toori, doori

Diverse Melody

New Member
American English
I know both toori and doori means "street", or "road." But my question is, is one more formal than the other, or is there any difference between them? Or are they somewhat like the english words "snooze" and "nap" where they mean the exact same thing and which one you use is based on personal preferance?

There is no context to give. Both words were used in Rosetta Stone, and both were used alone instead of in a sentence. Both showed a picture of a street, but nothing really seemed different about them.
 
  • Flaminius

    hedomodo
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Hi,

    The difference between toori and doori is a grammatical one, that is, they replace one another according to the function which the word serves. First, the more general form is toori as in toori o watatta (I crossed the/a street). Second, doori is NEVER used in isolation. It forms a larger compound noun with an element immediately preceding it. A big street is one word in Japanese; oodoori. The usual adjective for "big" being, ookii, oo- is a prefix, that is, not an independent word. Connecting the general form and the prefix does not sound right. We don't say ootoori.

    You might want to think of doori as a base for creating proper names. In fact, there are a lot of street names using -doori [now I switch to the transcription method I am more comfotable with] in combination with place names; Hibiya-Dōri (perhaps Hibiya Boulvard), Sakurada-Dōri, Mejiro-Dōri, Ētai-Dōri etc.

    If you don't mind a slight abstraction, some Japanese words undergo voicing of the first consonant when forming a compound with an element immediately preceding it (sequential voicing). For this to happen on a word, it is absolutely necessary for it to begin with a voiceless consonant (s, k, t, h, sh, ch, p) but there are other factors that influence on when sequential voicing occurs. Grammarians don't know all the factors, either.

    For the time being, you don't have to be able to predict when it occurs. Knowing about it, however, would enable you to recognise kaisha (company) in kabushikigaisha (joint-stock company) and concentrate on finding the meaning of kabushiki, for example.
     

    Diverse Melody

    New Member
    American English
    Alright. I see what you're saying and it makes sense. (At least, it makes as much sense as it can make.) Thank you for answering. I guess this isn't something I really need to know right now, but it puts my mind at ease. I tend to ask lots of questions, even if they aren't that important.
     
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