Grammar Info

N0 Lesson 2: 4/12

So?, Well? (friendly or familiar)

Structure

Details

    About い

    い is a sentence-ending particle in Japanese that will often be seen in compound structures with other particles, or auxiliary verbs. It adds a sense of familiarity and friendliness to the base meaning of what it is being paired with.

    い is usually only used by men, when speaking to someone of a lower social position. This social position difference is more in reference to age than anything else, so い being used when an elderly person is speaking to a younger person is very common.

    This feeling of familiarity is best conveyed when い is paired with the sentence-ending particle か, or the auxiliary verb だ.

    い may also be paired with more emphatic sentence-ending particles such as わ, や, and ぞ, or the auxiliary verb た. However, these combinations are far less common, and won't be seen very often.

    Caution

    Despite い primarily being used by men, it is not a strict rule, and women do occasionally use it. This is especially true when partnered with either か, だ, or わ.

    • 風呂(ふろ)のお()加減(かげん)はちょうどいいか
      Is the temperature of the bath just right?

    Caution

    Although uncommon, い can also be used with the imperative form of verbs to create a slightly less strict sounding order or command.

    • それで無理(むり)ならこうやり
      If that doesn't work, do it like this.
    • おい田中(たなか)、ちょっとこっち()
      Hey, Tanaka, come here for a second.

    Once again, this use is very rare, and will almost never actually be used in real life. It may, however, appear in books.

    Examples

    --:--

      (きみ)()(かい)()るか

      So will you come to the drinking party too?

      (きみ)将来(しょうらい)(なに)になりたいんだ

      So what do you want to be in the future?

      迷子(まいご)かい?一緒(いっしょ)にお(かあ)さんを(さが)すか

      You're lost? Well will we search for your mom together?

      (なに)(なや)んでいるだ(ぼく)相談(そうだん)しなさい。

      So what are you fretting about? Please discuss it with me.

      何時(なんじ)までに(いえ)(かえ)らなくちゃいけないんだ

      So what time do you need to return home by?

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