Hi all :slight_smile:

My friend and I were discussing the topic neighbour, because I just learnt the kanji 隣人 (りん じん).

However (as a fluent speaker herself), she doesn’t really use this word in this form in speech. Instead, she uses words like 隣の人 (となりのひと), お隣さん (おとなりさん), or 近所の人 (き​んじょのひと)…she’s also curious to learn more…

Can anyone explain to me (us) how to use the different terms in different context, and in native speech - what’s more practical to use?

Thank you! :slight_smile:

There are plenty of resources, often for helping Japanese people make these distinctions as well, but the most reliable and the most comprehensive ones are going to be entirely in Japanese. I have several Japanese thesauruses and word choice books. You can also try looking up example sentences that have translations and seeing if you can see differences in frequency or register. Asking Japanese people can be helpful as well, but you do kind of have to take their advice with a grain of salt, unless they’re a language teacher.

But generally speaking, if you can make a phrase out of several native words (kunyomi readings, 隣の人), that will be more common in conversation than a single Sino-Japanese word (onyomi reading, 隣人). As always there are exceptions, but that’s a good rule of thumb.

The same applies to compound verbs and する verbs.

Two verbs stuck together with the kunyomi is usually used in conversation more than the same kanji stuck together and with する appended.


Thank you so much! :smiley:

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