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


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

  • 1
    Is there any additional context? Is it part of a sentence, or is that the whole thing?
    – user1478
    Jul 23, 2013 at 8:01
  • I think it means Now.
    – oldergod
    Jul 23, 2013 at 8:03
  • @snailboat I found it by itself. Unfortunately no context..
    – James
    Jul 23, 2013 at 8:25
  • 1
    Context (perhaps we should say situation or circumstances) is more than the preceding and following sentence - where did you find it?
    – blutorange
    Jul 23, 2013 at 12:59
  • 2
    @blutorange On a post-it, left on a table in a library.
    – James
    Jul 23, 2013 at 13:00

3 Answers 3


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.)

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。」)

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.

  • 3
    Actually in English the vocative particle is usually spelled as just uppercase 'O': "O God", "O ye of little faith" etc. Jul 23, 2013 at 19:14

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

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