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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.

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  • 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

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None of them are neither masculine speech nor feminine speech.

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  • 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
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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.

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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.

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  • 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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