Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What are the possible uses for だって?

share|improve this question
It means but, and there is something negative omitted (implied). – user458 Apr 27 '12 at 13:55
up vote 12 down vote accepted

It can mean "but" (similar to でも):

A: 学校に行きなさい! (Go to school!)
B: だって頭痛んだもん! (But, my head hurts!)

This is often used by children, and can come across as cute or childish.

It can mean "even" (again, similar to でも):

頑張れば君だってできるよ! (If you work hard even you can do it!)

It can mean the same as だと (or more generally, と becomes って)

彼のことが好きだって気づいた (I realised that I like him)

This use is conversational.

share|improve this answer
I'm not sure how to put it. But it might be worth noting that the first two are (だって) while the last one is (・・・だ)って – Flaw Apr 27 '12 at 11:42
@Flaw Good point. Does that seem clearer? I wasn't sure how to explain either so feel free to make an edit if there's a better way :) – ジョン Apr 27 '12 at 13:41
It can also mean "I mean" or "After all" (providing justification). だって、私は今、そういう意味で使っています。 – Hyperworm Apr 27 '12 at 23:06

From Handbook of Japanese Grammar, Masahiro Tanimori:

INFORMAL PARTICLE OR CONJUNCTION (usually used by women and children) MEANING: but, because, also, even

  1. At the beginning of a sentence

    (in answer to a question)

    「いきたくないの。」 「だって疲れているんだもの」

    "Ikitakunai no?" "Datte tsukarete iru n da mono."

    "You don't want to go?" "Because I'm tired."

    (in reply to an imperative)

    「もうねる時間ですよ。」 「だって眠くないんだもの」

    "Mou neru jikan desu yo." "Datte nemuku nai n da mono."

    "It's time you went to bed." "But I'm not sleepy."

  2. After noun


    Kanemochi datte fukou-na toki mo aru.

    Even rich people are unhappy sometimes.

    「あんなことはいやだ」 「私だっていやだ」 "Anna koto wa iya da." "Watashi datte iya da."

    I hate such things. I do, too.

  3. Used with interrogative pronoun (dare, nan, and doko + datte mean everybody, everything and everywhere, respectively)


    Dare datte sore ni wa okorimasu.

    Everybody gets angry at that.


    Kare wa supootsu nara nan datte dekimasu.

    If it's sports, he can play everything.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.