Post Reply Lesson 3: Pronouns
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27 / M / Shinn Paradise!!!
Posted 7/24/08 , edited 8/6/08

[saying “I”]

watashi – is a Formal “I”.
Watakushi- is the most polite version.
Ware- Very Polite.
Waga- Very Polite-Means "my" or "our". Used in speeches and formalities; wagasha (our company) or wagakuni (our country).
[Own Name] - Used by small children, considered cute. [informal]
Oira- [Informal] - Similar to ‘ore’, but more casual. May give off sense of more country bumpkin.

[Saying “You”]
Anata-[Formal/informal]- The kanji is rarely used. It is not used as much, since, when speaking to someone directly, the name of the addressee is better. Commonly used by women to address their husband or lover, in a way roughly equivalent to the English "dear".
Anta- [informal]- Version of anata. Similar to omae. Often expresses anger or contempt towards a person. Generally seen as rude or uneducated. Used by old men who also use washi instead of watashi.
Otaku-[Formal/Polite]- Polite form of saying "your house", slang for obsessive hobbyist. It is distinguished by being written in hiragana or katakana. This is not a pronoun, but a colloquialism referring to the home or the family. Otaku/Otakku/Otaki/Otakki as slang is a noun referring to some type of geek/obsessive hobbyist.
Omae-[very Informal]- Used by men with more frequency, but also used by women. Expresses contempt/anger, the speaker's higher status or age, or a very casual relationship among peers. Used with ore. Should never be said to elders.
Kimi-[Informal]- The kanji means lord (archaic). Generally used with 僕 boku. The same kanji is used to write -kun. It is informal to subordinates; can also be affectionate; formerly very polite. Sometimes rude or assuming when used with superiors, elders or strangers.
on-sha- [formal], used to the listener representing your company
ki-sha [Formal]- similar to On-sha.

[Saying HE/SHE]
ano kata – [Very Formal] Sometimes pronounced ano hou, but with the same kanji.
ano hito- [Formal] Literally "that person".
Yatsu- [Informal] A thing (very informal), dude, guy.
Aitsu- [very informal, generally hostile] Expresses contempt towards the third party referred to. Analogous to "he/she". Similar: koitsu, "you". Soitsu is possible but rarely used.

[Saying “HE”]
kare [ formal (affectionate) and informal (usually neutral)] -Can also mean boyfriend. kareshi [ formal (neutral) and informal (boyfriend) ] Can also mean lover.

[Saying “SHE”]
kanojo [formal (neutral) and informal (girlfriend)] Can also mean lover.

[Saying “WE”]
hei-sha [ formal and humble ] Used when representing one's own company. From a Sino-Japanese word meaning "low company" or "humble company".
waga-sha [ formal,] used when representing one's own company both

[Saying “They”]
kare-ra -common in spoken Japanese and writing both
ware-ware [formal "we" sometimes "they"] Mostly used when speaking on behalf of a company or group.

[Saying “Thou”]

nanji -often translated as "thou" both Spelled as namuti in the most ancient texts and later as nanti or nandi.
sonata (rarely used) -Originally a mesial deictic pronoun meaning "that side; that way; that direction"; used as a lightly respectful second person pronoun in medieval times, but now used when speaking to an inferior in a pompous and old-fashioned tone.

Tachi [ informal. ]- Makes the pronoun plural. watashi(I) becomes watashi-tachi(we)

• watashi-tachi,
• anata-tachi
• kanojo-tachi
• kimi-tachi

kata or gata [formal] -More polite than tachi.
domo [humble] (ex. watakushi-domo) -casts some dispersion on the mentioned group, so it can be rude
ra -[informal] Used with informal pronouns. Frequently used with hostile words (ex., omae-ra).


[saying “I”]

ore – An informal way that Men use. It can be seen as rude depending on the situation. Establishes a sense of masculinity. Used with peers or those younger or of lesser status, indicating one's own status. Among close friends or family, its usage is a sign of familiarity rather than masculinity or superiority. homosexual women expressing masculinity; distinctly masculine, sometimes vulgar.

boku - informal men and boys but Girls can also use it, rarely. Used in giving a sense of casual deference, uses the same kanji for servant, especially a male one, from a Sino-Japanese word. In songs, used by both sexes.

washi – used by old men. Often used in fictitious creations to stereotypically represent old male characters.

Wagahai - archaic, somewhat boastful masculine

Oresama - pompous; Usable by man/Boys

ware – men uses, may sound old.

[Saying “YOU”]

temee, temae - rude and confrontational way of saying you. Girls also use it but Mainly Men. Temee, a version of temae, is more rude. Used when the speaker is very angry.

