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When to use う in spelling? I sometimes struggle with spelling words, particularly with 'う’. Generally I see it used with longer sounds, but then I wind up placing it in words that don't need it or not in words that do. What would be other ways to tell?
Dec 29, 2015 2:30 AM
Answers · 2
Whether the extended sound is there or not is important in distinguishing words, and there isn’t a way to know whether it should be in a word or not. It’s simply a part of the identity of the word. You are right in that う is used to denote some kinds of extended sounds (the other kind being い as in せんせい). For words that contain u and o sounds, we have to remember whether or not the sound-extending う is there, since its presence or absence will result in different words. It’s definitely tough to hear the difference, and sometimes it can be very ambiguous since the length also depends on how fast the speaker is talking. However, as you learn more and more Japanese, you’ll become better at processing context, which is another vital clue in determining the identity of a word. Context is even more important when we’re dealing with homophones, which happen to appear a lot in Japanese. :) Some examples: 数字(すうじ) vs 筋(すじ) 上司(じょうし)vs 女子(じょし)
December 29, 2015
you can tell by tuning your ears to hear the final う and by learning vocab and their spellings
December 30, 2015
Language Skills
English, Japanese
Learning Language