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What does "neeeeee" (ねー) mean when 2 friends are talking? That is, one is talking, talking, talking and the other will occasionally reply "neeeeee" to him? Is this just the ordinary "so da ne" or does it have another connotation in this case?

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This sounds like it is related to the sentence ending particle ね。This particle, as you probably well know means something like: isn't it, right?!, however sometimes it will be translated into English as an emphasizer, or an explanation point.

Examples:

そうですね。(You're right! OR That's correct!)

今日あついね。(It's hot today, isn't it?)

Don't confuse this with the よ particle. There is a distinct difference between the two, even if they occasionally crop up in similar circumstances. You can read more about the ね particle here.

So, when we extend the ね to be ねー or ねーー、 I would say that an English equivalent would be extending right?! to riiiiight?! In other circumstances where right won't work as a translation, just realize that the speaker is emphasizing something more.

Example:

あのね、私はね、デートよ!今晩。(Yeah, I have a date! It's tonight.)

あのねー、私はねー、デートよ!今晩。(Hey, get this, This girl has a date. It's tonight.)

I think this example is pretty feminine though.

Lastly, ねーー on its own is pretty much a replacement for そうですね, as the other answers have explained.

  • I feel like a better translation for the last sentence would be "this girl has a date" (referencing the speaker). I don't know any guys that would speak like that. – landonepps Aug 16 '17 at 1:27
  • @landonepps, I think you're right. I'll tweak it. – ajsmart Aug 16 '17 at 1:30
  • but "riiiiight?!" isn't emphasizing, it's seeking an agreement from the other party "right????!". – Ko32mo Aug 16 '17 at 1:32
  • @Ko32mo that's correct. right doesn't always work as a translation. In cases where it doesn't fit you're essentially emphasizing whatever you mean by ね。Does that make sense? – ajsmart Aug 16 '17 at 1:35
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Elongated ねー (pronounced "neeh" rather than "knee") is simply a word of agreement, "Yeah." or "You can say that." It's relatively mild or feminine. そうだね can mean the same thing, but it often means something slightly different, "That's right" or "That's correct."

  • 韓国語のあいづちが「ネー」のような発音らしいのですが、OPの出典次第です。 – mackygoo Aug 15 '17 at 12:13
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    @mackygoo なぜそこで韓国語が出てくるのかわかりませんが、単にOPは「ねー」をローマ字表記して neee と書いてるだけでしょう。 – naruto Aug 15 '17 at 12:25
  • 最初は「にー」とばかり思っていたのですが、日本語での「ねー」を考えてみました。普通に見聞きする同意の言葉ですね。 – mackygoo Aug 15 '17 at 12:46
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I dunno exactly, but If you tell me that is "a reply", I suppose that is a short form of そうだね。

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What does the long “neeeeee” mean when 2 friends are talking?

If the pronunciation is a long "ねー", it means "そうだねー". There are times when you agree with the speaker or sometimes between people who hear what the speaker says. In these times, people who agree with each other will say "ねー" with nodding slowly at the same time with watching each other's eyes to show the deep agreement.

This way of expressing consent is often done between young women or between a mother and her child.

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ねー is sometimes used as "heeey" like if you're talking to your friend and say something along the lines of "heeey, what's that?" (ねー、なにこれ?) or another example of ねー from the top of my head is when in anime 2 friends are like "something + だよねー!" would be -isn't itttttt? in my opinion it sounds more enthusiastic than just "だよね。" or "isn't it.”

  • why なにこれ? and not これ(は) なに? – Ko32mo Aug 19 '17 at 4:55
  • @Ko32mo just personal preference, but they are both grammatically accurate. It was the first thing that came to mind for my example and since the main focus of this thread was about ねー i didn't put much thought into choosing what to place after it other than the fact that it made sense and was correct. But yes, you can indeed say ねーこれ(は)なに?but its just more common, so far as i have heard to say なにこれ? – Mitsuki Youko Aug 19 '17 at 17:20
  • really? isn't なにこれは ? grammatically incorrect? – Ko32mo Aug 20 '17 at 0:40
  • @Ko32mo i believe so.. but that's why in my first one, i said "ねーなにこれ" there's no は at the end... its just na ni kore... – Mitsuki Youko Aug 20 '17 at 1:42
  • ok, なにこれ ? grammatically incorrect? not because of wa, but because of the reverse order. – Ko32mo Aug 20 '17 at 3:12

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