Kisama - extremely hostile and rude that mainly men uses as You. Historically very formal, but has developed in an ironic sense to show the speaker's extreme hostility / outrage towards the addressee.

Koitsu - directive pronoun, as in "this guy"; rather hostile,

nanji, nare - archaic, generally only used in translations of ancient documents to replace "thou".

Omae - direct, abrupt; sometimes hostile; (when used to address a wife or female partner): equivalent to "dear"


[saying “I”]

Atai - very informal women Slang version of atashi.

Atashi - informal women Often considered cute. Rarely used in written language, but common in conversation, especially among younger women.

Atakushi – Women uses this Formally.

Uchi - informal mostly young girls Means one's own. Often used in the Kansai and Kyūshū dialects. Uses the same kanji for house

Watashi – polite Saying of I . Used more frequently by women, so men may sound feminine using this frequently outside of formal situations.

One's own name - used by men and women but more frequently by women. Greater frequency of usage connotes femininity.

[saying “YOU”]

Anata - (when used to address a husband or male partner): equivalent to "dear"

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33 / F
Posted 7/30/08 , edited 7/30/08
arigato!!! cant wait for the continuation...
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31 / F / Canada
Posted 8/1/08 , edited 8/1/08
ah! *smakes head* thank you! ware-ware -- I couldn't find it in my dictionary and it was driving me nuts... Rufus on Advent Children used it a couple times and I knew what he was saying in English, but couldn't tell what 'ware-ware' was... heh... now I do. jaa! arigato ^.^
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28 / F / Anjo city, Aichi,...
Posted 8/4/08 , edited 8/4/08
Please Note:

a lot of the things up there, i have never read or heard anywhere.
Atashi (girls say this)
Boku (guys say this)
Ore (guys say this when trying to be tough/assertive. it is like a yakuza-ish word for "i")

Waga sounds familiar, but I never hear it and was never taught it in classes.

to say "My" everyone just uses the particle "no"
if i wanted to say the cat belonged to someone
watashi no neko
kare no neko
kanojo no neko
(name) no neko

that is how u express ownership/possessive

Now for the "you" words
It is better not to say YOU at all and actually use the persons name or some sort of honorific term. It doesnt make sense to keep saying like Is Cindy okay? While u talk to cindy, but in Japanese this is normal.
But, it is okay to also use

Omae (ive mostly heard this from guys)
Kimi (this i've heard from guys as well, but girls say it too)

I've never heard Otaku used for you. It would probably be dangerous because of the other meaning of otaku.

VERY IMPORTANT: In japan, to be an otaku is not something to be proud of and people who may read manga and watch anime will deny being otaku because it has the connotation of having NO LIFE. An otaku is someone whole spends thousands of dollars on merchandise and who are considered useless to society because they don't contribute. So even though ppl brag about being otaku hear in America, it is not something to brag about if u go over to Japan.

You're safest word for "we" is just adding Tachi to I
watashi tachi
boku tachi
atashi tachi

all of that is we and is what you will hear
The ones above are for very specific occasions. you can tell because of the ending "sha" comes from the word company "Kaisha"

They works kind of like spanish.
If it's all guys

if it's all girls

if there are 3 girls and 1 boy
so if there is a boy involved u honor the boy.

SOOOO the words above are correct, just a little bit uncommon or inappropriate for everyday common use.

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F / US
Posted 8/9/08 , edited 8/9/08
arigato gozaimasu neowoofer-sensei, to chiisu-san. can we have some examples of how to use the pronouns, or is that further on in the lessons ? >.-
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25 / M / クリーブランドオハイオ州
Posted 9/5/08 , edited 9/6/08
I Look into it more when im not sleepy ^^
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25 / M / OuO
Posted 9/6/08 , edited 9/6/08
Atashi is usually just a shortened type of watashi, as you said, meant to sound cute.
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26 / F
Posted 12/1/08 , edited 12/1/08
is "watashi" only used by females?
Posted 12/1/08 , edited 12/2/08

joshwinx wrote:

is "watashi" only used by females?

no.... Watashi is used for both Male and Female...
Watashi is a Polite for saying I.... [it is the FORMAL way to introduce yourself or sayig I instead of Ore]
It sounded more feminine so Female usually use it....
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26 / F
Posted 12/3/08 , edited 12/3/08

ChaosShinn-sama wrote:

joshwinx wrote:

is "watashi" only used by females?

no.... Watashi is used for both Male and Female...
Watashi is a Polite for saying I.... [it is the FORMAL way to introduce yourself or sayig I instead of Ore]
It sounded more feminine so Female usually use it....

aw is that soo..
my friend and i often argue about that thing..thanks:)
now im more confident than her

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