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ちがう (chigau) Meaning Japanese Grammar - No

Author Anna Baffa Volpe for article 'ちがう (chigau) Meaning Japanese Grammar - No'

Anna Baffa Volpe

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ちがう (chigau) Meaning Japanese Grammar - No

The verb ちがう (chigau) is in the dictionary form and means be different, be wrong, be incorrect, vary.

We'll see in this post various examples of ちがう in its original meaning and also in everyday conversation, particularly telephone conversation where it takes on the meaning of No, it's wrong.


ちがう in negative answers

The Kanji of this verb is (ちが)う and its polite form (ちが)います. It is used in the affirmative form, but with a negative meaning.

いいえ、+ちがう

In everyday informal and confidential conversation it is often heard (ちが)う to express a negation and is often combined with いいえ No. The meaning of ちがう using another form is そうではない.

あきこ

あなたのバッグはこれ?

Is this your bag?

えいこ

(ちが)うよ。(わたし)のはあれだよ!

No, mine is that one over there!

On the phone:

A

もしもし(やま)()さんですか。

Hello, is this Yamada san?

B

いいえ、(ちが)います。

No, it's not.

ちがう: it is wrong

The verb ちがう has affirmative form, but the nuance of meaning is negative.

We can translate the verb as being different, being dissimilar, being wrong, being false and in the latter cases it is synonymous with ()(ちが)っている。

Degrees of diversity

ちがう as a verb and can be preceded by an adverb, we see 3 cases expressing a different degrees of diversity.

  • (ぜん)(ぜん)(ちが)completely / totally different,
  • とても(ちが)very / quite different,
  • (すこ)(ちが)slightly different.

(いもうと)(わたし)とは(ぜん)(ぜん)(ちが)う。

My sister is completely different from me.

The verb ちがう is preceded by the particle : differ from.

けい()さんはいつもと(すこ)(ちが)う。

Keiko is different than usual.

によって(ちが)う: depending on

A common usage of the verb (ちが)う follows the structure:

Noun A は+Noun B+によって+ちがう

and its translation is:

  • A changes depending on B;
  • the variation of A depends on the variation of B,
  • A depends on B.

バスのチケット(りょう)(きん)()(かん)(たい)によって(ちが)いますか?

Do bus ticket prices vary depending on the time of day?

(せい)(かく)(ひと)によって(ちが)います。

Personalities differ from person to person.

Titles of articles published on the Internet:

What colour is the wardrobe? The color differs depending on the person...
(ひと)によって(ちが)う: it depends on the person

タンスの(いろ)(なに)(いろ)?(ひと)によって(いろ)(ちが)う。。。

What colour is the wardrobe? The color differs depending on the person...

Is it called differently depending on the region!? What do you call it?
()(いき)によって(ちが)う:it varies by region

()(いき)によって()(かた)(ちが)う!?(なん)()びますか?

Is it called differently depending on the region!? What do you call it?

In this last title we find an interesting structure: verbal base + 方 kata: how to do something, the way of doing something. ...

Examples of ちがう

Here is the title of a recent Japanese film in its literal translation.

Strange lovers from a different planet
2024(ねん)1(がつ)26(にち)(こう)(かい)された日本(にほん)(えい)(): Japanese film released on 26 January 2024.

(ちが)(わく)(せい)(へん)(こい)(びと)

Strange lovers from a different planet

(わたし)たちは(こう)(こう)(だい)(がく)(ちが)います。

We went to different high schools and different universities.

Example with the synonym ()(ちが)う in the form ている, past tense ていた.

(わたし)()(ちが)っていました。

I was wrong.