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  5. "I bought a lot of clothes."

"I bought a lot of clothes."


June 23, 2017



Wonder why "洋服" is used instead of simply "服". Always was under the impression that "洋服" was specifically western clothes, while "服" was clothing in general.


My guess is that western clothes are most common nowadays, so they just translated it as "clothes", but by that logic there's also no need to refer to them specifically as "western" anymore.


You could, and people do, just use 服 in this context. 洋服 is often used because the distinction still exists. However, "clothes" in English defaults to what Japanese people call "洋服". If you said "western clothes" to people in the U.S., most would probably imagine cowboys. So, unless the context calls for it, I'd avoid calling it "western clothes".


I'm from Texas and I still think of cowboys when I hear 洋服. Even though these days cowboys are just a football team...


If you read older Japanese literature the distinction is important


Hover over "clothes" in "I bought a lot of clothes" and the only translation given is "ふく", but if you use "ふく" in your answer it marks it as wrong and says it should be "ようふく".


I wonder why duo sometimes does use just 服 and other times insists on 洋服

  • 1494

Does that first kanji mean ocean?


Even you live on an island, "across the ocean" is foreign


Why "youfuku" instead of the "fuku" in earlier lesson and the hint? What doed the "you" stand for?


洋服(ようふく) where 洋 means 西洋(せいよう) - the west across the ocean i.e. the "Western world."

This is opposed to 和服(わふく) where 和=大和(やまと)or 倭(わ) which are the old names of Japan.


I would like to know as well


Duolingo should definitely use kanji but it should also provide the yomigana for people who don't know that kanji.


When do you use たくさんの?


たくさん is a flexible word, it can function as a noun, an adverb, a の-adjective, as well as a な-adjective (but の is more common).

When you use it as an adverb it can basically go anywhere except the end of the sentence, and won't be followed by a particle. It would mean a lot of whatever action is taking place.

When you use it as an adjective you attach it to a noun with の or sometimes な and it modifies that noun, so a lot of whatever that thing is.


When you put it in front of the noun. たくさんの洋服を買いました


Not necessarily. The answer without the の is also accepted. From the previous comment, I suppose that without the の we might interpret the sentence as meaning (very) loosely "I bought clothes a lot", or "I did a lot of clothes' buying". As in, think of たくさん as an adverb modifying the whole rest of the sentence. Am I right?




To add to the discussion of 服 vs 洋服, it is more and more common for people to just say 服. Certainly if you just say 服 now in conversation, people will know you're just talking about clothes. 20 years ago the distinction was made more, but now most clothes are westernized, so it's like cell phone vs. smartphone. They're both still used, even though 携帯電話 is a little old fashion. But it's important to know both, or this case 和服 洋服 服.


What's the よう?


Please read the earlier comment I have posted.


What function does よう serve here?


Please read the earlier comment I have posted.


Why not 洋服を多く買った ?


Can we say たくさん洋服を買いました ?


In principle I believe so, that's using takusan as an adverb, so more like "I buy clothes a lot".

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