I am a total noob when it comes to Japanese, so I am reading よつば Vol.1 to try and pick up some simple words/phrases.

On page 4, Yotsuba's father says, in response to her asking if there is a festival that day:


I understand that he is telling her that there is a school, but is there a reason why he says this instead of just


I figure this may just be an expressive thing, almost as if to say "Calm down, it's just a school", but I wanted to check if there is some grammatical reason why he says this.

Apologies if this question does not belong here, or if I have misunderstood something!

The panel in question:

enter image description here

1 Answer 1


「Noun + だ/よ/だよ, etc. + Same Noun」

is simply an emphatic way of saying

「Noun + だ/よ/だよ, etc.」

This expression is very common in informal daily conversations. You may want to remember that in Japanese, words tend to get repeated more often than in English.

Thus, 「学校{がっこう}だ学校」 here means "You have school today. School!"

「学校」 here means "school" and not "a school".

  • Thank you for your answer, although I am not convinced that it means "you have school today", because I'm pretty sure she doesn't have school that day - I guess this depends on the context
    – Bassie
    Commented Oct 29, 2017 at 4:09
  • @Bassie he says it in response to her asking about "today" (きょう), and later on he says summer vacation starts tomorrow. So, "you have school today" does seem like a reasonable inference to make (not that the sentence literally means that, but that it's what he's trying to convey). Though, possibly a special event for the end of the school year, rather than actual class.
    – Soron
    Commented Oct 29, 2017 at 4:50
  • @EthanKaminski OK thanks for clearing that up, I guess that does make sense if you only look at that panel
    – Bassie
    Commented Oct 29, 2017 at 5:08
  • 2
    This girl is 5 years old, just came to Japan, and doesn't even understand what a school is. So the father is just saying "It's (something called) a school."
    – naruto
    Commented Oct 29, 2017 at 7:02

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .