When can one use the sentence ender ぞ? I've only ever heard it anime, so I'm unsure of it's actual usage in the real world. Is it not used that often or limited to specific age/gender groups?

  • I'm also curious. Teaching English in Japan I've heard this from a wide range of people. From adults to children (as young as 8). However I'm not sure of the nuance nor what impression it gives.
    – phirru
    Commented Jun 5, 2011 at 7:41
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    See the 大辞泉 entry for a pretty good answer to your question. Commented Jun 5, 2011 at 9:00
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    I would assume that zo (and for that matter ze) can go anywhere yo can go.
    – dotnetN00b
    Commented May 5, 2012 at 19:27
  • @dotnetn00b I think can follow a noun, but and can't.
    – user1478
    Commented Jun 6, 2013 at 20:24
  • @snailplane Do you mean like "おれは男よ"? In that case, it's a softer form of "おれは男だよ" (softened by dropping だ). Since ぞ and ぜ are "rougher/tougher" form of よ they never drop だ. So it remains "おれは男だぞ".
    – deeeeekun
    Commented Apr 5, 2021 at 8:31

4 Answers 4


Borrowing from page 277 of this grammar textbook and the Daijisen entry flamingspinach linked to, ぞ is a (primarily masculine) sentence-ending particle used to

  • express strong intent (そうはさせないぞ),
  • persuade someone to go along with your action (そろそろ行くぞ), or
  • (directed at yourself) indicate your judgment or resolution (うまくいったぞ).

なあ can usually substitute for ぞ in the third category. (This is covered in the same section as ぞ in the abovelinked Google Books preview.) Note that when using ぞ in the second category, ぞ follows the dictionary form of the verb. This is in contrast to ぜ, which often follows the volitional form when the intent is to get someone to participate in an action with you:

行くぞ。 I'm going [and so should you].

行こうぜ。 Let's go. (More emphatic than よ.)

ぞ never follows the polite form, and is only used toward friends and persons of lower status.

  • I came by this phrase, used to tell someone else their bone might be broken: "折おれてるぞ". Doesn't seem to fit in the cases above.
    – CharlesM
    Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 17:42
  • @CharlesM It's in the second link they provided (definition 2.3.ア).
    – deeeeekun
    Commented Apr 5, 2021 at 8:28

Yes, it is a very emphatic sentence-ending particle. Also ぜ. They seems stronger than よ (in my opinion). I think they (ぞ/ぜ) are very informal though, so where you could use よ for emphasis in a polite and/or formal way, you probably shouldn't use these.

I think their usage must be a regional or demographic thing. When I lived in Osaka, I never heard it at all, and sometimes another gaijin friend of mine would use it around our Japanese friends (mostly young people in their 20's), they would always give an amused laugh. Maybe I'm over-generalizing it because of the somewhat limited group I was around, but it doesn't seem to be a Kansai thing. Maybe other places use it more commonly?

  • While it's 'standard Japanese' in the sense that it's 標準語, it isn't used in Kansai at all, and will elicit chuckles. Just like saying, ~だよね would.
    – jmac
    Commented Jun 18, 2013 at 0:33

As far as I noticed, many people use

行くぞ - Lets's go

and it is used like 行こう/行きましょう(意向形)with a bit stronger sense when talking to group of people, mainly if speaker is kind of coordinator / leader.

  • hehe... in those cases i prefer to use 行こうではないでしょうか Commented Jun 5, 2011 at 14:24
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    @Mark: 行こうではないでしょうか sounds incorrect to me and a correct form should be 行こうではありませんか. It is less pushing and more polite compared to 行くぞ. Commented Jun 5, 2011 at 16:04
  • You are right Ito, just re-checked my book and the correct forms were 「行こうじゃありませんか」 which is pretty much the same phrase you typed... Commented Jun 5, 2011 at 16:11

I often heard this particle used in the Yakuza games where lots of Yakuza characters would use the ぞ/ぜ ending particle to to indicate dominance, masculine and pretty much what Derek Schaab said.

Thus, it is recommended to not used it so casually, even if some Japanese relative is a friend. Unless , of course, you're both into role playing tough guys and such. I know the source isn't usually trust worthy, but Wiki pretty much explains it in short

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