is just a “keep studying” question, but has anyone come up with better mnemonics to differentiate things?


Here’s a similar thread. Hopefully something will help. :+1:t3: I’m sure there are other threads with more answers but I remember posting on this one so here it is.

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Thank you! This is very helpful.

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大した is actually two words. 大, meaning big, and した is the past tense form of する, to do.

So 大した is really “to make something big” which can be translated as “something good” or “great”.

大きさ and 大きい relate to size and the other posts about さ denoting the noun form of an adjective are pretty spot on:

大いに is two things as well:

  1. The adjective 大い, meaning “a great deal” or “very much”
  2. The target particle に

So, the meaning of “very” is because it’s used to describe when there is a great deal of something.

Now, you can just memorize them as is and get it to stick, but I find that breaking them down helps me to keep them straight in my head.

Hope this helps.


My tip for you would be to try to remember words not by their spelling (aka not by kanji), but by pronunciation aka kana. It works for me that I know the word たいした. Now, if I see 大した, my brain will try to recognize it. おおした? nope, not found, so that’s not it. だいした? nope, that’s not right either… たいした? Oh yeah I know that one. Might be harder further on, when you get different kanji for the same word, like のぼる(上る, 登る, 昇る) but WaniKani doesn’t really help with nuance much anyway so you do need to learn these separately somehow (I google search a lot of these), or when you have different words with different kanji but same pronunciation, like こうえん (公園, 講演), you’ll have to learn that there’s different words that are pronounced the same way, maybe you can make a mnemonic in your head to differentiate between them, I used to do that for a while. But the language is spoken, and when people hear words they hear the kana, not the kanji, so that’s my advice to you, memorize the kana and then in reviews use the kanji to get to the word you already know in kana. Not sure how much it helps, but that’s what works for me.

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Welcome to the language where exceptions are very common.

They start by telling you there are kun-yomi and on-yomi pronunciation to warm you up and then they go mayhem. Literally everything is mixed and you get exceptions quite often.

Honestly, at this point I just try to learn without even caring about the rest, that’s why repetition is king.

My comment isn’t meant to be negative, it’s just that Kanji is really all about repetition, worrying too much about the small things is just gonna make things more complicated. Only my 2 cents though.

This was very helpful. Thank you.

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