First, regarding 行こうか - is it masculine speech, like か in informal speech usually is? Also, does it sound agressive, again like normal with か in informal speech?

Second, is やめてよ feminine speech (as a command, if it can be used any other way)? I know that やめて and やめてね aren't feminine speech as commands, but some research indicates that やめてよ is. Please help.

  • Purely anecdotal, but whereas my male Japanese friends would often say 行こうか, female speakers seemed to opt instead for a rising 「行きましょう?」, omitting the か and implying the question through intonation. I'd be tempted to agree w/your observation, though of course it's not a hard & fast rule.
    – mc01
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 0:07

3 Answers 3


None of them are neither masculine speech nor feminine speech.

  • Can you elaborate on this further?
    – oxr463
    Commented Aug 23, 2019 at 12:55
  • What's to elaborate? Both can be said by both genders without anyone raising their eyebrows.
    – oldergod
    Commented Aug 25, 2019 at 16:47

Some words indeed have strong association with gender, but those are less and less heard from real, especially younger, people.

  • 行こうか

    It doesn't sound particularly male or female, but do sound drier or more unemotional than other possible expressions, thus I can imagine male and female speaker would use this phrase in different situations. (If I were talking with my friends, I'd use 行こう or 行こっか.)

  • やめてよ

    This one is gender-neutral too. But if you emphasize the て (which the accent core lies) with extra high pitch, you can easily make it sound exclusively female. (It's almost universal phenomenon that male(-like) speech is more intoned than female(-like) speech.)

    Since やめて is less straightforward than the other choice, namely やめろ, I can likewise imagine that average male and female speaker might choose different ones depending on who and when they're talking.


In casual speech, asking about what sounds more feminine or more masculine can be tricky. There are some things which are decidedly more manly or more feminine-sounding. Others are more ambiguous or are pretty much gender-neutral. You really have to hang around native speakers for a while and listen to how they talk in order to learn which phrases seem more masculine/feminine.

In my experience, I've heard male and female native Japanese use both 行こうか and やめてね.

That said, 行こうか seems pretty gender-neutral. As a male, I use it myself a lot, but it's perfectly normal to hear a female say it.

I'd say that やめてね is something that a girl is much more likely to say than a guy. I've heard mostly females use it. Although a couple times I have heard my college-age male friends use it, but in sort of a joking, whiny way.

  • Thank you, but I was asking about やめてよ.
    – Angelos
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 20:51
  • やめてよ is pretty much gender-neutral.
    – peacetype
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 23:52

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