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Out of all sentence ending particles, I cannot really pinpoint what や means. I don't meet it often (or maybe I don't have enough experience or exposure) and in situations which don't really explain themselves. Also, is it a real particle anyway?

Some examples I recently found (from books):

「くつろいでくれや」

「それが実はアイロンではないからや」

I hope those examples make sense without the context. I know that those kind of particles are hard to explain but any explanation is welcome.

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We are actually discussing TWO different kinds of 「や」 here, which is probably why you seem more confused than you should be.

In 「くつろいでくれ」, the 「や」 is a colloquial (and almost exclusively masculine) sentence-ending particle for 1) imperative, 2) invitation and 3) request. You are saying "(Please) make yourself at home."

Note that it attaches directly to the imperative form of a verb (「くれ」 in this case).

In 「それが実{じつ}はアイロンではないから」, the 「や」 is a dialectal (and gender-neutral) sentence-ender mostly for Kansai. It expresses affirmation and it is the equivalent of 「だ」 in Standard Japanese. "That is because it really is not an iron."

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    That actually starts to make sense. Especially as the character saying the second sentence is from Kansai :)
    – Szymon
    Apr 7, 2014 at 11:27
  • @Tokyo Nagoya: For the first や are you saying all three apply in this case? Also is this used in Kanto?
    – Tim
    Apr 7, 2014 at 14:27
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    @Tim Without further context, it is difficult to say which one of the three really applies here, but it would look to me like it was invitation. And yes, it is used in Kanto but not by everyone. Women would not use it and among men, it would usually be older men. I do not mean to confuse you but the first や is used in Kansai as well.
    – user4032
    Apr 8, 2014 at 2:05
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    @TokyoNagoya Are there any other meanings/types of the sentence-ending や or just those 2 you listed in your answer?
    – Szymon
    Apr 8, 2014 at 11:35
  • It's fascinating that や can replace だ in Kansai. This kind of blurs the line between the copula vs particles a bit and could lead to some interesting future questions! Apr 8, 2014 at 22:13

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