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  5. "Is it dark in the evening?"

"Is it dark in the evening?"


June 12, 2017



I put 「夜は暗いですか」and was marked wrong. - What's the difference between 「夜」and 「夕方」? - Not a question, but it's highly frustrating, to say the least, how inconsistent and unpredictable Duolingo is on whether it accepts kanjis, hiragana, or both, even within the same sentence.


You don't have to thank Duolingo for that. You have to thank English and Japanese for that.
As far as I know 夜 means "night" as in "the time when it's dark outside". 夕方, according to tangoa on italki means "In daily conversation, it is used to mean the period around the sunset time, from when it starts to become dark until it is completely dark. So it varies from season to season."

In English people hardly ever use the word "dusk" in a normal conversation. It's more common to use "evening" or "night". There is some overlap in these words and the time in which you can use them. So if the contributors on Duolingo make a sentence with 夕方 then the only proper English translation would be "evening". But if you translate this back into Japanese you could use the wrong translation and change the meaning of the sentence. So I think it's more that language is just messy and inconsistent instead of Duolingo being inconsistent. (But of course you don't have to agree :) )


I disagree. Dusk is quite normal to use, and is a far more exact way to say 夕方。However duo still marked it wrong. Naughty duo.


Here in America, I don't typically hear people use the word "dusk".


I tried to use 今晩 and it was marked wrong too


今晩 would specifically be "this evening/tonight"


What about just 晩? I wrote 晩は暗いですか? and was marked incorrect.


since it is not apparent from the english sentence wether we are formal or informal, shouldnt a translation that skips the です be accepted too?


Yes! Some sentences are informal and others are formal. I can't find any indication as to which. I hope Duolingo adds context for this language soon! It's pretty important especially in Japanese


True, but how would you indicate that it's a question?


you use の in the end instead


This is true! So the downvote is not fair. For plain speech, の is a valid question marker. "Will you eat?" in the plain form, for example, can be 食べるの?


Right. And even a simple 食べる with the according intonation would work in infiormal speech.


Skip the です, keep the か


You leave out the desu but keep the ka


It would be good if had the translations in kana bellow de word "dark" I don't know how to read that in kanji


Can anyone explain when you'd use "夕べ" and when you'd use "夕方"? Likewise, when you'd use "くらい" and when you'd use "やみ"?

Also, it's more than a little frustrating that the translations offered for "dark" in the translation hovers aren't accepted as inputs.


Both 夕べ and 夕方 can be used to mean "evening". However, 夕べ can also mean "last night".
暗い is an adjective while 闇 (やみ) is a noun meaning "darkness". Replacing the above sentence with 闇, you get:
"Is the evening darkness?"


Also, 闇 is used in 闇に "in the dark"


Can a native speaker confirm that 晩 isn't used to mean "evenings" in general, only to refer specific evenings (e.g. 今晩 or その晩 etc.)?




when do I use 夕方and when 晩?


I just made a little research and it seems to work like this:

夕方 --> 4pm - 7pm 晩 --> 7pm - morning

I think this isn't that schematic but you can make an idea of it


Context is not obvious at a sentence level. At a discourse level, however, thimgs become clearer.


What is the difference between 晩,夕方, and 夕べ? It seems that they all mean "evening", but I'm not sure when to use what


Google translate says "kurai" means "about"... :/


Don't trust google translate ;) Japanese is full of homophones: 暗い means dark; 位 means crown; and くらい means "approximately", and they're all "kurai". Try Jisho.org when you're in need of a dictionary.


Google translate is totally worthless for single word translations from a language as context sensitive as Japanese. jisho.org (lit "dictionary") will give much better results, because it lists most posdible meanings, and attempts to guess at verb forms

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