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Japanese Lessons

Lesson 7 - Nouns and Pronouns

Nouns don't really say anything where they are singular or plural, and also, are not indicated to make a case. One example is,

Hana - Flower

This doesn't tell whether it is one flower or more flowers or whether this is a subject or an object. You will tell if this is the subject or the object by looking at the particle that comes after the specific noun in the sentence.

A pronoun, by definition, is a word that has indicated a once mentioned or understood noun.

A pronoun can be a subject of a sentence or the object. Subject pronouns are not used before a verb, when the subject is clear from the sentence or context. Also, again, you can tell whether it will be a subject or object by the particle.

Watashi wa nihongo no hon o yomimasu. - I read a Japanese book.

Yoho-san wa watashi o yonda. - Mr/Ms. Yoho called me.

Here are some pronouns that are commonly used:

Watashi/Watakushi/Boku - I, me (see male/female speech)
Anata/Kimi (Omae) - you (singular)
Kare - he, him
Kanojo - she, her
Watashitachi - we, us
Anatatachi - you (plural)
Karera - they, them (masculine)
Kanojotachi - they, them (feminine)

Mostly, the third person pronouns, kare, kanojo, karera, kanojotachi, are not commonly used as many first or second person pronouns.


Japanese has three degrees of saying some of the following pronouns: kore, sore, and are. When you ask a question, dore, is used. These are the pronouns that are called, ko-so-a-do.

1. If you are near the speaker - kore (adjective: kono) (this)
2. If you are farther from the speaker and you are near the person is addressed - sore (adjective: sono) (that)
3. If you are at a distance from the speaker and also from the listener - are (adjective: ano) (that over there)
4. When you are going to ask which one - dore (adjective: dono) (which)


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