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  1. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #1

    something/anything

    a.Would you like something to drink?
    b.Would you like anything to drink?

    I know when offering sth to sb, a. is the acceptable expression.

    What about b.?
    How does it sound to native speakers of English?


    The problem is we don't have this kind of difference in Japanese...
    I always have difficulty explaining to my students about the difference between the two. They always ask, "It's a question! So it has to be 'any'!! Why 'some'!!" I say, "It's an exception...."

    Thank you in advance.


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    #2

    Re: something/anything

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    a.Would you like something to drink?
    b.Would you like anything to drink?

    I know when offering sth to sb, a. is the acceptable expression.

    What about b.?
    How does it sound to native speakers of English?


    The problem is we don't have this kind of difference in Japanese...

    While Japanese may not have this specific difference, your language does have many other differences that are used to express a slight difference or a large difference in politeness, Tzfujimomo.


    I always have difficulty explaining to my students about the difference between the two. They always ask, "It's a question! So it has to be 'any'!! Why 'some'!!" I say, "It's an exception...."

    It's simple to explain. The exception is used to be more polite, more deferential, "de gozaimasu".

    Thank you in advance.
    %

  2. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: something/anything

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    Originally Posted by tzfujimino

    While Japanese may not have this specific difference, your language does have many other differences that are used to express a slight difference or a large difference in politeness, Tzfujimino.


    I always have difficulty explaining to my students about the difference between the two. They always ask, "It's a question! So it has to be 'any'!! Why 'some'!!" I say, "It's an exception...."

    It's simple to explain. The exception is used to be more polite, more deferential, "de gozaimasu".



    I'm impressed! You know Japanese honorifics! You must be an excellent linguist!
    Thank you, riverkid! So, "anything" doesn't sound polite, you mean?

    P.S.
    "riverkid" is translated into..."河(river)童(kid)" in Japanese. It's pronounced as "kappa."
    It's a Japanese monster believed to have lived in rivers.

  3. banderas's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: something/anything

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    a.Would you like something to drink?
    b.Would you like anything to drink?

    I know when offering sth to sb, a. is the acceptable expression.

    If you want to be more specific or have something particuar in mind, you say something. Or if you expect someone to want something. Note that if you ask "would you like something to drink", the answer tends to be: "Yes.

    A friend of mine is a waiter and he always asks "would you like anything to drink" to make his guests to say "No, I am fine". He says it often works! I used to work with him in the same hotel in London, as a receptionist.

    .
    f

  4. banderas's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: something/anything

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    [/i]



    "riverkid" is translated into..."河(river)童(kid)" in Japanese. It's pronounced as "kappa."
    It's a Japanese monster believed to have lived in rivers.

    What about Banderas?


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    #6

    Re: something/anything

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    [/I]

    I'm impressed! You know Japanese honorifics! You must be an excellent linguist!
    Thank you, riverkid! So, "anything" doesn't sound polite, you mean?

    No, Tzfujimino, [sorry about the misspell] it's not that 'anything' is impolite, it's that 'anything' is the normal neutral. Changing to 'something' is an extra, an added feature. In the same way that "desu" is not impolite, it's used most often in speech, is it not? But 'de gozaimasu' sits there ready for when the situation demands it.

    P.S.
    "riverkid" is translated into..."河(river)童(kid)" in Japanese. It's pronounced as "kappa."
    It's a Japanese monster believed to have lived in rivers.
    How many strokes are there in that second Kanji, Tzfujimino?


    Mata ne
    kappa

    [roooooooaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrr]

  5. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: something/anything

    Quote Originally Posted by banderas View Post
    If you want to be more specific or have something particuar in mind, you say something. Or if you expect someone to want something. Note that if you ask "would you like something to drink", the answer tends to be: "Yes.

    A friend of mine is a waiter and he always asks "would you like anything to drink" to make his guests to say "No, I am fine". He says it often works! I used to work with him in the same hotel in London, as a receptionist.


    .
    Thank you, banderas, as always!

    So, "anything" often works? Do you mean your friend intentionally used the expression("...anything...") to force his guest to say "No"?

    P.S.
    Sorry, banderas. I can't translate yours into Japanese.(Chinese character)
    It has to be common nouns. Proper nouns(like peoples' names) can't easily be translated. Well, "riverkid - 河童kappa" was a miracle!

  6. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: something/anything

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post

    No, Tzfujimino, [sorry about the misspell] It's OK! Don't worry!
    it's not that 'anything' is impolite, it's that 'anything' is the normal neutral. Changing to 'something' is an extra, an added feature.

    I see!! I didn't know 'anything' is the normal neutral!
    How enlightening! I'll explain the usage of "anything" to my students with the translation of the underlined part!

    In the same way that "desu" is not impolite, it's used most often in speech, is it not? But 'de gozaimasu' sits there ready for when the situation demands it.


    Exactly!

    How many strokes are there in that second Kanji, Tzfujimino?

    12! You are just great!!

    Mata ne
    kappa
    Thank you again, riverkid(kappa)!
    P.S.
    For more information about kappa, please go to the link below.
    Kappa (folklore) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Last edited by RonBee; 25-May-2008 at 00:29. Reason: fix quote

  7. banderas's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: something/anything

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    Thank you, banderas, as always!

    So, "anything" often works? Do you mean your friend intentionally used the expression("...anything...") to force his guest to say "No"?
    Yes. It is not nice of him to do so but when the restaurant (for 200 guests) gets really busy at the weekends, it is the only way to survive there.
    It is like "Would you like something else (perhaps some tea or coffe)".
    Or "Would you like anything else (nothing particular)".


    !
    d

  8. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: something/anything

    I see!
    Cheers, mate!(British Fuji)

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