Japanese Lesson 7 – Very simple Japanese pronoun

In any language, the most-used words are personal pronouns and demonstrative pronoun.
Please learn them first.

Personal pronoun

Personal pronoun
Japanese has the personal pronouns with three persons like English.

But Japanese personal pronouns don’t have case unlike English.
For example, about the first person in English, the subjective case is “I”, the objective case is “me” and the possessive case is “my”.

In Japanese, some particles are used to show the case, and the case is created by connecting a personal pronoun and a particle.

You have only to learn each pronoun like a noun.
It is very easy.

Instead, Japanese has multiple personal pronouns in a person.
In English, there is only one word “I” as the first person.
Please check above table.

Most of them are used during the limited age or in either sex.

When we watch historical drama on TV, the samurais use the personal pronouns for only samurai.
In Japanese, various personal pronouns based on class system had been created since ancient times.

Because Japanese people grow up experiencing such ancient words through media, most of us know such disused old personal pronouns.
But most of the personal pronouns used in modern Japan are listed on above table.
We use all of them properly without struggle.

But you are not a native Japanese.
When you learn modern Japanese, you need not learn all personal pronouns.
You should memorize above bold-faced words first and use only the words.

By contraries, you have only to know about the other words, but you had better not use them.
If you use them by mistake, we will get a funny impression to you.
If you are a woman, you must not use “boku”.
If you are a student, you must not use “omae” or “kimi” to your teacher.
To use standard pronoun is safe.

Please learn only several standard words.

Demonstrative pronoun


kore, sore, are

Japanese has three kinds of demonstrative pronouns and has both singular form and plural form.

“Kore” and “korera” point to the things near the speaker.
“Sore” and “sorera” point to the things near the hearer.
“Are” and “arera” point to the things away from both the speaker and the hearer.

These words are applied to abstract target.

For example, you can use “kore” when you point to what you have said until now.
You can use “sore” when you point to what the conversational partner has said until now.

And, when you and your partner point to the other topic and news, you can use “are”.

Like personal pronoun, the case is created by connecting a demonstrative pronoun and a particle.

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