I want to know the difference among all the ways of saying I, both men and women. I know there are and for men; あたし and うち for women; and also for elder people I've heard わしゅ. I'm not sure what's the diference of all these forms and I know there are others.



私 General - and gender neutral
僕 Young boys use this (very young... like when they start to speak up through an indeterminate age).  
俺 Young (adolescent) use this as well, but it's a more haughty.  
You'd never hear someone use this in a professional setting.

You'll almost never hear young boys using 私 among peers.


私 As above, but common for girls to use it among peers.
あたし Female only, relatively more flexible than the male counterparts. 


うち Comes from 家 (meaning home or family).  
So yeah, you're literally saying "My home's cat" or "My home's mother".  
You could go on for days as to why this is but it's likely due to the 
weight put on the family unit and not the individual.

わしゅ sounds like slang for わし which you'll probably not a hear 
a lot outside of TV but perhaps you might.  The take home lesson is, 
as you stated, it's for the elderly. :)
  • 2
    Also, in writing it's generally safe to use 自分, although you don't see this in spoken conversation. – Avery Jan 2 '15 at 20:15
  • 4
    The choice of first person pronoun largely varies among speakers. At least, I have several points disagree with this answer. – broccoli forest Jan 3 '15 at 5:39
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    You can hear both わたし, 僕, and 俺 in "professional settings" from men... – virmaior Jan 3 '15 at 8:17
  • It is not a definitive guide on the question, but of course, nothing is. Explaining any further is beyond the scope of a single answer, and probably not for a beginner either. If you disagree (especially down vote) then offer an answer. By "professional" I mean not amongst colleagues. IE, when one or both sides are speaking keigo. Interesting reading: detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp/qa/question_detail/q13128571208 – kiss-o-matic Jan 3 '15 at 15:15
  • 1
    "あたし = female only" is just another myth commonly shared among J-learners. Quite a few older Tokyo male speakers refer to themselves as あたし in real life. – l'électeur Jan 4 '15 at 8:54

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