Grammar Info
N4 Lesson 5: 1/20

代(だい)
Teens, Twenties, Thirties, 1910s, 20s/30s

Structure
Decade of age + だい
Decade + 年代ねんだい
Details
Register Standard
使用域 一般
Information
The 接尾後(せつびご) (suffix) ~代(だい) is used for several different things. One of the most common uses is for highlighting someone’s decade of age. In the same way that English says teens, twenties, and thirties. All that is required is adding 代(だい) after the age (in tens), in Japanese.
  • 10代(だい)の頃(ころ)によく怒(おこ)られ
    I was scolded often when I was in my teens.
  • 私(わたし)20代(だい)の頃(ころ)に沢山(たくさん)旅行(りょこう)ました
    I traveled a lot in my twenties.
  • 六十(ろくじゅう)代(だい)方(かた)こちらお並(おなら)びください
    People in their sixties, please line up over here.
In addition to someone’s decade of age, ~代(だい) can be used to express a chronological decade, such as the 1960’s, 70’s, or 80’s. In these cases, 年(ねん)代(だい) will be used after the decade.
  • 70年(ねん)代(だい)音楽(おんがく)好(す)きです
    I like music from the 70s.
  • #80年(ねん)代(だい)ファッションかっこい
    Fashion from the 80s is cool.
Fun Fact
代(だい) is also regularly seen when marking eras of time, or generations of people within a specific family/political position.
  • 新生(しんせい)代(だい)は哺乳類時(ほにゅうるいじ)代(だい)とも言(い)われています
    The Cenozoic era is also known as the era of mammals.
  • 第(だい)5代(だい)将軍(しょうぐん)徳川綱吉(とくがわつなよし)とても有名(ゆうめい)将軍(しょうぐん)です
    The fifth shogun, Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, is a very famous shogun.
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街頭(がいとう)インタビュー、通行人(つうこうにん):「1980年(ねん)代(だい)ころからここ住(す)んでいます。」
Street interview, passerby: "I have been living here since (around) the 1980s."
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証人(しょうにん)警察官(けいさつかん)言(い)う:「泥棒(どろぼう)30代(だい)半(なか)ばだったと思います。」
A witness speaks to a policeman: "I think that the thief was in their mid-thirties."
[半ば is a noun meaning "middle" or "halfway"]
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新聞記事(しんぶんきじ):「Xさん昭和(しょうわ)50年(ねん)代(だい)終(お)わりごろお金持(かねも)ちになった。」
Newspaper article: "Mr. X became rich toward the end of the 50s of the Showa era."
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