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適した、適当な、適切な

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適した、適当な、適切な

Postby Kurious » Tue 06.30.2009 5:38 pm

Hello! :) I'm reading "Basic Kanji Book 2" and I'm having a little difficulty understanding the differences between the 3 words below. The English words are the ones that show up in the book.

適した = suitable
適当な = proper
適切な = appropriate

I noticed that in English you can use the phrases "the appropriate..." (as in "the only one that's really appropriate") or "an appropriate..." (as in "suitable"); and checking out the example sentences for the words above it seems that there is a similar usage in Japanese. In trying to understand the differences, I've also been thinking about similar words such as "apt" or "compatible".

My question is: Are there any important differences to know, or perhaps I should treat them as synonyms?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: 適した、適当な、適切な

Postby keatonatron » Tue 06.30.2009 10:27 pm

適当 can also have a meaning of "random" or "half-assed," despite its definition.

When used as an answer for specific information, it can mean something like "I'll leave it up to you to decide (because getting it perfect isn't important)"

Life examples:

My friend wanted me to put some music on a CD for him. When I asked him which artists I should include, he said "適当でいいよ!"

Another friend made a project for school that everyone really liked. When we told him how good it was, he was modest and said "いやいや、適当に作ったから"

適当 is "fitting," but not necessarily "the best fit" :wink:
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Re: 適した、適当な、適切な

Postby Kurious » Wed 07.01.2009 9:40 am

These examples are very good, I now understand 適当な clearly. Thank you. Are the other two words synonyms? What if I want to say "the best fit"?
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Re: 適した、適当な、適切な

Postby keatonatron » Wed 07.01.2009 2:28 pm

Kurious wrote:What if I want to say "the best fit"?


最適 :wink:

I've never used 適した or 適切, so I can't explain the nuances of those two.
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Re: 適した、適当な、適切な

Postby Kurious » Wed 07.01.2009 5:41 pm

Ah, that makes all the sense in the world now that I've seen it. :) I studied about 最 on the last chapter of that book, but haven't memorized it yet and haven't been thinking in terms of it. So obvious now. Thanks for the help!
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