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Ill PairsEdit

Like I mentioned above in the glossary, Ill pairs are kanji that look as similar as their meanings, which makes them twice as hard to tell apart! Having them here all in one spot doesn't really help you learn anything but it's a telling reminder of just how pernicious and devious Japanese is.

In no particular order . . .




救 – rescue / 求 – demand

猥 – obscene / 獣 – beast

嘘 – lie / 噂 – rumor

後 – after / 終 – over

タ – evening /  夜– night

涼 – cool /  凍 – freeze

車 – car /  乗 – ride in car

雲 – cloud / 曇 – get cloudy

被 – get injured /破 – tear up

少 – small amount / 小 – tiny size

原 – original / 源 – origin

像 – image / 象 – phenomenon or symbol

室 room / 屋 shop

哀 – pitiful / 衰– decline or wane

察 – police / 審 – judge

儀 – politeness / 義 – righteousness

熟 – get good at / 塾 – cram school

腸 – intestines / 腹 – entrails or tummy

震 – shake / 振 – wave around

激 – intense / 極 – extreme

摸 – pattern / 模 – model

傾 – incline / 偏 – lean or be predisposed to

削 – whittle down / 消– erase

福 – good luck / 富 – get rich

近 – close / 辺 – around here

王 − king / 主 − master

妻 – wife   / 婦 – housewife

吸 – suck / 吹 – blow

合う – join two things / 会う – people meet each other

盤 − tray / 皿 – plate

暫 – briefly / 漸 – gradually

運 – luck or transport / 連 – take with

供 – accompany / 共 – with

喜 – rejoice / 嬉 – stoked

氏 – Mr. so–and–so / 民 – folk

越す go beyond / 超す – go over

型 – type / 形 – form (NOT ONLY Ill pair, but same ON!!)

底 – floor /  低 – low

左 – left /  右 – right

大 − big /  太 – fat

府 – national government / 庁 – metropolitan government

刀– sword /  刃 – blade

憤 – get indignant / 噴 – spew

光 – shining / 輝 – dazzle

踊る – dance /  躍る – jump

舟 – boat / 船 – ship

光 – shining / 輝 – dazzle

広 – wide / 拡 – enlarge

自 – my own /身 – (one's own) flesh

牲 – sacrificial victim / 犠 – sacrifice

磨 – brush / 摩 – friction

疑 – doubt / 擬 – sham

筒 – cylinder or pipe / 管 – tube 

猛 – fierce / 獣 – beast

値 value / 価 price or ranking