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Kanji Shortcuts

Many people think of kanji as a headache-inducing and unnecessary complication, and while the thousands of kanji characters are a major challenge, there are many benefits for learning kanji.

In this article, let’s look at ways to multiply your vocabulary easily by using kanji, 大 in particular.

Since kanji have both meaning and pronunciations, combining certain kanji with other kanji or words can change the meaning of that word in a logical way. This makes your study time very efficient.

It's like a BOGO deal–or SOGO, rather. Study One (word), Get One FREE!

Multiply your Japanese Vocabulary

Multiply your Japanese Vocabulary with 大! Click here: https://www.thejapanesepage.com/multiply-your-japanese-with-大/
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Biggify a Word

First, let’s look at a few simple examples that you may already know using 大 (big) with the pronunciation of だい. Take the word for “to like”:


to like

Now, let’s add “big” behind it.

大好だい す
to like very much; to love

Here is the word for “dislike”:

きら
to dislike

Can you think of how to say “hate” or “dislike very much”?

大嫌だいきら
to hate

Other Examples

While all of the following are useful, some may be more advanced. They all use 大 pronounced as だい. Can you think of others? If so, please post in the comments below!

事件(じけん)
event; affair

大事件(だいじけん)
major event

事故(じこ)
accident

大事故(だいじこ)
serious accident

都会(とかい)
city

大都会(だいとかい)
metropolis; big city

都市(とし)
town; city; urban

大都市(だいとし)
metropolis; big city

画面(がめん)
monitor; (TV) screen; scene

大画面(だいがめん)
large screen (TV)

災害(さいがい)
calamity; disaster

大災害(だいさいがい)
major disaster

洪水(こうずい)
flood

大洪水(だいこうずい)
heavy flooding; deluge

容量(ようりょう)
capacity; volume

大容量(だいようりょう)
high capacity

旋風(せんぷう)
whirlwind; commotion

大旋風(だいせんぷう)
a big commotion

震災(しんさい)
earthquake

大震災(たいしんさい)
violent earthquake

宇宙(うちゅう)
universe; cosmos; space

大宇宙(だいうちゅう)
the universe; macrocosmos

帝国(ていこく)
empire

大帝国(だいていこく)
great empire

病院(びょういん)
hospital

大病院(だいびょういん)
large hospital; major hospital

Another common reading for 大 (big) is おお. Let's look at a few words that are "biggified" with おお.

It seems jukugo (two or more kanji combined as a single word meaning) tends to use the だい reading, whereas single kanji words tend to use the おお reading.

(もの)
thing; object


大物(おおもの)
big-shot; important person; valuable thing

(かた)

model; type (of machine); patter; mold

大型(おおがた)
large-sized; large-scale; large type

(あめ)
rain

大雨(おおあめ)
heavy rain

(ゆき)
snow

大雪(おおゆき)
heavy snow

(うそ)
lie; fib

大嘘(おおうそ)
outrageous lie; outright lie

芝居(しばい)
play; drama

大芝居(おおしばい)
big production (big scale/famous actors)

(いわ)
rock; boulder

大岩(おおいわ)
large rock; large boulder [also a family name: Ooiwa]

(さら)
plate; dish

大皿(おおざら)
large platter

けが
injury

(おお)けが
serious injury

(そら)
sky

大空(おおぞら)
heavens; firmament; sky

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