What does NE (ね) really mean in Japanese?

If you study Japanese you must have been curious about the expression HUH (ね) which is usually used in the same way as our huh of English. The NE termination is often used to emphasize, agree, request for confirmation, etc. As in English, huh Japanese is equivalent to "it is not?" or "right?".

Is it related to the word in the Portuguese language? For what other purposes is NE (ね) usually used? In this article, we will try to understand the true origin and meaning of the expression HUH (ね). The explanation of this word may seem simple, but in reality it is more complex than it appears.

Naturally the NE (ね) is a particle that is usually used at the end of sentences in the following ways: だよね / ですね / だね. It can be used either as a confirmation or a question (already answered) without using the KA (か) particle. This ending in Japanese phrases is so common that it is difficult to explain its use. Sometimes this expression even means “hey; we will“.

What does ne (ね) really mean in Japanese?


The origin of NE in the Japanese language

Japan received a lot of influence from Portugal in its history. What makes you think that HUH (ね) was one of the words that the Japanese learned from the Portuguese. The problem is that there are records of the NE (ね) particle being used since the Heian Period (794-1185) well before the Portuguese immigrated to Japan.

Others believe that the Japanese influenced Brazilians to use the expression "right", since it is not common in Portugal. Only this expression was also used before the Japanese immigrated to Brazil. All of this seems to be a complete coincidence. In English it is easy to understand the expression "right" that comes from "is not". And in Japanese?

Before the existence of hiragana the word ね was written with the kanji (祢) which currently means sanctuary and ancestor. This kanji is also pronounced NAI (ない) that you find at the end of sentences and verbs as a not or negative. Some claim that the expression NE came from the expression NAI. It makes perfect sense IT IS NOT?

What does ne (ね) really mean in Japanese?
Who was not angry with: “Are you really shinichi? ”,” Shinichi kun dayone? "

Currently, ね has a much deeper meaning of direct and indirect use. The use of the word can be related to an emotional involvement and sometimes even used indirectly. The NE (ね) is so useful that it can be used to get attention, request confirmation, make a correction, criticize, show intimacy and even teach children.

NE (ね) in the middle of Japanese sentences

If it were just a termination, the article would have ended here. The big problem is that the NE (ね) is usually used in the middle of the sentences giving other unexplained meanings. See the sentence below:

  • あのねぇ、今日はね、ひろとゆかは付き合い始めた。可愛いねぇ?
  • Anonee, kyou wa ne, Hiro to Yuka wa tsukiai hajimeta. Kawaii huh?
  • Hey, today, Hiro and Yuka started dating. It is not fluffy?

It’s kind of complicated to explain why using Nee (ねぇ) elongated in the middle of these sentences. It is as if it were something natural and automatic, the Japanese know when to use it but do not know how to explain why. It’s not like a “isn’t it?”, It’s more of an expression to emphasize the subject and draw the listener's attention.

It is common to find the HUH (ね) elongated (ねぇ) at any point in the sentence. Separately Japanese people often say ねぇ ねぇ to get the person’s attention, like “look at this” or “hey”. Some use netteba (ねぇってば) where the teba it means boredom, irritation and emotional closeness.

What does ne (ね) really mean in Japanese?


O HUH usually used together with YO after desu. Forming the expression desuyone (ですよね) where the yo shows the speaker's strong conviction for his opinion, and the huh expects the person to agree with him. please note that iine (いいね) is a very common term that is on social networks in place of the famous like.

Examples of the use of NE (ね) in Japanese

To conclude the article we will leave some example sentences for you to get deeper into the subject. I hope you enjoyed the article, we appreciate the comments and shares. We will also leave some interesting articles for you to read below:

  • 今日は君ついてないねえ
  • Kyou wa kimi tsuitenainee;
  • Today is not your day;
  • ねえねえ、知ってる?
  • Nee nee shiteru?
  • Hey, do you know?
  • 遅いですね
  • Osoi desu ne
  • Are you slow on?
  • まあね。
  • Maane;
  • I think;
  • 聞いてね!
  • Kiitene;
  • Hey listen!
  • 楽しいですよね
  • Tanoshii desu yo ne
  • This is fun (don't you think?);