Questions tagged [second-person-pronouns]

二人称代名詞. Second-person pronouns like あなた, きみ, and おまえ (cf. English "you").

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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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"Strategies" to speak in 1st, 2nd or 3rd person without pronouns

My level of Japanese is still very basic. So sorry if I what I'm saying doesn't make sense. As I understand it, Japanese do not like the usage of pronouns to express if a sentence's subject or direct ...
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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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
183 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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What's the correct 'you' to use in this case?

Would you leave 'you' out of translating this sentence in a casual conversation with acquaintance by email? Money's worth what you make it worth. So would お金は価値を持ってそれを作るものをの価値がある be correct and ...
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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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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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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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
264 views

How to ask if a dropped object belongs to someone?

Let's say I see a wallet on the ground and a person I suspect dropped it. In English I would naturally ask" Excuse me. Is this your wallet?" A direct Japanese translation would be"すみませんあなたの財布ですか" but ...
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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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Nouns: References to "Both" and "They"

When speaking to a couple, I had difficulties referring to them collectively, as I try to express "both of you". What is the best way to refer to the both of them, instead of 「A」さんと「B」さん? Would ふたりは ...
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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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4 answers
555 views

Is あなた considered rude?

So a Japanese teacher told me that あなた (anata) was a bit rude. But today I talked with a Japanese and she used あなた ... so, I'm a bit confused (we just met in a language exchange app). So I suspect ...
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Can you use "anata" with people you don't know well?

I have read repeatedly that the pronoun "anata" (meaning "you") is very personal and should not be used. But to say something like "Which car is yours?" I would say "Dono kuruma ga anata no desu ka?" ...
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1 answer
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Forms of address between couples

I've come to understand that middle aged women may refer to their husbands as あなた when talking to them. If a wife is talking to a friend or work colleague, how would she refer to her husband? Also for ...
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3 answers
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Difference between the usage of 君 and キミ

From what I read earlier, 君【きみ】 can be used for "you". But in many instances over the Internet, I have seen キミ being used instead of 君【きみ】. What is the usage difference between the two? If I ...
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4 votes
2 answers
316 views

Pronoun collocations

I have embarked on a project of translating a novel I am writing into Japanese in parallel with writing it, and one of the hardest parts for me (in contemplation, I haven't really gotten that far) is ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Use of personal pronouns when talking to different "ranked" people. (In the same conversation)

First time posting here. I have a question that have been bothering me for quite a while. I wonder how to use the personal pronouns (僕/俺 & お前/きみ/あなた) in a conversation with different "ranked" ...
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14 votes
1 answer
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When referring to in-laws using 義理, do you use the familial term relative to yourself or to your spouse?

When using terms such as 義理のお兄さん and 義理の弟, do you choose お兄さん vs 弟 relative to your own age, or relative to your spouses age? If you are older than your spouse, but said spouse's older brother is ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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あなた when a guy says that to a girl

I read online about different usages for あなた and how it can convey meanings and it's best to be avoided as it can come off as rude. so I got into a situation where I was referred as anata by an older ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Generic title for children redux & referring to self in the context of children

Continuing from this question 1. Generic title for children redux Consider the following cases for each situation where a person speaks to two children of different age: How are the following ...
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10 votes
6 answers
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Is there a less formal way to say あなた?

My friend told me I sound too polite when I say あなた, but my book only uses that for second person pronoun. Are there multiple ways to say it and if so, which one is best to use with friends?
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2 answers
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Appropriate context for お前【まえ】

When I was learning about 持ってくる【もってくる】 in college we did some roleplaying to practice using it. When my turn came up it was a husband and wife, with a line along the lines of the following: ...
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12 votes
2 answers
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Addressing a friend's parents when meeting them for the first time

I have met the parents of a close Japanese friend two times in my life and have never been sure how I should address them. Both times I've asked the friend beforehand but never got a satisfactory ...
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11 votes
2 answers
513 views

俺 and 僕 used as second person singular pronouns

I often see couples where the girl sometimes speaks to her boyfriend using 俺 as a 'you'. Where does it come from? Can other pronouns like 僕、私、あたし, etc. can be used the same way?
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4 votes
1 answer
534 views

When is it appropriate to use お宅 to refer to the second-person?

An answer to "What is the most natural way to refer to someone when you don't know their name and don't have a close relationship with them?" suggests that お宅 may be used to refer to the second person....
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6 votes
3 answers
7k views

A polite way to say " this person"

What do I say in Japanese when I'm trying to imply, "This is my dad", "These are my parents", "This is my friend(female)" or "This is my manager"? I don't think using これ is polite, nor will 彼 be ...
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2 votes
2 answers
384 views

What does 御用の向きとは mean + usage of うぬ in the meaning of "you"

I have two questions: What's the meaning of a phrase: 御用の向きとは? Is it a set expression? I found a few examples where it was ended with a question mark, in some cases preceded by addressing an ...
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14 votes
3 answers
4k views

In actual Japanese society, how often are second-person pronouns used?

My Japanese professor (I'm in first-year Japanese) advised us to primarily avoid the use of second-person pronouns like あなた or 君 or おまえ throughout the year, and essentially treated their utterance as ...
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11 votes
4 answers
19k views

Why is "kisama" more refined than "temee"?

From Wikipedia:  –§–  貴様 — formerly an extremely honorific form of address; in modern speech is as insulting as, but more refined than, "temee" 貴様 is often said (...
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19 votes
4 answers
7k views

Is it offensive to say あなた?

My teacher says that we should avoid あなた, like わたし, which could be taken off. Following this, I try to refer to the second person by the name: 加藤さんの趣味は何ですか. But there are situations where we forget ...
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