I've encountered でしょう and だろう in form of question which mean "right?". But what does でしょう and だろう mean without in question form?

someone said that it mean "will"

and my teacher said that verb dictionary form(辞書形) can be "will~" so what is the difference between あしたあめがふる and あしたあめがふるでしょう

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    でしょう is rather versatile. I found it cropped up in places I wouldn't expect it if it really just went "probably". For example, the speaker says something you know they know. But they're being polite and by adding でしょう the bluntness of the statement is quite softened a bit. It's like if I bought an obviously expensive computer set up for my apartment and the mother of my homestay family saw it, she might say, たかいでしょう when there was absolutely no doubt in her mind that it was expensive. Almost as if she were saying, "wow, that must have cost you a lot" when she knew just how poor i was.
    – A.Ellett
    Commented Nov 13, 2021 at 1:49
  • Does this answer your question? What Does the "Volitional" Really Mean? (also Does the volitional form of a verb mean both "let's" and "I want to"?, from the suggested "related" questions.) でしょう・だろう is quite simply and literally just the volitional form of です・だ, with all the same implications. The problem is that "the volitional form" of a Japanese verb just doesn't map quite neatly onto any English grammatical concept. Commented May 14 at 1:35

2 Answers 2


I usually use でしょう to mean "I wonder if..." or "It seems likely/possible that..." This seems confirmed by jisho.

  • so what the difference between 恐らく、多分 and だろう、でしょう? Commented Nov 13, 2021 at 11:46

でしょう (丁寧) and だろう (普通) can be translated as "probably". So 明日、雨が降るでしょう is translated as "it will probably rain tomorrow". In this sentence the speaker is almost certain that it will rain tomorrow.

For levels of certainty you could refer to http://guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar/certainty

Edit: about 降っているでしょう
Someone pointed out that 降るでしょう should be used instead of 降っているでしょう, but I would like to say that 降っているでしょう is not quite wrong, however, Japanese people usually don't use. I have asked my Japanese teacher and this is a summary of what I have received:

  • 「明日は雨が降るでしょう」:It will rain tomorrow.→シンプル
  • 「明日の18:00ごろには雨が降っているでしょう」:It will be raining around 18:00 (Because the weather news said it will rain from 17:00 to 21:00). →18:00には雨が降っている予定です。

Long story short, try to stick to 降るでしょう and you are safe ;)

  • so what the difference between 恐らく、多分 and だろう、でしょう? Commented Nov 13, 2021 at 11:46
  • interesting question. 恐らく and 多分 are "individual expressions" (they do not modify verbs, nouns or adjectives), while だろう and でしょう must follow verbs, nouns or adjectives (cannot be used without anything). As far as I know the only difference between だろう and でしょう is the level of politeness. でしょう is a polite form (丁寧) while だろう is a casual form (普通). If I am not mistaken 恐らく implies a little bit more certainty than 多分. Commented Nov 13, 2021 at 12:06
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    @mihails.kuzmins I was wondering, since you said でしょう/だろう can't be used alone: I can't think of an example right now, but in anime sometimes you hear でしょう/だろう? without anything else, as a reply (see here for a question about this: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/60273/…). Is this a slang usage?
    – Mauro
    Commented Nov 13, 2021 at 19:40
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    @Mauro, yes, I guess. In standard Japanese でしょう/だろう usually modify something, but of course people always find ways how to say something shorter and don't waste words :D Commented Nov 13, 2021 at 20:48

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