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"Please look up difficult kanji in your dictionary."


June 19, 2017



"Hiku" is a Japanese word that happens to have a lot of idiomatic uses. It basically means something like the English verb "pull" or "draw" but it often seems simply to fill the role of verb in expressions such as "jisho wo hiku" or "piano wo hiku" where the action has, at least to the English speaking mind, litte to do with pulling. In such cases the idiom just has to be remembered and the appropriate translation has to be what describes the action required with the object of "hiku" as in "consult a dictionary" or "play a piano." This is more of a vocabulary problem than a grammar problem. It is similar to the problem of learning all the uses of "to fix" in English.


The hiku is not the same for each example.

ピアノを弾く (ぴあのをひく)
辞書を引く (じしょをひく)

In this case we are metaphorically pulling the meaning of the kanji from the dictionary.


Why is "difficult kanji" not considered a direct object here? It would be the DO in English right? "In a dictionary" would be a prepositional phrase modifying the verb? Any help appreciated :)


When I looked up the verb 引く(ひく), it doesn't really mean "look up (something)." It may be more helpful to think of it as "to use (something)". If you think of it this way, the sentence means, Please use the dictionary for difficult kanji. And that means "the dictionary" is the direct object.

What confuses me, is why some of the sentences use the を participle and others use で for the dictionary.


In this case, the meaning of "ひく" is seaches for the meaning of the difficult kanji OR make sure the difficult kanji with dictionaries.

The "で" has been used for making sure it with something in this case. For example, "じしょ"で"ひく", this means to check about something it and then make sure it, and then "じしょ"を"ひく", this means to use dictionaries. BUT for example if you listen, "くるま"で"いく", this means to go somewhere by car. The meaning of "で" is changed like this.

Even though I am an native Japanese, it is difficult to understand it.


"by using" works in both cases


I wonder the same thing.


It's more like, "As for difficult kanji, please consult the dictionary", the way that it's written.


The particle "wa" marks the topic rather than the subject of the sentence. It says that the predication (the verbal structure to follow) applies to what it marks. Often the topic is the "subject" of the verb but it does not have to be. Here it is not. ("(What I'm talking about is) difficult kanji (and what I'm saying is) look them up in the dictionary.)


Since "jisho" is marked by "wo" I wonder what the structure would be if the sentence were "The students look difficult kanji up in the dictionary."


学生たちはじしょにむずかしかんじをみます i think?


You've made a couple of mistakes here.

You can't use the particle に with 辞書(じしょ)here: you're saying that you're using the dictionary to look up the kanji, so you need で instead. に can never be used to indicate that something is being used as a means for something else, で must always be used for this.

Also, your verb choice is a little off, it's not completely wrong, but it's not quite right either. 見る(みる)means that you're seeing the kanji, but doesn't really carry the implication that you're searching for specific kanji.

There's a number of sentences that you could use for this, here's a couple that I verified as being correct with my Japanese teacher:

学生達は辞書で難しい漢字を引きます。(がくせいたち は じしょ で むずかしい かんじ を ひきます)

学生達は辞書を引いて難しい漢字を調べます。(がくせいたち は じしょ を ひいて むずかしい かんじ を しらべます。)

The verb 調べる(しらべる) means "to look up" or "to search for", and is used when searching text.


難しい (difficult) 漢字 (kanji) は辞書 (dictionary) を引いて (look up)ください


is word order flexible here in natural speech? i put じしょを first (but then muzukashii kanji wa etc. etc.) and was marked wrong


It is flexible but the direct object phrase almost always appears to the direct left of the verb. And the verb will almost always be at the end of a phrase. You can explore alternative word orders if you wish but native speakers are going to think you odd and foreign speakers might not understand what you're trying to say.


Your information is always helpful. Thanks!


The structure of Japanese is such that the verb is the final element in its own structure.


The word order is very flexible in Japanese, but I guess Duo sticks to the most common one.


Could you use で instead of を after じしょ?


じしょをひく is a set phrase meaning "consult the dictionary." (ひく also means "pull" or "play an instrument," so maybe you're pulling the dictionary off the shelf?) If you're going to break up the phrase, I suppose you could use で to indicate the means by which you're doing something.


Why it isnt "あなたの辞書で難しい漢字を引いてください"?


Japanese language usually drops prepositions (he, she, you etc.) due to its contextual nature, you can specify like you did but without adding あなた the same sentence can be used to address an entire class instead of one person.


"Pronouns" vice "prepositions"


Is it just me or does the particle "を"sometimes go before "辞書"? As in sometimes: "この ことば を じしょ で ひきました " and other times "この ことば は じしょをひきました ".


No audio for female voice for 引い


No audio for any of the kanji for me in male voice. I reported it, but I wonder if these reports of non-working audio actually make a difference.


What is the different between consult and look up

[deactivated user]

    Your dictionary should be translated to あなた の 辞書, right?


    From what I understand, あなた is used only when you don't actually know the person's name. It's super formal and actually kind of rude in some situations. Generally, you'd either leave it out and let context do the work, or you'd actually say the person's name. The exception would be a wife talking to her husband, in which case あなた is kind of a pet name.


    why not "muzukashii kanji wo jisho de hiite kudasai"?


    辞書で難しい漢字を引いてください was my answer but was marked wrong. Is it justified? In the English sentence here, apparently difficult kanji is the direct object to the verb look up. However, in the model answer, dictionary becomes the direct object.


    I think 「調べてください(しらべてください)」is better than 「引いてください(ひいてください).

    in your dictionary: 「あなたの辞書で」in a dictionary:「辞書で」

    Please look up difficult kanji in your dictionary. 「難しい漢字はあなたの辞書で調べてください」


    can 調べる (フリガナ:しらべる) not be used to mean "look up" in the same sense as 引く is used here?  例:難しい漢字を辞書で調べてください 

    Also, what is the difference between 辞典、辞書、and 辞林? Are they all essentially interchangeable?


    引くtakes on the meaning of 'refer to' here


    I just answered this quiz about 1000 times wrong because i just wrote 辞書は難しい漢字を引てください。 That is exactly the same meaning and i answer wrong again and again i wish somebody explained me why that is wrong


    In my opinion, if you need to follow the order of the words, you should answer "辞書で難しい漢字を引いてください", something like this. However if I were you, I will answer on this way, "難しい漢字は辞書で調べてください". It is more natural Japanese. The meaning of "引いてください" is the same with "調べてください".

    Your answer, "辞書は難しい漢字を引いてください" this means, for me, the dictionary has a soul and it is living and it has its own mind, and then the dictionary start to look up the difficult kanjis by itself. It looks something weird.


    “辞書は“ without another particle (e.g. では or には)marks 辞書 as the topic but seems to mean that it is the agent or recipient of the action of the verb, which is nonsensical. The dictionary is neither the subject nor the object of the verb. Its "oblique" relationship to the action should be marked specifically. Your sentence would mean something like "(As for) the dictionary, please look up difficult kanji." You need to express the "in" or "with" to make a possible sentence.


    My answer, since I wasn't sure how at the time was: 辞書で難しい漢字に引いてください :S Mostly wasn't sure if the verb was intransitive or transitive and whether kanji or dictionary was the direct object. Now I know, I guess lol

    Edit: 難しい漢字を辞書で引いてください is another correct solution

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