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いえ and うち

Tomii515

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What's the difference between 'ie' and 'uchi'?

I thought of it as 'house' and 'home'... but.

I'm not sure.

I saw "tomodachi no uchi" rather than "tomodachi no ie".

The book traslated 'uchi' as like "home; my place" or something like that.

so... "my friend's my place"? :p lolol

I would just like to know when to use which one.

please and thank you

~~Tommmmmmyyy
 

Haruspex

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Im not entirely sure, but 家 can be read as both it appears, but うち can mean one's own house/family while いえ simply means house/family.
Knowing this, it would seem logical that いえ is a universal word that can be used in any situation for anyone's house, while うち can be used to stress that its "yours".
This is what I think.
 

nice gaijin

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They're pretty much interchangeable in this regard. They are both readings for the same character, but uchi is also used for another character, which has far more meanings.

When talking about someone's house, it doesn't really matter which one you pick.
 

Elizabeth

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What's the difference between 'ie' and 'uchi'?
I thought of it as 'house' and 'home'... but.
I'm not sure.
I saw "tomodachi no uchi" rather than "tomodachi no ie".
The book traslated 'uchi' as like "home; my place" or something like that.
so... "my friend's my place"? :p lolol
I would just like to know when to use which one.
please and thank you :33
~~Tommmmmmyyy
They are largely interchangable, but if you're talking about your friend, uchi may be slightly better for "home" in the sense of "household" or "place where the family lives."

Ie, as a general rule, is more used for "house" as in the residence, dwelling, building etc.

I would probably be less likely to say I visited my friend's house in Japan for instance. 友達の日本のうち(家??を訪ねました。
And あなたのうちは、ここに近い。is strange.
 
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magevampjoe

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Japanese for busy people. (Yes, I know you all hate it, but oh well.)
JFBP vol. 1 says that 'uchi' is used in regards to your own house, eg watashi no uchi, whilst 'ie' is used for anyone else's house, eg Tanakasan no ie.

(Sorry, still not got round to fixing my OS, so Japanese input doesn't work :( I will fix it later or start using Japanese Word Processor.)

Anyways, that was what JFBP said, but may be wrong. I agree though, that they are interchangeable. You shouldn't be penilized for saying 'tomodachi no uchi'. Meh, whatever.

Later.
 

Elizabeth

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Japanese for busy people. (Yes, I know you all hate it, but oh well.)
JFBP vol. 1 says that 'uchi' is used in regards to your own house, eg watashi no uchi, whilst 'ie' is used for anyone else's house, eg Tanakasan no ie.

(Sorry, still not got round to fixing my OS, so Japanese input doesn't work :( I will fix it later or start using Japanese Word Processor.)

Anyways, that was what JFBP said, but may be wrong. I agree though, that they are interchangeable. You shouldn't be penilized for saying 'tomodachi no uchi'. Meh, whatever.

Later.
That is just one meaning for both of them...Certainly you can use "ie" for your own house and "uchi" for others.
 

NattyBumppo

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I agree with Elizabeth; JFBP's definition is too simple and incorrect. The two words have many cases in which they are interchangeable, and you can indeed say 「明さんのうちに行きます」 just as you can say 「明さんの家に行きます」. First and foremost, うち means "one's own home," but it can be applied by extension to the homes of others. いえ refers to the physical manifestation of the house, or the building itself. いえ cannot refer to the people inside the home; うち can, however, and phrases like 「うちの息子」 (our son) are quite common.

Here's a survey where they asked several Japanese people which was more natural, 「○○さんのうちに行った」 or 「○○さんのいえに行った」:

日本語調査 『いえ』と『うち』の使い分け

As you can see, the phrases tied in natural sounding-ness, with the majority of respondents saying that both of them sounded natural. This reaffirms what nice gaijin said: you don't really have to worry about which one you're picking if you're just talking about someone's house.
 
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