Kosoado – Demonstrative pronouns in Japanese

Have you ever wondered how to express "this", "that", "that", "which", "where", "here", "there", "there", and other demonstrative pronouns in Japanese? In this article, we will explore these pronouns known as kosoado.

The demonstrative pronouns, known as "shinjigo" and "shijishi" in Japanese, play a fundamental role in indicating positions and references in a conversation. Additionally, they can be used to indicate places, objects, individuals, directions, and various other functions in the Japanese language. Keep reading to better understand how these pronouns work and how to use them in Japanese.

We recommend reading: KANA: Definitive Guide to Hiragana and Katakana - Japanese alphabet

Kosoado - Japanese demonstrative pronouns

Kosoado and Pronoun Divisions

The name Kosoado is a compound of 4 series that classify the demonstrative pronouns, they are represented by the initial kana of each pronoun. They are:

  • Ko [此] – or “Kinshou” [近称], represents something close to the speaker/speaker;
  • So [其] – or “Chuushou” [中称], represents something close to the listener;
  • A [彼] – or “Enshou” [遠称], represents something distant from the speaker/speaker and the listener;
  • Do [何] – Represents something of indeterminate position, and can be used for questions;

the pronouns kosoado are divided into 7 types:

  • Jibutsu [事物] - Things;
  • Bashou [場所] - Place;
  • Houkou [方向] - Direction;
  • Ninshou [人称] - Personal;
  • Rentaishi [連体詞] - Prenominais;
  • Fukushi [副詞] - Adverb;
  • Keiyoudoushi [形容動詞] - Nominal adjectives;

It is also worth noting that within KOSOADO are the personal pronouns that we will also examine just below:

ThingKore [これ] ThisSore [それ] ThatAre [あれ] ThatDore [どれ] Which
PlaceKoko [ここ] HereSoko [そこ] AliAsoko [あそこ] ThereDoko [どそ] Where
Direction Kocchi [こっち] HereSocchi [そっち] ThereAcchi [あっち] AliDocchi [どっち] Which
Direction Kochira [こちら] HereSochira [そちら] HereAchira [あちら] AliDochira [どちら] Which
GuysKoitsu [こいつ] This personSoitsu [そいつ] That personAitsu [あいつ] that personDoitsu [どいつ]
GuysKonata [こなた] This personSonata [そなた] This personAnata [あなた] that personDonata [どなた] Which
PronounKono [この] This one, this oneSleep [その] ThisYear [あの] thatOwner [どの] Which
Adverb Kou [こう] This WayI'm [そう] This WayAa [ああ] that oneDou [どう] What?
Adverb Kou [こう] This Way I'm [そう] SoAa [ああ] Like thisDou [どう] How?
Adjective Konna [こんな] Like this Sonna [そんな]Anna [あんな]Donna [どんな]

Jibutsu [事物] - Demonstrating things in Japanese

"Jibutsu" (事物) is a Japanese word that means "thing" or "object". It is used to refer to any inanimate physical or conceptual entity such as plants and animals.

Kore wa hon desu. 

This is a book;

Sore wa neko desu. 

This is a cat;

Are wa hana desu. 

That is a flower;

Dore ga anata no kuruma desu ka? 

What is your car?

Bashou [場所] - Demonstrating places in Japanese

"Bashou" (場所) is a Japanese word that means "place" or "location". It is a common word used to refer to any geographical area, physical space, or specific position.

Koko wa burajiru desu. 

Here it's Brazil!

Soko wa atsui desuka? 

There it's hot?

Asoko wa kireina machi arimasu. 

There There is a beautiful city;

Yuki-san wa doko desuka? 

Where is Yuki?

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Houkou [方向] - Showing direction in Japanese

"Houkou" (方向) is a Japanese word that means "direction" or "orientation". This type of pronoun is used to indicate the way or the path in which something is moving or pointing.

Kocchi no mizu wa amai desu.

The water here is sweet;

Kochira wa ichiban ooki ie desu.

Here is the biggest house;

Socchi no hana wa motto kirei desu.

The flowers there are more beautiful;

Sochira no michi wa yabai desu. 

This path is dangerous;

Acchi e itte! 

Go there!

Achira no yama wa samui desu. 

That mountain is cold;

Kocchi ka? Socchi ka? Docchi? 

Is it here? Or there? Which one?

Gakkou ha dochira desuka? 

What direction is the school in?

Ninshou [人称] - indicating a person

"Ninshou" (人称) is a type of Japanese pronoun used to refer to "person" or "individual," usually in an informal way in different contexts.

Koitsu wa ishi hakujakuna otokodesu

This guy is a weak man.

Soitsu wa ī kangaeda. 

This is a good idea. [no need to indicate a person directly]

Aitsu o utsu. 

Shoot him;

Rentaishi [連体詞] - Pronominal pronouns

Different than kore, sore, are Pronominal pronouns are used to further specify the sentence, and must always be followed by a noun. The image at the beginning of the article will help you understand the difference.

Kono kaban wa ikura desu ka?

How much is this bag?

Sono kasa wa sen gohyaku en desu.

This umbrella is 1500 yen.

Ano Jitensha wa hachiman roppyaku en desu.

That bike [there] is 80,600 yen.

ど のとけいが千円ですか?
Dono tokei ga sen en desu ka?

What watch is 1000 yen?

Fukushi - Adverbs

Fukushi (副詞) in Japanese refers to adverbs, a class of words used to modify verbs, adjectives, other adverbs, or whole phrases, providing additional information about the manner, time, place, or intensity of the action or described characteristic.

Sono kanji wa  kaku ndesu

This kanji is written like this


that's right

Aa iu hito wa mita koto nai

I didn't see any person there;

Dōiu imidesu ka

What does that mean?

Keiyoudoushi [形容動詞] - Nominal Adjectives

"Keiyoudoushi" (形容動詞), frequently translated as "adjectival nouns" in Japanese, are a class of words that combine characteristics of adjectives and nouns.

Don'na kotoni wa tae rarenai yo 

I cannot suportar something like this

Son'na kanjidesu

It is such a feeling / It is this feeling!

Nande son'na ko to shita no

Why did he do that?

An'na yatsu daikiraida

I hate this person

Don'na kotode mo

Doesn't matter what, anything!


These were the KOSOADO and some examples of use, we didn't go into much detail so you wouldn't rack your brains, it may seem confusing at first, but only with time and practice will you understand the feeling of each word.

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