Is "元パートナー" really used in JP?

Talking with my Japanese teacher, he corrected me about the use of 元パートナー.
According to him, that is not a word that is commonly used in Japan. Do you guys know anything about this?

I can find plenty of instances of it being used on twitter.

Perhaps it’s a matter of age difference or some other demographic difference.


You might be right. Doing a quick google search I get:
元パートナー 131,000,000 results
元彼女 729,000,000 results
元彼氏 169,000,000 results
元妻 476,000,000 results
元夫 15,300,000 results

So yeah, it seems it is a used term. Although perhaps, as you suggest, the word is used by a specific demographic that my teacher does not belong to, hence why he might not be used to that word and discouraged its use.

Also… wtf with the difference in search results between 元妻 and 元夫!

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元旦那 and 元主人 may account for some of the discrepancy

Also general caveats about google searches.

For what it’s worth, 元妻 and 元夫 appear in roughly equal frequency in jpdb (116 instances vs. 108, respectively).


I think they deliberately use borrowed words. Same for シアトル市 and ベッドの下 and the like. You can see this in the example sentences as well: a disproportionate amount of katakana. I think their intention is to make things readable for us as we don’t know almost any kanji yet. The rest of the kanji you listed are studied at much higher levels (I’m level 9 and haven’t encountered 彼, 妻 and 夫 on WK yet).
I personally hate such prompts on WK. I would much rather type 高山市 than シアトル市.

Heh, it didn’t even occur to me that this was a WK item.

I am all for them including authentic Japanese places, though. Like 南アルプス市.

ベッドの下 seems fine to me. I feel like most Japanese people use beds these days.


“used” vs. “is it common”.

I have used it frequently in conversation and everyone has understood exactly what I was saying and have never asked me what it means or corrected me. So I would say it is used. As other answers have covered, it may not be the most common one though.

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Honestly, even in English, I would say that “ex-partner” is probably less common than “ex-boyfriend” or “ex-girlfriend” and the like, though trends might be changing as “partner” becomes more and more commonly used. In America, there’s definitely an ongoing cultural shift happening, I think, so demographics probably make a difference here as well. Like, it wouldn’t surprise me if an English learner got told by a teacher that “ex-partner” is not the most commonly used term in America.

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