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「ほか」 and 「別」

J44xm

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I'm having a bit of trouble determining the differences between 「ほか」 and 「別」. For example, both 「他の人と約束がある」 and 「別の人と約束がある」 are perfectly fine sentences, right? If so, then what's different between them? Thanks much.
 

Cue

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As far as I know, there is no differences between Hoka and Betsu.
It's just a preference of the speaker that which word they use... ?_?;
 

Glenn

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Ah, this one's been a problem for me too. Personal preference, eh? それだけ?そうじゃない場合もある気がしますけれど。。。別の表現だったかな。他の表現だったかな?。。。違う表現だったかな・・・ :mad::?
 

Jeffree

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Just my feelings:
You use 「他の人と約束がある」 to inform in general
and use 「別の人と約束がある」 to contradict what someone has just said or assumed. The line of division is quite thin though.
 

leonmarino

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My lingual intuition says that 他=Other and 別=Different.. But I'm not sure.

Like, when you're at the Baskin Robbins and you say 「他にはどんな味があるんですか?」 it sounds to me you would like to know more about their assortment of tastes. But when you say 「別の味はありますか?」 it sounds more like you would like to know what tastes they offer besides the assortment they've shown.

In another example 「他人」 means "other person", whereas 「別人」 sounds like somebody from another planet, someone with whom you have absolutely no relations. Then again, 「赤の他人」 comes very close to 「別人」.. But still there is a difference. 「赤の他人」 might mean a complete stranger, but 「別人」 doesn't have to be a stranger; you might know the guy but have absolutely nothing to do with him.

I think it is safe to conclude it's an in-group/out-group thing. Like, 他 is used for in-groups and 別 for out-groups. I'd love to hear other comments about this but I think this is the first time I finally said something smart!! :D
 

Cue

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Wow, Leon, you know Japanese a lot better than me. LOL
(I'm so embarrassed!)

Hehehe, I've been unconsciously using "hoka no yakusoku" and "betsu no yakusoku" in a same way.
Thanks a lot for clarifying it. m(_ _)m

Cue
 

undrentide

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I think it is safe to conclude it's an in-group/out-group thing. Like, 他 is used for in-groups and 別 for out-groups. I'd love to hear other comments about this but I think this is the first time I finally said something smart!! :D

leonmarino san, your explanation is great! :cool:

I think that 他 means something "else" besides this or that while 別 is something completely "different".

When I go to a shop and find a nice dress, I might ask the shopkeeper;
1.他の色はありますか?
2.別の色はありますか?
In case of 1, I like the dress but would like to know if there's any variation. If they have more colours, I will choose one from the dresses including the first one.
When I ask 2, maybe I like the design of the dress but am not very keen on its colour. If they have other colours, I'll choose from them, but not the first dress - it is out of consideration.

「今度の日曜日、映画に行かない?」
「悪いけど、他の人と約束があるの」 someone else
「誰?田中君と?」
「ううん、別の人よ」 someone different, not 田中君
 

Jeffree

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undrentide said:
「今度の日曜日、映画に行かない?」
「悪いけど、他の人と約束があるの」 someone else
「誰?田中君と?」
「ううん、別の人よ」 someone different, not 田中君
What undrentide's just said is a good example of what I said earlier:
Jeffree said:
You use 「他の人と約束がある」 to inform in general and use 「別の人と約束がある」 to contradict what someone has just said or assumed.
 

J44xm

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Well, at least it looks like my question wasn't as stupid as I felt that I might be when I posted it! I think I do understand the subtle differences between the two. Thanks very much for the useful information!
 
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