Basic Article - Nouns, Pronouns and Plural

In this article, we will summarize and exemplify a little of Japanese grammar. Let's talk a little bit about nouns, pronouns and the plural.

Nouns - 名詞 - Meishi

Japanese nouns have no singular and plural form, nor gender  male Female. Everything depends on the context, as it will tell you if the noun is in the plural or if it is masculine or feminine.

In Japanese they are still classified into: Own Nouns [固有名詞 - koyuumeishi] and Common Nouns [普通名詞 - futsuumeishi]

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Own Nouns - 固有名詞 - koyuumeishi

The Own Nouns as well as in English indicate people's names, places [countries, cities, states…] mainly of People:

  • 東京都 - Tokyoto - Tokyo Prefecture
  • 神武天皇 - Jinmu Tennou - Emperor Jinmu
  • ブラジル - burajiru - Brazil
  • 富士山 - Fuji-san - Mount Fuji
  • 山門 - Yamato
  • 北海度 - Hokkaido
  • 大阪府 - Oosakafu - Cd. De Osaka
  • 日本 - Nihon - Japan

Common Nouns - 普通名詞 - futsuumeishi

Common nouns are those that give names to things, objects, ideas, etc.

  • - neko - cat
  • - aka - red
  • - atama - head
  • - ashi - leg
  • アパート - apaato - apartment
  • - uchi / ie - home
  • - umi - beach
  • - and - image, painting
  • 映画 - eiga - film
  • 映画館 - eigakan - cinema
  • - eki - station
  • - to - blue
  • お金 - okane - money
  • - inu - dog
  • お皿 - osara - dish
  • - onna - woman
  • お茶 - ocha - tea
  • - otoko - man
  • 音楽 - ongaku - music
  • 買い物 - kaimono - store
  • - kasa - umbrella
  • - kaze - wind
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 Pronouns - 代名詞 - Daimeishi

Japanese pronouns (代名詞 - Daimeishi) are words we use to refer to people, just like in Portuguese: me, you, him, she, us, you, them, they ... But it is quite different in nihongo, Japanese pronouns are one both sensitive to age, politeness and dialects and in most cases they are omitted because the context of the sentence already makes clear what we are saying. There are thousands of pronouns in Japanese, including archaic pronouns that are rarely used today.

1st Person Singular ~> Me

  • - watakushi - Extremely formal use, among all below this is the most formal
  • - watashi - A little less formal than the one above, but still formal
  • - boku - More casual use, but with a polite tone, used by young people;
  • あたし – atashi - Exclusive use of women;
  • あたくし - atakushi - Exclusive use of women, and its use is not so formal;
  • - ore - An ostensible way of saying "me", very informal and for male use;
  • - ware - A polished and archaic shape. (Used as an insult)
  • - washi - Polished but used by elderly men;
  • 我が - waga - Archaic way of saying me. But it also means mine, ours;
  • あたい - atai - Female use, slang;
  • おいら - oira - Male slang
  • おら - now - Variant of "oira" masculine slang;
  • - uchi - Polished and also for the exclusive use of women;

2nd Person Singular ~> You - You

  • 貴方 - anata - The most common and formal way of saying you;
  • - kimi - A more informal and intimate you;
  • あんた - tapir - Anata slang, usually used in a tone of sarcasm
  • お前 - omae - ostensible form of you;
  • おめー - omee - this is less common than omae;
  • 手前てめー - fear, temee - Offensive way of saying you;
  • 貴社 - kisha - Your company;
  • 御社 - onsha - In your company
  • お宅 - otaku - nerd, addicted to something
  • 貴下 - kika - very informal use
  • 貴様 - ki.sa.ma. - A very offensive way of saying you;
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Singular 3rd Person - they, they

  • - kare - he
  • 彼女 - kanojo - she
  • - yatsu - that guy
  • あいつ – aitsu - him, that guy
  • あの人 - year hito - that person
  • あの女 - year onna - that girl
  • あの男 - year otoko - That man

Plural - 複数形 [fukusuukei]

Although there is no plural in most nouns, the plural can be found in different ways in pronouns and a few other words, let's take a look:

ら – ra – it is added after person nouns, to transform the word into a plural in a way that is more didactic.

  • お前ら - Omaera - You, You
  • 彼女らKanojora - They
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- 達 - tachi - is used with person nouns and pronouns.

  • 彼達 – Karetachi - They
  • 貴方達 – Anatatachi - You
  • 俺達 – Oretachi - We

 - cat - pluralizes the 2nd and 3rd person. In a more formal way than -tachi and -ra.

  • 貴方方 – Anatagata - You

々- Repetição da palavra. The small ideogram is used 々 when we want to repeat the same word, by repeating the word we can transform it into a plural.

  • 人々 – hitobito - People
  • 山々 – yamayama - Many Mountains

Remembering that it is not necessarily a plural, since some words change completely as 色 々 - iroiro - means several instead of colors.

Using numeral we can also indicate that something is in the plural. We must also not forget ども - dome - a super formal and humble way of referring to a person.

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I wrote this article using a source from a text document that I found on one drive, after I finished writing the article I searched and found a source on nihonyo.blogspot.com, anyway I wrote this article in a different way.