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What does 'よ' do when placed after a single noun like '今'?

今よ

Would it be considered a question, like "Now?" ?

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1  
Is there any additional context? Is it part of a sentence, or is that the whole thing? –  snailboat Jul 23 '13 at 8:01
    
I think it means Now. –  oldergod Jul 23 '13 at 8:03
    
@snailboat I found it by itself. Unfortunately no context.. –  James Jul 23 '13 at 8:25
    
Context (perhaps we should say situation or circumstances) is more than the preceding and following sentence - where did you find it? –  blutorange Jul 23 '13 at 12:59
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@blutorange On a post-it, left on a table in a library. –  James Jul 23 '13 at 13:00

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

As for the meaning, it means just what よ always does as a sentence-final particle... it emphasizes the sentence is intended to convey information to the listener.

More important though is the fact that it is a sentence-final particle.

For some reason, the interjection Now!, said when you want someone to take a (prearranged, mutually agreed) action right at that moment, doesn't seem to work in Japanese with just the noun . It needs to be a sentence like 今だ ("[It, the time to act] is now"). A sentence-final particle achieves that.

The use of here in 今よ is another way to make into a sentence, and which compared to 今だ or 今だよ has more of a feminine feel due to the dropping of .

(Here we start getting into role language and the difference in usage of and between genders in real life and fiction.)

Wiktionary:
口語の終助詞。主体の意志・知識を主張する。だ あるいは です を省略してよを付けるのは、女性に使われる が、現在では少ない (at least in real life --Hyper)

  • もうやめようよ。
  • それは私のものよ。(女性的。現在では男女ともに「それは私のものだよ。」)
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What does 'よ' do when placed after a single noun like '今'?

There is a usage which answers this question that is really different than the answer you were probably expecting (and certainly this example), but I will answer it anyway.

It is the 呼び掛け usage, meant to call someone's/something's attention to what you're saying. It translates to "Oh (you) 〜", or "Hey 〜" and usually accompanies a request or command

  • 神様、私の願いをかなえたまえ! → O God, please answer my prayer!
  • 迫害された人々、立ち上がって戦おう! → (Hey) you oppressed people, stand up and fight!
  • 、雨を降らせ! → (Hey/O) Clouds, make it rain!
  • 田中君、手をかしてくれないか → Hey Tanaka, help me out will ya?

Like I said, this doesn't relate to your example of 今よ, but it applies to the way you worded the question.

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Actually in English the vocative particle is usually spelled as just uppercase 'O': "O God", "O ye of little faith" etc. –  Igor Skochinsky Jul 23 '13 at 19:14

「今よ」 is not a question. It's a female way of saying "Now!"

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