Questions tagged [pronouns]

代名詞. Words that substitute for a noun or noun phrase.

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Context for わたくし and われ

Spoilers from the fourth episode of Utawarerumono - Futari no Hakuoro (since it's airing now). In this episode a princess just returned from another country with a memory loss; the country she ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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「その」or「あの」or「この」to refer to what has been said?

In a conversation, when the speaker wants to refer to something that has been said, should he use 「その/それ」or「あの/あれ」or「この/これ」? Example 1 先週怖い新聞記事を見た。その/あの/この記事ではある男が人を傷つけて逃げたということが述べられていた。その/あの/...
1 vote
2 answers
183 views

The generic (you) pronoun

() marks all the personal English pronouns (I) used in writing this post Example: So let’s say a friend asked me in English about what (I) find the most challenging about Japanese and (I) want to ...
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どこ vs なん which one is better in the sentence?

Q: あの立派な建物は何ですか。/あの立派な建物は何処ですか。 A: あの立派な建物は留学生食堂です。 Which of the question sounds more natural in the given context?
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Does Japanese have rules like English "Use 'He and I', not 'me and him'"?

For example, would 彼と私 always sound just as natural as 私と彼? Or is one preferred over the other for certain uses? And this would apply to any other name or pronoun besides 彼.
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Translation of 'Rikei ga Koi ni Ochita no de Shōmei Shite Mita' is 'Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove It'?

This anime/manga called Rikei ga Koi ni Ochita no de Shōmei Shite Mita (seemingly an anime/manga version of the Sheldon and Amy parts of The Big Bang Theory) is translated as 'Science Fell in Love, So ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Differences between どちら and どなた

I am confused by the usage of どちら and どなた. I understand that どちら is usually used as the polite form of どこ, but can also mean "who", in the case of どちらさま. Are there any differences between ...
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What's the Etymology for using うち to mean "I"?

As some know, うち is another way to say "I" in Japanese, my tutor (and others) saying it's mostly used by younger women. My question is...how did this come to be? Because, I can't help but ...
8 votes
2 answers
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「わし」 used by young males in Western Japan

I noticed something very interesting in the adaptations of the novel 『バッテリー』 across media forms. For context, the story is set in a fictional city in 岡山県. The protagonist 原田巧 is described to have been ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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お母さん、牛乳買って来るから、お風呂洗ってくれない

お母さんが男の子に頼んでいます。 お母さん:ねえ。 男の子 :なあに。 お母さん:お母さん、牛乳買って来るから、お風呂洗ってくれない。 男の子 :ええー。もうすぐ見たいテレビが始まるんだけど。 お母さん:牛乳、買って来るのと、どっちがいい。 男の子 :ええー......お菓子も買っていい。 お母さん:一つだけよ。 男の子 :わーい。じゃ、行って来る。わ、あと10分だ。自転車で行こう。 I don'...
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546 views

Is その a standard abbreviation of それが?

The following sentence is from the Constitution of Japan (Article 26). すべて国民は、法律の定めるところにより、その保護する子女に普通教育を受けさせる義務を負ふ。 The English translation (or rather the original text?) says All people shall be ...
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Are forms of address and kinship terms pronouns/代名詞 in Japanese? Why or why not?

It hit me when I was editing this question which had the pronouns tag. I wasn't sure if 「娘」 is considered a pronoun in Japanese. Looking for relevant examples of kinship terminology in English, I ...
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1 answer
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Why 誰か and not 誰? [duplicate]

I thought that 誰 meant 'who', such as in: 彼は誰ですか。'Who is he?' Then, why in this sentence it is 誰か ('someone') which is used and not 誰? 彼女が誰か知っていますか。'Do you know who she is ?'
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Understanding the subject when it's referred to by name

I know in Japanese it's possible to refer to people by name when speaking with them, using the name instead of a pronoun. I'm trying to understand what in the sentence, if anything, makes it clear ...
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Connotation of あっし as a first-person pronoun

あっし is said by imabi to be a 1. person pronoun, derived ultimately from あたし・わたし and from the "working class dialect of Tokyo Bay" (which presumably refers to 下町言葉). Wiktionary claims it to ...
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Which pronoun to use for a teacher addressing students

Which pronoun should I use as a teacher when I address my students? For instance, in this sentence "Please submit your essay on Monday" As far as I know, あなたたち sounds rude
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Can I use verb as noun in a informal way? Informal Japanese

I've tried searching for the answer in a lot of place. But all I get is formal answers (like 彼女はいつ来ますか). I'm assuming that the informal style will be 彼女はいつ来てるのか。 because the verb come turned into ...
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1 answer
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The use of 僕 by office employees

In the famous 1952 film 生きる (Ikiru), the government-office employees frequently use 僕 to refer to themselves (even the female character used it). Based on this understanding of 僕, 僕 is basically a ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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How much "weight" do personal pronouns have?

