@mfuji thank you very much I still got a few questions to clear things up. 1. So in the example sentence I also could have used 外面 but not the others right ? 2. when I want to talk about objects for example as in "the FRONT of the building is very pretty" or "the SURFACE of the table isn't flat" can I use all 3 ? 3. lastly are 外側 and 表面 only limited to objects ?
@mfuji Thanks again I think I understand how to use 表面 now but with the other 2 I still have some trouble. So you can't use 外面 with OBJECTS but only with something from the inside of a PERSON which then shows on the "外面", is this correct ? Can you maybe give me some more example sentences ? Secondly, In your example with 外側 you used 外側 like "(social) environment" right ? But you can also use it with OBJECTS to mean "the EXTERIOR, the OUTSIDE" can't you ? like in "そのお城の外側は白く塗られていた"。 here they are talking about "the OUTSIDE" of the castle. So finally in connection with the last example sentence I could also use 外側 and say "建物の外側はとてもきれいだ" instead of 外見 right ? I hope I don't bother you asking all these questions :)
@kokujin I'll try to explain in another word. 外面 is used as an antonym of 内面 (inside, mental). So 外面 is used when you say about "what is hidden from outside". 外面 is usually used for a person or non-physical objects, however it is rarely used for physical objects. For example: 彼はほがらかな外面に反して、悩みを抱えている。 (person) 彼らが仲良くなかったということは、外面からは分からない。 (non-physical) 内面塗装を終わらせてから、外面塗装を行います。 (physical objects. it is often used for construction)
When 外側 is used for a person, yes, it means "social environment".
And I might misunderstand the meaning of "the front of the building". I said 外見 is only used because I considered it means the front side (a side which is often seen) of the building. 外側 includes an exterior which isn't seen often, for example, a wall with the back door.
@mfuji thanks again you're as always a great help :) 2 small last questions Can I can use 内側 the same way as 外側 right ? for example can I say "この靴の内側に毛皮がある" ? lastly can I say "昨今、人の大部分は外見が性格よりのほうが大事だと思う"？
@kokujin Yes, 内側 is used as an antonym to 外側. However, unlike 内面/外面, they mean just physical inside (interior) and outside (exterior). So 外側 doesn't imply "what is hidden". You can say この靴の内側は毛皮だ. In this case, ある isn't used.
Your last question, perhaps you want to say say: 昨今、多くの人は外見が性格より大事だと思っている。 Okay, 外見 can be used in such a sentence.
@kokujin Okay! I thought you want to say "Nowadays, many people think that their looks is more important than their character." (please tell me if it is wrong.)
Unlike English, the present tense (思う) often includes a will in Japanese. i.e. 思う is subjective. When "many people" think, it should be objective (because it isn't the speaker's idea), so 思っている should be used.
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