The meaning of Desu and DA(です/だ) in Japanese

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In this article, we will study in depth the meaning of 2 verbs or particles that play an important role in the Japanese language. Let's talk about the equivalent of the verb to be in Japanese, called desu [です] and da [だ].

What does Desu mean in Japanese?

The word desu [です] is nothing more than an educated version of “da“[だ]. Its common usage in the Japanese language creates a lot of discussions regarding the meaning, so we will examine it in depth in this article.

Its use is quite simple, the desu [です] goes at the end of sentences to indicate the idea of ​​“to be" or "It is“. The da (だ) can also be used to indicate the past tense of an action or the imperative mood of a verb.

These words can come after any word to emphasize, equate, affirm, and declare something. It is a simple formality to end the sentence correctly, with no real effect on the sentence.

It is not mandatory to use these terms in Japanese conversations and phrases, but their use is essential to enrich the conversation and make the phrase more polite. Another alternative to desu or da It is dearimasu [であります]

Is Desu really the verb to be in Japanese?

Some claim that desu is the verb to be, but others claim it is not a verb. Actually desu [です] cannot be a verb, as it is usually used in conjunction with a verb.

Explaining in a more technical way, the desu [です] is actually a Japanese copulation (link), used to grammatically relate a subject to a predicate. Even though it is translated as It is or be, desu it cannot be called a verb.

The shape da [だ] is an informal way to use the desu [です] which tends to be as natural and common in most informal conversations as if it were a simple particle. So much da as desu they are also called verbal aids.

The meaning of da and desu (です / だ) in Japanese

Simplifying the meaning of Desu

The da and desu is one of the first things we learn from studying Japanese. Some are quite confused with the meaning and use of a particle that should be quite simple.

To make it easier we can simply compare the desu [です] with a sign of = (equal). Where its main function is to say that A is equal to B.

In Japanese there are 3 ways to end a sentence or sentence:

  • With だ/です copulations;
  • Verbs;
  • Adjectives ending in い;

It is sometimes used with a complementary or emphasis particle. Some use [です] in unnecessary moments like in adjectives [い], just to make the sentence more formal. Do not start disorderly using the desu just for finding it beautiful.

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私はケビンですI'm kevinwatashi wa kebin desu
可愛いですねIt is not fluffy?kawaii desu ne?
何時ですかHow many hours?nanji desuka?
The meaning of desu and da(です/だ) in Japanese

Variations and words composed with desu

Desu can have different variations depending on usage, dialect and context. It can also be used in conjunction with a particle or another word to have a different meaning. 

To end this article we will share a list of words that are composed with the term desu and a simple and quick translation for your function.

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でございますa very formal desu.
でござるthe ancient samurai used it.
でしたa desu that refers to the past.
でありますpolished form of desu.
ですからtherefore, then.
ですかindicates question.
ですら / でさえyet, but nevertheless.
ですが だがbut nevertheless, even so, still, for all that.
のですtouch of courtesy, is that, fact is,   expectation.
ですねit is not?
そうですねIs not it?

There are other expressions involving です that are often used with other particles like ですよ to increase the emphasis. Some of them incorrectly, usually end all sentences with です, ですも or ですです to convey a kawaii and childish idea.

Sample sentences with desu [です] and da [だ]

What did you think of this article about desu? Did you know these things? I hope you enjoyed it and share our article with friends and comment below. Finally, let's leave some example sentences about Desu and Gives.

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10年は待つには長い時間だ。ichi zero nen wa matsu ni wa nagai zikan da. Ten years is a long time to wait.
潔白であることは美しいことだ。keppaku de aru koto wa utsukushii koto da. Being innocent is beautiful.
またいつか風のように走るんだ。mata itsukafuu no you ni hashiru n da. One day I will run like the wind.
愛のない人生など全く無意味だ。ai no nai zinsei swimming mattaku muimi da. Life without love is meaningless.
僕は彼女無しに生きる術を学んだ。boku wa kanojonashi ni ikiru jutsu wo mananda. I learned to live without it.
病院にいるよ。雷に打たれたんだ。byouin ni iru yo. kaminari ni utareta n da. I'm in the hospital. I was struck by lightning.
税金を払ったら実生活の始まりだ。zeikin wo harattara zisseikatsu no hazimari da. Paying taxes is the beginning of real life.
痩せる必要がないというのは残念だ。yaseru hitsuyou ga nai toiu no wa zannen da. It is a pity that you do not need to lose weight.
お金を稼ぎたいならアメリカが一番だ。okane wo kasegitai nara Amerika ga ichiban da. If you want to make money, America is the best.
私のパソコンは何かの役に立つはずだ。watashi no pasokon wa nani ka no yakunitatsu hazu da. My PC must do something useful.
一緒に旅行してくれる人がいないんだ。issho ni ryokoushitekureru hito ga inai n da. Nobody is traveling with me.
うるさくて眠れないんです。urusakute nemurenai n desu. I can't sleep with that noise.
マリアさんの髪は長いです。Maria san no kami wa nagai desu. Maria has long hair.
冬は私の一番好きな季節です。fuyu wa watashi no ichiban sukina kisetsu desu. Winter is my favorite season.
彼女達は真面目な子たちです。kanojotachi wa mazimena kotachi desu. They are serious children.
残念ながらそれは本当なのです。zannen nagara sore wa hontouna no desu. Unfortunately it's true.
イタリアはとても美しい国です。Itaria wa totemo utsukushii kuni desu. Italy is a very beautiful country.
あなたは私の好みのタイプです。anata wa watashi no konomi no taipu desu. You are my favorite type.
奈良は静かで、きれいな町です。Nara wa shizuka de, kireina machi desu. Nara is a peaceful and beautiful city.
私の趣味は音楽を聞くことです。watashi no shumi wa ongaku wo kiku koto desu. My hobby is listening to music.
明日図書館で勉強するつもりです。ashita toshokan de benkyousuru tsumori desu. I'm going to study at the library tomorrow.
パスワードは「Muiriel」です。pasuwa-do ha ”Muiriel” desu. The password is “Muiriel”.
彼の誕生日に贈り物をあげたいんです。kare no tanjoubi ni okurimono wo agetai n desu. I want to give a gift for his birthday.
あなたが戻って来てくれて嬉しいです。anata ga modottekitekurete ureshii desu. I'm glad you came back.

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