手間 vs. お手数: How to Use Them Like Native Speakers
What is the difference between “手間 and お手数“? Which is the apologizing word? After reading this, you would be answering this question. Let me introduce what their subtle differences are and how you correctly use them such as native speakers today!
A lot of time to do something, A lot of work / 麻烦 / 수고 / công sức
“手間” means “A lot of time to do something or A lot of work” and which has been used as the meaning of “to need time to do something/ work”. The basic way to use it “___が手間です”. For instance “そこに行くのが手間です。(To go there is a lot of time and energy.), それは手間がかかります。(It requires a lot of work.)”, etc. When someone uses “手間“, he/she feels “to do something is a bother”. So this is the pretty negative word. Furthermore, “___が面倒です(___ is a bother)” is a quite direct expression, so some native speakers use “___が手間です”, and what they want to say is the same though.
Inconvenience / 劳烦 / 번거로움 / phiền hà
“お手数” means “Inconvenience” and which has been used as the meaning of “a state or an example of problems or trouble, often causing a delay or loss of comfort”. The basic way to use it “お手数___”. For instance “お手数をお掛けします。(I’m sorry for your inconvenience.)”, “お手数お掛けしました。(I apologize for the inconvenience.)”, etc. The tip for using “お手数” is that basically “お手数” is used in business situations, so we don’t usually say it in daily conversations. This is the word to apologize, so the polite character “お” is put before the “手数” which is not used alone.