Could you tell me when to use:


I don't understand when to use them.

  • 1
    In general, they mean "this way", "that way", "which way", and are shortened forms of こちら, そちら &c. Is your question about which of these 4 you should use, or when to use one of them in the first place? See this question for the former question: Choosing the right prefix of the ko-so-a-do series
    – blutorange
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 17:04

2 Answers 2


First of all, those are the colloquial forms of こちら、そちら、あちら and どちら, respectively.

Formal or informal, each pair has exactly the same range of meanings.

こっち = this one, this side, this way, over here, I, me, etc.

そっち = that one, that side, that way, over there, you, y'all, etc.

あっち = that one, that side, that way, over there, he, him, she, her, they, them, etc.

どっち = which one (out of the two), which side, which way, which person (out of the two), etc.

IMPORTANT: The difference between そっち and あっち is NOT as simple as many J-learners appear to believe, which goes like "そっち is middle-far and あっち is quite far." For instance, suppose you are in New York and I am in Tokyo and we are talking on the phone.

Me: 「こっちは今日すんげえ寒いんだけど、そっちはどう?」"It's freakin' cold here today. How 'bout over there?"

You: 「こっちもめっちゃ寒いよ。」"Over here as well."

New York is extremely far from Tokyo (Agreed?), but the Tokyo resident would only use 「そっち」, not 「あっち」, to refer to New York when he is directly speaking to the New Yorker. (I have seen multiple J-learners who have lived in Japan for over a decade make this particular mistake.)

After the phone call, however, the Tokyoite will say to his wife "(I just talked to Bob the New Yorker.) あっちも寒いらしいよ。" This is because he is talking to someone who is right near him on his side of the world.

Common phrases using the words in question:

「こっち(に)[来]{き}て!」 = "Come over here!"

「どっちがほしい?」 = "Which one (of the two) do you want?" You use 「どれ」 instead when there are three choices or more.

「そっちの言いたいことはそれだけ?」 = "Is that all you've got to say?"

「それはこっちでやるから、だいじょうぶだよ。」 = "I'll take care of it myself; Don't you worry!"

「どっちもどっちだよ/だな。」 = "The two are equally good/bad/yummy/right/wrong, etc."

「どっちかにしてよ。[両方]{りょうほう}は[買]{か}えない。」 = "Pick one (out of the two). I can't buy you both."

  • About distinction between そっち and あっち ---- そっち is somewhere far from the speaker but near to the other person, whereas あっち means somewhere far from both the speaker and the other. Similar distinction applies to other pairs like それ/あれ, そこ/あそこ, その/あの, そんな/あんな, etc.
    – isayamag
    Commented Jan 7, 2015 at 15:20
  • When is it used as "I,me,you,he,she" etc.. ? Could you make some sentences?
    – Promesso
    Commented Jan 8, 2015 at 14:07
  • I'm more familiar with Spanish and I think I have a good grasp on the concept based on your answer. Would this be a fair explanation? こっち - a first person location (associated with the speaker) そっち - a second person location (associated with the listener) あっち - a third person location (distant from either person) どっち - unknown location (unclear in its relation to conversation)
    – BSD
    Commented Apr 3, 2022 at 17:36
  • こっち - This way
  • そっち - That way (close)
  • あっち - That way (far)
  • どっち - Which way?

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