Are there any tips for deciding to write みな or みんな? If I'm not sure can I just go with 皆?

Also, in speech is there a distinction made? If not, which pronunciation is more common in standard Japanese?

  • 2
    I've heard that みな means "everyone (including me)", and みんな means "everyone (else but me)", but I don't know how true that is.
    – istrasci
    Commented Dec 31, 2011 at 23:57
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    @istrasci: Although that is not always the case, I think that there is some truth in it. I think that みんな is much more common in vocative than みな, and vocatives naturally cannot contain the speaker him/herself. Commented Jan 2, 2012 at 20:43

3 Answers 3


みな and みんな have the same meaning, but みな is more formal and みんな is a little colloquial. In fact, historically, みな was the original form and みんな arose by inserting ん to みな.

Both みな and みんな can be written as 皆, but this does not mean that you can replace both みな and みんな with 皆 without losing their nuances. For example, if you want to add the informal feeling of みんな, it is probably better to write it in hiragana.

In certain set phrases such as 皆まで (みなまで) and 皆の衆 (みなのしゅう), only みな is used.

  • 控えい、控えい、皆の者、この紋所が目に入らぬか。

  • 皆の衆~

  • みんなのうた

  • みんな、笑っていいかな?

  • みんな、あいしあってるか~い?


If San is added it is みなさん、and not みんなさん。

  • I was too vague. I guess it depends on the context; trying to make a business deal with strangers; turning to shout as I run for my life from some tragic occurrence; if I want to leave.... oh wait, I jus tread my question. Interesting, thanks. Commented Mar 19, 2022 at 13:33

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