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Help! Questions about sentence structure / usages

Discussion in 'Learning Japanese' started by Hubert Hung, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. Hubert Hung

    Hubert Hung 後輩

    I have come across some sentence structures that seem to be similar in usage.

    What's the difference between these?

    What's hte difference between these? the use of したり and し

    What's the difference?

    Thank you!
  2. Toritoribe

    Toritoribe 松葉解禁
    Staff Member Moderator

    The meaning is almost the same in those two examples. As for the general difference between ~し and ~て, refer to the following thread.
    ~てform of the adjectives | Japan Forum

    The former sounds awkward. There is no problem with 彼は日本語の本を読んだり、テニスをしたりします。, thus, the point is the potential form. ~たり…たりする usually has a nuance of "sometimes", so 日本語の本が読めたり、テニスができたりします also connotes that there are cases/situations/occasions when he can't read Japanese books or he can't play tennis, which is semantically odd (not because, for instance, he is too busy to play tennis, but talking about his ability in this case). That's why the potential form is hardly used in this expression. Plus, ~たり…たりする also has a nuance of an incomplete list, i.e., other examples often exist except when the two actions are opposite in meaning (for instance, 行ったり来たりする or 読んだり読まなかったりする can be an exhaustive list). ~し doesn't have this nuance.

    The latter can be the future tense.
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