Difference between Betsu and Hoka in Japanese?

Both 他(hoka) and 別(bétsu) can be used like “other”. However, they are not exactly the same. In this article, we will dig into the slight nuances both words have.


他(hoka)

他(hoka) is used to talk about other general things.

の質問がありますか?(hoka-no-shitsumon-ga-arimasuka?)
→ Any other question?

If you were asked like the sentence above, you can ask anything within common sense.



別(bétsu)

別(bétsu) is used to describe about different thing from the one you were talking about earlier.

の質問がありますか?(bétsu-no-shitsumon-ga-arimashuka?)
→ Any different question?

Once we change 他(hoka) to 別(bétsu), in the extensive meaning, both can be “Any other question?”. However 別(bétsu) is used to distinguish from the things appeared on a conversation or story earlier, thus we cannot ask the same question again.

Core image of 別(bétsu) is something different.





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