Grammar Info

N5 Lesson 3: 5/13


Right?, Probably, Isn't it?


Noun + でしょう
Verb + でしょう
Adjective + でしょう


  • Part of Speech

    Auxiliary Verb

  • Part of Speech

    Dependent Word

  • Register


  • 品詞


  • 単語の種類


  • 使用域


About でしょう

でしょう is a conjugated form of です, and can also be seen in the contracted form でしょ (more casual). でしょう is regularly translated to 'right?', or 'probably' in English. In a broader sense it just expresses an assertion about something (like です), that the speaker assumes the listener would probably agree with.

In the above, we can see that, in both examples, the speaker is looking for confirmation that/affirming that the listener agrees with them.

As でしょう is a conjugation of です (the polite form of だ), it usually follows the plain form of words, rather than words using ~ます. However, in very formal situations, or older literature ~ますでしょう may be seen.


Despite sounding relatively low confidence, using でしょう implies that the speaker has some form of information that makes them believe that the (A) statement is true.




    This is your book, right?


    It is probably good. (right?)


    It will probably rain today.


    It will also probably rain tomorrow.


    It will probably be cold tomorrow.

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でしょう – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (12 in total)

  • lohran


    I’m not sure of the difference between でしょう and ですね.
    Aren’t they both used for making a statement that the listener will likely agree with (esp. if the former is pronounced with a falling tone)?

  • FredKore


    Here’s an exaggerated example to make a point…

    It’s noontime. It’s 110degF outside. You’re sweating buckets. You turn to a stranger and say…
    きょうは暑いですね!! – It’s [really] hot today, isn’t it?? (I know I’m hot. I’m telling you how I feel, and I’m getting confirmation about how you feel.)

    You look at another stranger who’s wearing a ski parka and say…
    あなたは暑いでしょう!! – Aren’t you hot?? lit. You must be hot!! / You’re probably hot!! (If I were in your shoes, I’d be hot, but I’m not you so I don’t know 100% for sure. I’m getting confirmation about how you feel.)

    ですね is for a statement that you’re sure of for yourself and probably for others as well.
    でしょう is for a statement you can’t be 100% sure (because it’s about someone else, the future, etc)

  • lohran


    I meant to thank you for this explanation way back - it was really helpful - so thank you!!

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