Kosoado - Demonstrative pronouns in Japanese

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Ever wondered how to say this, this, that, which, where, here, there, there and other demonstrative pronouns in Japanese? In this article, we are going to talk about these pronouns that are called kosoado.

Demonstrative pronouns are used to indicate positions in a conversation. In Japanese they are called shinjigo [指示語] and shijishi [指示詞]. These pronouns can also indicate places, things, people, direction and other functions of the Japanese language.

Kosoado and divisions of pronouns

The name Kosoado is a composite of 4 series that classify the demonstrative pronouns, they are represented by kana initial of each pronoun. That 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 far from the speaker / speaker and the listener;
  • Do [何] - Represents something of indeterminate position, which can be used for questions;

The pronouns kosoado are divided into 7 types:

  • Djibouti [事物] - Things;
  • Bashou [場所] - Place;
  • Houkou [方向] - Direction;
  • Ninshou [人称] - Staff;
  • Rentaishi [連体詞] - First names;
  • Fukushi [副詞] - Adverb;
  • Keiyoudoushi [形容動詞] - Nominal Adjectives;

It is also worth remembering that within the kosoado there are the personal pronouns that we will also examine.

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
FolksKoitsu [こいつ] This personSoitsu [そいつ] This personAitsu [あいつ] that personDoitsu [どいつ]
FolksKonata [こなた] This personSonata [そなた] This personAnata [あなた] that personDonata [どなた] Which
PronounKono [この] This, thisSleep [その] This, thisYear [あの] that yearOwner [どの] Which
Adverb Kou [こう] This wayI am [そう] This wayAa [ああ] that oneI give [どう] What?
Adverb Kou [こう] This way I'm [そう] SoAa [ああ] SoI give [どう] How?
Adjective Konna [こんな] Like this Sonna [そんな]Anna [あんな]Donna [どんな]

Let's look at some usage examples below:

Djibouti [事物] - Demonstrating things in Japanese

The kosoado of jibutsu it is used for inanimate objects, animals and plants.

  • これは本です。 / Kore wa hon desu. / This It's a book;
  • それは猫です。 / Sore wa neko desu. / That it's a cat;
  • あれは花です。 / Are wa hana desu. / That it's a flower;
  • どれがあなたの車ですか。 / Dore ga anata no kuruma desu ka? / Which is your car?

Bashou [場所] - Demonstrating places in Japanese

As the name says, it serves to demonstrate places, places, etc.

  • Oko こはブラジルです。 / Koko wa burajiru desu. / On here it's Brazil!
  • Oko こは熱いですか。 / Soko wa atsui desuka? / There it's hot?
  • A そこはきれいな町があります。 / Asoko wa kireina machi arimasu. / There there is a beautiful city;
  • Uki 希さんはどこですか。 / Yuki-san wa doko desuka? / Where is Yuki?

Houkou [方向] - Showing direction in Japanese

It points to a direction to look at or follow. Be careful not to confuse it with “place”.

  • こっちの水は甘いです。 / Kocchi no mizu wa amai desu. / The water here is sweet;
  • こちらは一番大きい家です。 / Kochira wa ichiban ooki ie desu. / Here is the biggest house;
  • Chi っちの花はもっときれいです。/ Socchi no hana wa motto kirei desu .. / The flowers there are more beautiful;
  • H ちらの道はやばいです。/ Sochira no michi wa yabai desu. / This path is dangerous;
  • あっちへ行って! / Acchi e itte! / Go over there!
  • Ira ちらの山は寒いです。 / Achira no yama wa samui desu. / That mountain is cold;
  • こっちか?そっちか?どっち? / Kocchi ka? Socchi ka? Docchi? / This way? Or so? In which?
  • 学校はどちらですか。 / Gakkou ha dochira desuka? / Which direction is the school in?

Ninshou [人称] - Referring a person

An informal way of referring a person.

  • こいつは意志薄弱な男です。/ Koitsu wa ishi hakujakuna otokodesu / That face It's one man weak.
  • そいつはいい考えだ。/ Soitsu wa ī kangaeda. /  This is a good idea. [you don't need to refer a person directly.]
  • あいつを撃つ。/ Aitsu utsu. / Shoot in him;

Rentaishi [連体詞] - PRONOMINAL Pronouns

Different than kore, sore, are pronominal pronouns are used to specify the phrase a little more, and should always be followed by a noun. The image at the beginning of the article will help you understand the difference.

  • この かばんはいくらですか?  / Kono kaban wa ikura desu ka?  / How much is this bag?
  • その かさは千五百円です. / Sleep kasa wa sen gohyaku en desu. / That umbrella is 1500 yen.
  • あの じてんしゃは八万六百円です. / Year Jitensha wa hachiman roppyaku en desu. / That bicycle [there] is 80,600 yen.
  • どの とけいが千円ですか? / Owner tokei ga sen en desu ka? / Which clock is 1000 yen?


  • そのOno はこう書くんです / Sleep kanji wa kaku ndesu / This kanji is written in this way
  • そうです / soudesu / that's right / that's right / that's right;
  • ああいう人は見たことない / Aa i hito wa mita koto nai / I didn't see any person over there;
  • どういういみですか / Dōiu imidesu ka / What does this mean?

Keiyoudoushi [形容動詞] - NOMINAL ADJECTIVES

  • どんなことには耐えられないよ / Don'na kotoni wa tae rarenai yo / I can't stand something like this
  • そんな感じです / Son'na kanjidesu / It's such a feeling / It's that feeling!
  • なんでそんなことしたの / Nande son'na ko to shita no / Why did he do that?
  • あんなやつ大嫌いだ / An'na yatsu daikiraida / I hate this person
  • どんなことでも / Don'na kotode mo / No matter what, anything

Those were the KOSOADO and some usage examples, we didn’t go into too much detail so you don’t break your head, it may seem confusing at first, but only with time and practice will you understand the feeling of each word.

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