I always feel like I have an identity crisis when I try to say "I" in Japanese. After reading so much about differences between the various pronouns I've gotten the impression that whatever ...
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2 votes
2 answers
235 views

How to refer to a person as an 'It'

In english you can call objects an 'it', as well as people, and generally seen as rude to call a person an 'it'. Is it possible for something similar to be done in japanese? Call a person an 'it'? If ...
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8 votes
2 answers
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Oneself words difference : 自分, 自身, 自ら, 自分自身, 己, 自己, 自力

I know it's a huge topic, but I can't understand the differences between all this ways to say oneself, and by extension yourself, himself, herself ... If anyone can help me to have a picture of the ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Confusing interchangeability of 汝 and 己

In most cases, 汝 is the formal/archaic second person pronoun, "you/thou", and 己 is a humble and archaic first-person pronoun or a way to refer to oneself. However, confusingly, in many ...
3 votes
1 answer
190 views

What's the significance of this female character's use of おまえ?

I'm accustomed to thinking of おまえ, in modern Japanese, as a second-person pronoun and form of address that is used by men and boys with their inferiors or equals. But in 『少年と犬』, by 馳星周, there's a ...
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1 answer
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How would a butler/servant refer to his princess?

I'm looking to translate a catch-phrase into Japanese. It would belong to a servant/butler character, when he confirms a order, or announces his arrival, etc. Basically "My Queen" / "My ...
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1 answer
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どちら vs どちらの for "which"

When should I use どちら and when should I use どちらの for asking a which-question? My intuitive understanding is that どちらの is used when one wants to ask "which [noun] ..." (e. g. どちらの色が好きですか) but ...
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Translating without the use of pronouns

I saw this sentence in my review today: 母はいつも、単身赴任中の父のことを案じている。 No pronouns, but easy to understand. One way of translating this sentence would be My mom (A) is always worried about my father (B) ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Why is 自分たち used here?

I was wondering why 自分たち is used instead of, let's say トールたち or another personal pronoun to refer to Tohru and Co. for context: Tohru and Co just finished performing a stage play. They managed it ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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When does 彼 refer to a person of indeterminate gender?

I've seen 彼 and even sometimes 彼氏 described in several dictionaries as a pronoun that can refer to a person of any gender, while 彼女 is explicitly female. However in the wild ive never seen a woman ...
3 votes
1 answer
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How commonly is てめぇ used as a synonym for 自分?

The following exchange happens in One Piece: ブルック: い...行くんですか!?サンジさん!!! サンジ: 行かいでかてめぇの問題だ!!男サンジやらねばならぬ!!! I found the sentence kind of baffling at first because as far as I know 行かいでか is Edo ...
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1 answer
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What's the difference between 僕等, 我々, 僕たち, and お互い?

As I read more Japanese texts, I’m finding there are a lot of ways to say “us.” Are there any contextual differences or differences in politeness level between 僕等, 我々, 僕たち, and お互い?
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1 answer
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Honorifics in Japan

I learnt alot of korean and also the fact that a younger girl would call an older girl 'eonni' or and older boy 'oppa'. Also a younger boy would say Noona (older girl) or hyung (older boy). Do ...
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What is それ doing in this sentence

In reading exercise #3 of JLPT N3 読む guide, there's a sentence that contains それ and I don't understand why. 大好きなおもちゃが壊れてしまった子供にとっては、それを直してくれるおもちゃの専門家が、神様のように見えるようです。 Can someone explain to me why ...
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How do parents say "I" when talking to their children in Japanese?

When a parent is talking to their child in Japanese, what are the common ways of saying "I"? I've often heard parents refer to themselves in the 3rd person, ie お母さんについてきて ("come with me"), お父さんの車を洗って (...
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1 vote
1 answer
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How politely to say "you"?

