Am learning Japanese and I can't decide when to appropriately use either of the pairs: kono/kore, sono/sore, ano/are, dono/dore

Can someone please explain with Examples how these can be used in what scenario or why woull one use kono and not use kore and in what occasion.


The difference is simple: これ・それ・あれ・どれ are abstract this/that/that one/which one. この・その・あの・どの need a specific object to modify; that is, something must come after it.

この本 ➝ This book
その本 ➝ That book
あの本 ➝ That book (over there)
どの本 ➝ Which book

In fact, I believe この・その・あの・どの are just contractions of これ・それ・あれ・どれ + の.

  • 1
    To tweak the wording somewhat for better correspondence with English concepts, the words ending in れ can be treated like nouns (they can be used on their own as subjects, objects, etc.), while the words ending in の can be treated like adjectives (they must be followed by a noun or noun phrase, and cannot be used on their own). Also, FWIW, the modern の terms did not derive as contractions: the root forms こ・そ・あ were the original forms in the Kojiki and Man'yōshū, to which の was added as a particle (or even other particles like は or を). The れ forms are the innovation, appearing later. Mar 22 '18 at 18:18

これ、それ and あれ are used as pronouns, while この、その and あの are used as demonstrative determiners.

これは私のカバンです —> This is my bag
このカバンは青いです —> This bag is blue

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.