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 '19 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 '19 at 5:17
  • @virmaior thank you very much for your comments.
    – Enguroo
    Jan 14 '19 at 11:46
  • @virmaior 土曜日よ sounds clearly feminine (or オネエ-like)) to me...
    – naruto
    Jan 14 '19 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 '19 at 12:23

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 '19 at 17:18

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.