Whenever I watch drama or news I always hear "し" particle being used. Back when I was still studying "Minna No Nihongo" my teacher taught me that ”し” means "だから” but native Japanese tend to use this to enumerate list of option like in the following example



I just want to know what is the real meaning of "し".


2 Answers 2


The particle is used to create a non-exhaustive list of reasons.

Example from Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_particles#shi):


Kirei da shi, hiroi shi, ii ne, kono apaato!

It's clean, it's spacious; this apartment is nice, isn't it!

In this example sentence, indicates that the cleanness and spaciousness of the apartment may not be the only reasons the speaker likes it.

  • 2
    Just for anyone passing by; I've read sources that show it can also be used as a general parallel particle, for when you want to line up like clauses, or contrast opposites. Ex: web.ydu.edu.tw/~uchiyama/conv/shishi.htm
    – Eversome
    May 7, 2018 at 21:55
  • 4
    The particle し is used to create a non-exhaustive list of reasons. ← But the し in the sentence in question 「100万円っていうのもあります 、5万もありますよ。」 does NOT indicate a reason. "Because some cost 1,000,000 yen, others cost 50,000 yen" っておかしいでしょ
    – chocolate
    May 31, 2018 at 23:50

In your example:


The し is used to give options, indicating 「前に述べる事柄が、後に述べる事柄と対比的な関係であること」, "what's stated first has a contrastive relation to what's stated later", explained in definition #1 in デジタル大辞泉.

"About how much does a wedding cost?"
"Well... some cost 1,000,000 yen, while others, 50,000 yen."

The binding-particle も (or だって) usually co-occurs with this し.

As you can see in the dictionary, the conjunctive particle (接続助詞) 「し」 has several usages:

し 🈩[接助]活用語の終止形に付く。
1 前に述べる事柄が、後に述べる事柄と並列的、対比的な関係であることを表す。「御飯も炊けるし、味噌汁も作れる」「成績はよくもないし、悪くもないしといったところだ」
2 前に挙げた事柄を原因・理由として下の事柄に続ける意を表す。から。ので。「身体はじょうぶですし、もっと働けます」「家も近いんだし、たまには寄れよ」
3 (終助詞的に用いて)一つの事実・条件を言いさし、結論を言外に暗示する意を表す。「旅行はしたいけれども、暇はないし」「せっかく出場させてもエラーはするし」
4 (「…まいし」の形で)相手を軽んじたり、詰問したりする意を表す。「子供のけんかじゃあるまいし」「人ごとではあるまいし、まじめに考えなさい」

So し can indicate:

  • enumeration of two or more similar things/facts, eg 勉強はできるスポーツも得意だ。
  • enumeration of two things/fact in contrast, eg 得意な人いる苦手な人いる。 (も or だって usually co-occurs)   
  • one or more reasons/causes, eg お腹もすいた、そろそろ帰ろう。


Sidenote: ~~し is usually used in informal/casual speech.

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