3

I want to say "I love my cats," but I don't know how to convey more than one.

I've come up with 「私は私の猫大好きです」but I don't know what to do to indicate I have more than one cat.

  • 2
    My guess would be using "たち" if you won't specify how many, but still wants to state the plural: (私は)私の猫たちが大好きです。 But if you're going to specify the number of cats you have, it gets trickier. But lots of times I see people not using plural at all, letting it for the context to tell if it is singular or plural – Felipe Oliveira Nov 14 '16 at 2:24
  • I'd say 猫たち is a safe bet. – dabisu Nov 14 '16 at 2:35
  • @FelipeOliveira Not concerned about specifying the exact number, just conveying at least two. – Andy Nov 14 '16 at 22:45
5

Firstly, 私の猫大好きです is better. No need for the first 私.(Although not a mistake)

In Japanese plural isn't as simple as in English.
If the fact that you have more than one is something you REALLY want the other person to know, then best way would probably be to just come out and say how many cats you have in the following sentence, or in the same sentence(which would make it a little bit long and complicated for your current level).

猫3匹も飼っていて、皆好きです。(I have 3 cats and I love them all)
私の猫が好きです。3匹も飼っています。

  • woops, thanks for the correction @ishikun. That was a silly mistake. – stack reader Nov 14 '16 at 2:54
  • no worries! gets the best of us ;) – ishikun Nov 14 '16 at 17:15
  • Since its in the comments to my question, could you address what they said about using たち? – Andy Nov 14 '16 at 22:47
  • 1
    honestly, I'm not too sure how I feel about it. I don't think it's wrong, but perhaps not very common way to use たち. Plural usually tends to just be ignored altogether. – stack reader Nov 14 '16 at 23:24
  • That's exactly why I did not posted it as an answer, even though I think it goes as plural, I'm am not so sure how natural たち is in real japanese – Felipe Oliveira Nov 14 '16 at 23:26
4

As said in other answers, I don't think you need to worry about making it plural too much. The main reason is that in english, leaving off the plural makes it explicitly singular, but in japanese, leaving off the explicit plural doesn't mean you are explicitly making it singular. You are left with the flexibility to demonstrate that it is plural through other clauses or context which is not really true for english.

私の猫が好きです is a grammatically correct sentence and is better than 私は私の猫大好きです but it is not a very natural sentence.

When talking about pets うちの is usually used instead of 私の. The difference is that it has a nuance more along the family's cat or the house's cat but it is so much more common that even if you lived alone in a car, it would still safely apply.

うちの猫が好きです is more natural but depending on the formality and context, you may even want to go for something more like うちの猫たち大好き! which is probably more likely to be said in practice. It is less formal but then again, how formal will you really need to be when saying you love your cats?

The たち is not an uncommon or unnatural way to pluralize but it is a word that carries a bit of personification. It is still used on animals often but note that it is slightly more of a playful usage rather than a formally and strictly correct usage.

If you wanted to be really precise and thorough, you could specify the number, うちの猫二匹とも大好きです(or however many) without being unnatural.

  • The context is something I want to post on my facebook page :-) – Andy Nov 15 '16 at 23:03
  • 私の猫が好きです is actually more awkward than 私は私の猫が好きです. – user4092 Nov 17 '16 at 8:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.