足 vs 脚; feet vs legs

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Kurious
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足 vs 脚; feet vs legs

Post by Kurious » Mon 06.01.2009 12:30 pm

Hi! From looking at the dictionary, it isn't clear to me how to clearly refer to the feet as opposed to the legs (or viceversa), when wanting to write sentences in Japanese using these kanji. Also, when I see the characters 足 and 脚 by themselves (as in a study of individual kanji, not as in a study of words), is there any preferred interpretation between feet and legs that I should abscribe to each? For example, I could be asked about each kanji separately in an JLPT examination. Please help me understand this better. Thanks in advance.

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astaroth
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Re: 足 vs 脚; feet vs legs

Post by astaroth » Mon 06.01.2009 12:44 pm

A native Japanese speaker once pointed me that 足 refers to feet while 脚 to legs.
I quite don't understand the rest of your question, though I think that should answer.
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spin13
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Re: 足 vs 脚; feet vs legs

Post by spin13 » Mon 06.01.2009 1:29 pm

脚 refers to the legs (thigh and down) of living things as well as the legs of objects like desks.
足 refers to feet (ankle and down), but is also the general use character. You will usually see 足 in idiomatic phrases (足が速い, etc.).

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Yudan Taiteki
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Re: 足 vs 脚; feet vs legs

Post by Yudan Taiteki » Mon 06.01.2009 2:04 pm

Kurious wrote:For example, I could be asked about each kanji separately in an JLPT examination.
JLPT exams never ask about isolated kanji, they're always words.
-Chris Kern

Kurious
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Re: 足 vs 脚; feet vs legs

Post by Kurious » Mon 06.01.2009 5:51 pm

Thank you.

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