1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "I bought a thin pen at the s…

"I bought a thin pen at the store."


November 30, 2017



What's the difference between ほそい and うすい? The word hint says both mean "thin", but putting うすい gives a wrong answer. Thanks


Hello Nicho,

They both mean thin, but in a different way.

うすい Is used for flat things like paper, sheets, clothes, etc. It can also mean weak/thin when referring to tea or coffee.

コーヒーがうすい。This coffee is weak.

ガラスがうすい。The glass is thin.

うすい服を着る。Wear light clothes.

ほそい Is used for other things like cups, bodies, trees etc.

カップが細い。The cup is thin.

その女の子は細い。That girl is thin.

細いひも。Thin string.

A pen would fall into the 細い category because it is not flat.


But previous questions used うすい for pen!!! What about that??


I haven't seen the other examples, but if you say うすい for a pen it would probably be talking about the ink color.


Why is "みせでほそいペンをかいました。" not correct. 細い = thin; slender; fine​; 薄い= thin​


Hello Thkgk,

Are you asking which kanji is correct? The example you wrote is the same as the sentence that Duo gave. : )


Why is "細いペンは店で買いました" wrong?


What if the English meant a pen with a thin tip/nib? Would it be emphasized that it's broad-tipped/nibbed in Japanese? 筆端・ペン先・先端が薄くて広いペン? Y'know a good calligraphy pen. Surely thin means 薄い not 細い which is narrow/slender . . .


I put in お店で細いペンを買いました and it was marked as wrong, ❤❤❤❤ off Duo.


Your answer 「お店で細いペンを買いました」is correct.

Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.