The Nuance Thread 📔


Glad I could help! :blush:

Oh! And I just realized that I forgot to address 安静 in my original post so I’ve edited it. Please check it out!

As a gamer myself, I agree with your sentiment but unfortunately the language has yet to evolve to reflect this :laughing:


I agree with this!

批判する is the general term meaning “to criticize.” This can be used for quick, negative judgements such as “I don’t like your shirt because it has an inappropriate picture on it” or “I don’t like your tone of voice because it’s condescending.” You wouldn’t use 批判 if you’re just expressing a different preference. For example, your friend says that he likes dogs but you don’t agree. Or, you don’t like someone’s shirt because it’s not your favorite color.

非難する is a harsher criticism with the intent to blame and strongly say that something is wrong. This is often seen in controversial topics or situations where things cross the line (i.e. out of common sense/societal norms). One example could be wearing a red dress to a funeral as opposed to a black one.


Excellent thread! :+1:

I recently discovered this book (haven’t bought it or read it yet, but have looked at the preview pages) and thought it might be relevant to this topic. It has explanations of how to use certain vocabulary:


While 賀状 is a word that can be found in a dictionary (祝いの手紙 = celebratory note), it’s not used in everyday life. People generally use the term as 年賀状 which is a new years greeting card.


出発 is a special version of 出る. To understand when to use 出発 vs. 出る think of when you would use “departure” versus “leave” in English.
For example:

  1. I left my house to see my friend.
    *You normally wouldn’t say “I departed my house to see my friend.”

On the other hand:

  1. When is your departure time?

出発 is used when the leaving is more purposeful and isn’t usually used for everyday basis.
*The one common exception to this is say a group of people are going somewhere and everyone is ready and excited to leave, one could say "しゅっぱーつ!” to mean “let’s go!”

発進 is specifically used when ground transportation with an engine departs (e.g. train, car, bus).
4. The train is departing the train station now.
*You could also use 出発 or 出る in this case but 発進 cannot be used in the above examples.

These words here can be used in other contexts as well but here I have only explained their meanings in terms of the physical action of departing.


Scratch the business part. I just got a delivery from Amazon, and of course they also make you sign a 受領書…
I don’t know why I didn’t think of that.


Not sure if this is the right place to ask, but could all the happy people here help me grasp the differences between: 幸い, 幸福 and 幸せ?


I told you this thread wasn’t dead.


  • 湿気 vs 潤い (The moisture of nuances)

  • 合意 vs 疎通 (Can we agree to disagree?)

  • 言い返す vs 口答えする (Don’t talk back at me, b-baka!!)

  • 見落とす vs 見逃す (To overlook, or not to overlook, that is the question)

  • 休み vs 休憩 vs 休暇 vs 休日 vs 休養 vs 休息 vs 安静 (7 different ways to rest) by the lovely @Cinnamoroll22. Hope you don’t mind me adding your text to the main post :slight_smile: I left everything as you wrote and identified you as the creator. Much appreciated for such awesome explanation!

  • Changed the way the list is displaying in order to make it visually more attractive.

More coming… eventually? :man_shrugging:


What’s the difference between 外人, 外国人, and よそ者 (余所者)?


I think of 見落とす as more of a quick glance that doesn’t take in all of the details. Probably this is the word you would use to talk about typos. You were looking, but not seeing, and you just missed it.
I think of 見逃す as watching for something but zoning out at the wrong moment, looking too far or too near or in the wrong direction, losing track of something, or deliberately ignoring something (turning a blind eye). This is seeing without looking, or at least not looking at the right thing.


Another little difference about the length of the break.

From Weblio



What about the difference between 林, 森 and 森林?


Good question. There’s a topic about that somewhere around the forums. We should add a link to that in the section “Other Threads Related to Nuances” perhaps.


I had just re-encountered 学ぶ in a lesson after restarting back at level 1 after the content change and I remembered that there were multiple “to study” and “to learn” verbs that I had looked up previously. I found an article that seems pretty decent at addressing the nuance between a number of these verbs for anyone else interested. Covers 学ぶ, 勉強する, 習う, 教わる, 学習する and 独学する.


Glad to see that the thread isn’t dead! It’s quite lovely and I’m sure one day it’ll become the ultimate nuance thread.

Also, I’m honored that you’ve added my answer to the main post. I hope it can help many other people as well! :blush:


Another pair of words I was gonna ask about was when would one use みんな vs 万人 vs 人々 as an ‘everybody’ word?


万人 is a general expression. It’s like when you’re speaking of people in general. みんな however, is used to call out people around. You don’t use 万人 to call out your friends and say “everyone, let’s go X place.” , you use みんな. Hope that helps. 人々 means “each person”, which is also a general expression.


So, here’s a nuance I pondered today: 聴力 is defined by WaniKani as “hearing ability” - does that mean “the ability of my ears to receive sounds” or “the ability of my brain to comprehend the sounds that are coming in my ears”?


I think the former based on this definition:


There are a ton of questions I have about this for pretty much every “synonym” we learn (how many are synonyms, how many have slightly different meanings? Why so many words for “soon”?

Right now, though, I am mostly wondering the difference between 保つ and 保事する

as a guess, one is “to preserve” as in “to keep” and the other is “preserve” as in “preserving food”… though, I am not sure which is which even IF that distinction is the correct one.