an appropriate expression? For instance, as a Facebook post or what have you? The main part I'm wondering about is よ. My understanding is that よ usually implies that you're doing something to the audience that falls somewhere halfway in between informing them of something and instructing them of it. Here it's really being used mainly for emphasis, but I'm not sure if this is loosely correct. And if it's not correct, should だ be omitted as well?

My understanding also is that なあ is fairly feminine.

2 Answers 2


It depends on what you want to say.
First, の is not necessary:




よ is genderless and mostly used for slightly assertive expressions, like さ and ね.
On the contrary, なあ is a masculine expression. Its feminine version is わ. But they will not be a proper replacement for よ.

If you want to say "It's Christmas holiday!" (the "yay!" feeling), you can use:


  • 2
    Note that we have no "Christmas holiday" in Japan (We'd say 冬休み for vacation around the New Year's Day), so his answer is the best way to tell the notion directly. By the way, なあ could be feminine wording in Kyoto, but generally masculine to unisex in other places. Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 8:19
  • @broccoliforest Thanks for additional information. I know there is no official Christmas holiday and I should've mentioned it. But the expression itself can be used for other countries: アメリカのクリスマス休暇
    – BurakUeda
    Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 8:24

As BurakUeda said, the 「の」 is unnecessary. Likewise, as Broccoli Forest mentioned, 「冬休み」 is the word you normally hear in Japan. So I'll talk about the meaning of 「よ」.

According to Bonjinsha's Basic Japanese-English Dictionary, 「よ」 can

  1. emphasize the force of one's intent, emotion, judgment, etc.

「それなりに美味しいよ」 "It's delicious for what it's worth. (so don't judge it)"

「今、冬休みだよ」 "It's winter break. (so I'm not going)"

「これはあの子に買おうと思ってるよ」 "I think I'm going to buy this for her. (so tell me that's a good idea)"

  1. appeal to the listener as an order, request, urging, etc.

「あした必ず来てくださいよ!」 "Be sure to come tomorrow!"

「二次会に行こうよ!」 "Let's go for round 2!"

「それはダメですよ」 "You mustn't do that."

The same meaning is echoed in Kodansha's All About Particles:

  1. Urges a course of action.
  2. Indicates a request. (Somewhat stronger than 「ね」)
  3. Indicates a statement of certainty.

The basic meaning of 「よ」 being, therefore, to suggest that the listener should agree with you. So you'd only really say 「冬休みだよ!」 if someone had previously said something that merits informing them that it actually is Winter Break. Usually you'll leave the 「よ」 out in this case.

And, when you mentioned 「よ」 being primarily feminine language, it's only feminine when used without 「だ」: 「あたし、試験よ」 "(No,) I'm taking a test." When used with 「だ」 it's pretty masculine.


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