I am not good at using '...でしょう', and do not fully understand its meaning and usage. For example:



Such sentences always make me confused. Could you explain it for me?

3 Answers 3


でしょう is polite version of だろう. That means probably, displaying conjecture.

彼女は(多分)彼の恋人だろう. She is probably his girlfriend.

  • 3
    It might be more accurate to say 'polite' rather than 'formal'. The former is the difference between だ and です, while the latter is the difference between だ and である.
    – user1478
    Nov 23, 2016 at 2:53
  • @snailplane I think it's slightly more muddled than that; you'll see だ in formal writing, but never である in informal contexts - except as a joke, of course.
    – Angelos
    Nov 23, 2016 at 3:31
  • 2
    ^ つまり「である」は通常 formal のみですが「だ」は casual のみでなく formal にも使えるということですから、なおさら snail さんの言う通り「でしょう」(「です」+助動詞「う・よう」) は「だろう」(「だ」+「う・よう」) の formal version と言うよりも polite version と言った方が正確だ、ということになると思います・・・
    – chocolate
    Nov 23, 2016 at 6:30

でしょう is a more polite form of だろう which is broadly used to suggest a speaker's guess and supposition. That means the speaker is not sure about it.

For example:

これは[本物]{ほんもの}のダイヤでしょう. (I am not sure about it but) This is probably a real diamond.


Related: Other meanings of でしょう besides "probably"

It's likely the 2nd usage of でしょう similar in meaning to ね but it depends on the context but could also be the first, showing uncertainty on the side of the speaker.


He's going to the states, right?


You don't get it, do you?

  • でしょう is different from ね in the point that the former points out what the listener is not really aware of while the latter doesn't.
    – user4092
    Nov 23, 2016 at 9:58

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