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いえ vs うち

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いえ vs うち

Postby crowfeather » Wed 05.03.2006 1:21 pm

My dictionary has two words with the meaning of house or home, いえ and  うち
Can some one tell me the difference between these two Japanese words ?
Thanks in advance
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RE: いえ vs うち

Postby kiitsune » Wed 05.03.2006 1:27 pm

there isn`t really any differences, because they are both synonyms.
Unless I`m wrong.. :/
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RE: いえ vs うち

Postby richvh » Wed 05.03.2006 1:52 pm

いえ = house, うち = (one's own) home
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RE: いえ vs うち

Postby kiitsune » Wed 05.03.2006 2:02 pm

Do you still need to say watashi no uchi.. ? (I suopose not)
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RE: いえ vs うち

Postby keatonatron » Wed 05.03.2006 11:12 pm

There's a lot of half-replies so far :D

いえ generally refers to the physical house, while うち refers to the idea of "home", although the two being reversed isn't uncommon (just like in English).

うち also means "inside" (内) and can refer to someone's inner social circle (adding to the "home" meaning). Therefore, it can feel more intimate than いえ. Also, うち is very commonly used to mean the most central of that circle: "me" (usually used by women).

Rich was right with the general usage of うち only being you're own home, but there are still many exceptions. My girlfriend often says "おうち" to refer to the home of the person she is talking to.

Kitsune: As with all Japanese sentences, if it is understood from context then you don't need to specify who's home. If you see only うち in an "invitation" sentence, it's safe to assume that is the home of the speaker because they wouldn't be inviting the other person to go to the other person's house. If it is too ambiguous, just using うち would not be sufficient enough and you would need watashi no.
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