Japanese/Grammar/Sentence ending particles
The sentence ending particles (終助詞, しゅうじょし) are placed, unsurprisingly, at the end of sentences and apply to it as a whole. These include for example the question marker, か, and a host of others that express the speaker's emotions. Used mostly in speech.
か [ka] (interrogative)[edit | edit source]
Question mark, used to indicate the sentence is a question. Note that か replaces だ instead of appearing after it, so you can either omit the copula at all, or use a full form (で ある).
|あのひと は だれ です か？||Who is that man?|
|たなかさん は せんせい です か？||Is Mr. Tanaka a teacher?|
The particle may also follow question pronouns with the meaning of some as in someone:
の [no] (emphatic interrogative)[edit | edit source]
An emphatic question mark (mostly expresses reconfirmation or surprise):
|いい の？||Is it okay?|
|どこに行くの?||Where are we going?|
An explanation particle, often indicates that the statement is intended to explain something or to provide information:
|かわちゃんはだいがくせいなの。||Kawa-chan is a college student.|
ね [ne] (emphasis and confirmation)[edit | edit source]
Polite and expresses
- the speaker's desire to receive confirmation (rising intonation), or
- the speaker's agreement (falling intonation).
Often translated as "isn't it so", "don't you think so" or "don't you agree with me". Also used as a polite or friendly sentence ending. Some people end virtually every sentence with "ね".
|それ は むずかしい ね。↑||It's difficult, isn't it?|
|それ は むずかしい ね。↓||That sure is difficult.|
|たなかさん は すごい ひと だ ね...↓||Mr. Tanaka is a great guy...|
Also works as "phrase softener", i.e., it makes the phrase sound softer. Lengthening the syllable makes it more emphatic. The lengthening is usually indicated with a tilde:
|きれい だ ね~↓||It's so beautiful!|
よ [yo] (modality)[edit | edit source]
Used when providing new information that a speaker has, or like an exclamation mark, also for commands and invitations:
|わかる よ||I understand.|
ぞ [zo] (emphasis)[edit | edit source]
Similar to よ but more objective. Often used as a shout, a call and a yell (not limited to male speakers).
|いく ぞ||I'm going.|
な [na] (admiration)[edit | edit source]
Informal, used when expressing a personal emotion or desire.
|たなか は ばか だ な...||Tanaka's a fool...|
|さむい なあ||It's so cold.|
(A few speakers tend to prefer using "な" instead of "ね" but deprecated)
な [na] (prohibition)[edit | edit source]
な can indicate prohibition when placed after action-verbs(present tense). In direct speech, this sounds rude and angry.
|いく な！||Don't go!|
|みる な！||Don't look!|
かな [kana] (uncertainty)[edit | edit source]
Indicate that speaker is not sure about something.
|どこ に ある の かな||I wonder, where was it?|
ぜ [ze] (inducement)[edit | edit source]
Sometimes seen as catchphrases, but rather old-fashioned, thus used only in a sportive talking . Also sometimes used as a vulgar よ.
|おい、にげる ぜ||Hey, I'm getting out of here!|
わ [wa] (modality)[edit | edit source]
Declares a personal thought. Almost similar to よ but expresses fewer attention:
|あした行くわ。||I will go tomorrow.|
さ [sa] (interjection, emphasis)[edit | edit source]
Filler particle, used to draw attention with a pause (unlike よ, not implying any command or new information is communicated):