Is it true that until recently women were expected to drop だ, ending a sentence with よ? For example:



If it is true, was it thought to sound "gentler"? Why has this changed?

  • I searched around a bit to see if I could answer your question, but I don't think I could. There's multiple 終助詞 よ some of which are masculine, some of which are feminine, some of which are very polite; some are casual. So I couldn't get good information.
    – virmaior
    Jan 14, 2019 at 5:17
  • My impression as a non-native speaker is that the example you give isn't particular feminine vs. masculine but rather the "has the information and is informing" よ in non-polite speech.
    – virmaior
    Jan 14, 2019 at 5:17
  • @virmaior thank you very much for your comments.
    – Enguroo
    Jan 14, 2019 at 11:46
  • @virmaior 土曜日よ sounds clearly feminine (or オネエ-like)) to me...
    – naruto
    Jan 14, 2019 at 11:51
  • @virmaior In this context, either intonation between 土曜日よ{LHLH}? and 土曜 日よ{HL}↓ sounds feminine, as naruto says. However, the latter intonation pattern itself could be used for 役割語 for the delinquent or villains, and the former for チャラ男 (which may cause a bias for some dialects, though).
    – user4092
    Jan 14, 2019 at 12:23

1 Answer 1


See this question for the grammar and the difference between masculine-よ: how could a sentence end with (noun + "よ"?)

The feminine-よ is still very common in fiction including live-action dramas and stage plays, but it has long been rare in real-life conversations. I don't remember when it was common or expected in real life, but 女性語 on Japanese Wikipedia says the usage of feminine-よ was introduced in the Meiji era and declined before the 1980's. (The article says 1980年頃, but from what I remember, there were already almost no one who were actively using いやよ or 土曜日よ in speech in the 1980's... Maybe it was actually common around WWII.)



  • There's a good book about this kind of language called ヴァーチャル日本語 役割語の謎. I think a lot of non-native speakers may get the wrong idea about how much feminine speech is used in real life (including me) because of how much it is used in drama.
    – rjh
    Jan 15, 2019 at 17:18

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