Maybe this is a stupid question, but in Minna no Nihongo it says to omit だ when giving a positive answer to a question.

Question: こんばんひま?
Answer: うん、ひま。

But it is not explained if one can omit だ when answering this way:

Example 1

Question: あなたはにほんじん?
Answer: ううん、ちゅうごくじん (だ?)。

Example 2

Question: あなたのしゅみはなに?
Answer: にほんご (だ?)。

Do I have to put だ at the end of these two answers or should I omit it?

  • ううん is not a positive response. It is saying 'no'. うん=Yes, ううん=Nuh-uh (informal negative reply). They sound fairly different spoken.
    – BJCUAI
    Aug 28, 2019 at 5:08

2 Answers 2


Grammatically in your cases using or omitting だ does not make any difference.

But Japanese speakers use specific forms in specific situations, and it changes when the relationship between speakers changes.

In both example, the question sentence and ううん is quite casual, and sounds like the speakers are female. Using a single だ for the end of a sentence is strong and mostly used by male speakers, so I will omit it here. If you want to use だ, adding another sentence ending particle after it will be more natural. Ex. にほんごだよ


Most of the time "だ" can be either included or omitted when you are talking about yourself.

  • うん、ひまだ / うん、ひま
  • ちゅうごくじんだ / ちゅうごくじん
  • にほんごだ / にほんご

are all fine.

When you say にほんご, it emphasises the fact that you speak Japanese. Though it sounds a little bit childish and it is not appropriate to older people. Putting "です" is always a good idea since it sounds polite.

  • 1
    にほんご(日本語) is Japanese language, not [you are] Japanese. Also plain speech is not "childish", adults use it all the time (in proper situation). Aug 23, 2019 at 18:57
  • 2
    @IgorSkochinsky I changed to "speak Japanese language". Thank you. Though as a Japanese I don't think we use "だ" in proper conversation if you are an adult. As Romulus mention "だよ" sounds more natural if you are talking with friends.
    – plsplsme
    Aug 23, 2019 at 21:30

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