I found many variants in the internet, but they include あなた, which as I know isn't polite and better not to say it to a stranger. So, if I don't know the name/last name of the person, don't know the ...
2 votes
0 answers
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Why was I called 君?

I’m talking with someone on Tandem who I’ve never spoken to before and he immediately called me 君. He’s only 2 years older than me and I thought きみ was for relationships where there is a bigger age ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is an honorific necessary when using someone’s name to say “you”?

Since people often just use someone’s name to say “you” do you always need an honorific? Like could I just say 「ボブの犬が大好きな!」to say “I love your dog!” to Bob? Or would it need be ボブさん?
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Usage of こいつ, あいつ, etc

When can I use こいつ, あいつ, etc? I’ve seen that they can mean he/she/this/that in various contexts but when is it appropriate to use them versus 彼 or 彼女?
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4 votes
2 answers
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Is pronoun switching on the fly a thing?

There's a song called Ame no Musique for the game Symphonic Rain. The song's sung by a character that uses 私{わたし}when she speaks, but in the song there's a line that uses あたし: アタシヲアイシテ And then the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Relative pronouns in せずにはいられない + noun

天を仰ぎ両手を合わせずにはいられない結果が得られている In the above excerpt, I'm not 100% sure how to connect the 結果 with the rest of the sentence. I do understand that the meaning is something like "Obtained result that you ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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How to use 彼 and 彼女?

The first time I saw these two terms, they were used in a love context, to mean "boyfriend/girlfriend". Later, I came to know that you can also use these to refer to "that guy/girl". So, what I ...
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10 votes
2 answers
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Is it acceptable to use あなた when referring to a superior indirectly?

I know that generally あなた shouldn't be used when referring to superiors. However, I find it difficult to rephrase the following sentences which refer to a superior using あなた in an indirect manner: ...
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1 answer
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What's the difference between "doko ga ... desu ka" and "... doko ni arimasu ka"?

I'm reading a textbook and I have this example: Takashi-san no ie wa doko ni arimasu ka? Trying to understand why is arimasu used instead of desu I rephrased it like so: Doko ga Takashi-san no ...
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Kochira vs Konohito and Donohito vs Donata

I'm reading a textbook and I've encountered these examples: Kochira wa donata desu ka? Konohito wa donohito desu ka? I know the first one is a more polite way of asking about someone, but is there ...
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how can I use japanese pronouns if I am beginner in the language japanese? [duplicate]

hello everyone I am very beginner in japanese just I have 2 day learning japanese then I am not expert in this language yet I saw in Wikipedia this japanese pronouns: watashi わたし watakushi わたくし ...
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1 answer
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Can someone explain what purpose こう and こと are serving in this sentence? and whether my interpretation/translation is somewhat correct?

This sentence here (which in context of where I found it is referring to two people, as shown in the brackets): (私たちのことが認めてもらえるまで。) それまではこうしていることは内緒です I vaguely understand it to mean something along ...
2 votes
1 answer
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Understanding Susumu Kuno's example of misuse of 自分

On Wikipedia's page for Logophoricity, there is an example of that concept in Japanese. On this Wikipedia page, sentences from Susumu Kuno's 1972 journal article Pronominalization, Reflexivization, ...
8 votes
4 answers
5k views

Is 僕 (boku) only appropriate for cisgendered men?

I'm enrolled in Japanese at my university, and we recently had a review of personal pronouns. The professor encourage us to understand and practice casual speech, and as part of that, to try finding ...
2 votes
2 answers
228 views

Translating "you" as 君 when giving a definition

I am trying to define the word "deceive". In English, I would say something like this (regardless of whether or not it is a good definition): To deceive someone means that you lie to someone, and ...
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Formal, feminine first-person pronoun

よろしくお願いします。 I am writing a scene (in English, with occasional Japanese for flavor and difficult-to-translate terms) where a rather androgynous woman is in a Tokyo department store, speaking with a ...
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When are these different ways of saying 'I' used?

When I was first exposed to japanese language, there were three pronouns I learnt - 私、僕、and おれ。 But I've seen more pronouns and am not sure when they would be used - わたくし、わっち、わがはい、うち、おれさま、and みずから(?) ...