Personal Pronouns in Japanese Grammar

Posted on 31. Aug, 2014 by in Grammar

I don’t believe that I covered this topic in the past.  This is one of those basic grammar lesson, and it is very important to know. Today, let me cover the personal pronouns.



photo from Stevie Spiers (Photography) on

The major personal pronouns we use in Japanese are:

Watashi  (私、わたし) - I

Anata (あなた) – You

Kare (彼、かれ) – He

Kanojo (彼女、かのじょ) – She


In Japanese, “I” is “Watashi”. However, during our conversation, we often omit the word “watashi”.  This is true, especially in less formal conversation. I added the word, “watashi” below, but you can say it without the word

  • Kyo, watashi wa market e ikimashita.  今日、私は、マーケットへ 行きました。(きょう、わたしは マーケットへ いきました。) – I went to the market today.


Similar approach is applied to the word “You”, “Anata” in Japanese.

  • Anata no ie wa doko desuka? – あなたの、家は何処ですか? (あなたの いえは どこですか?) Where is your house (located) ?

This can be said ” Ie wa doko deuka?” without “Anata”

When using “He” , “She” or “Kare”, or “Kanojo”, we do add the pronouns in our sentences.

  • Kare wa John san no oto-to desu. 彼は、ジョンさんの 弟 です。(かれは、ジョンさんの おとうと です。)- He is John’s brother.


  •  Kanojo wa watashi no imo-to desu. 彼女は、私の 妹 です。 (かのじょは わたしの いもうと です。)- She is my younger sister.


What if you want to make these pronouns plural. Let me show you how these pronouns change.


Watashi-tachi  (私たち、わたしたち) - We

Anata-tachi (あなたたち) – You

Karera. Kare-tachi (彼ら、かれら、彼らたち、かれらたち)

Kanojora, Kanojo-tachi  (彼女ら、かのじょら、彼女たち、かのじょたち)


When speaking in plural form, we often “add” the pronouns to make it clear that the subject is more than one person.

  • Watashitachi wa ima kokoni kitatokorodesu. 私たちは、今 ここに 来たところです。(わたしたちは、いま ここにきたところです。) – We just got here.


  • Anatatachi wa nanjini ikuno desuka? あなたたちは、何時に行くのですか?(あなたたちは、なんじに いくのですか?)-What time are you (guys) going?


  • Karera wa sakka- chi-mu no hito tachidesu. 彼らは、サッカーチームの人たちです。(かれらは、サッカー チームの ひとたち です。)- They are soccer team members.


  • Kanojo tachi wa nihonjin desu. 彼女たちは、日本人です。(かのじょたちは、にほんじん です。) -They are Japanese.


Any questions? Feel free to let me know in the comment section. I will do my best to answer them in a timely manner! Good luck! Ganbatte!

Basic Japanese Lesson – Ne and Yo particles

Posted on 31. Aug, 2014 by in Grammar

Back to lesson on particles again!  In Japanese, we have many types of particles, but the ones I will show you today are one of those that you often hear at the END of the sentence.  Previously, we covered some that are in the middle of the sentences, but these are a bit unique.  I have to say, although these particles are a bit different, they might be much simpler to learn, so you would be able to apply these as soon as you read through my lesson below! Let’s get started!  Read on!


photo from Stevie Spiers (Photography) on

What is NE(ね)particle? 

NE(ね)particle is often used to look for an agreement from your partner. In English, the expression is similar to “isn’t it?”.

Let me show you by using some examples.

  • Kyou wa atsui desu ne. 今日は、暑いです。(きょうは、あついです。)- It’s hot today, isn’t it?


  • Kono tsukue wa takai desu ne. この机は、高いです。(この つくえは たかいです。)-This desk is expensive, isn’t it?


  • Kono kudamono wa oishiidesu ne. – このフルーツは、美味しいです。(このフルーツは、おいしい です。) This fruit is delicious, isn’t it?


As you can see, the major difference between Japanese and English is that we don’t put a question mark at the end of the sentence in Japanese, even though the meaning might be similar. Just remember, in writing, we don’t put a question mark like English when expressing with particle, Ne(ね).


What is YO(よ)particle? 

YO(よ) particle is also used at the end of the sentence, indicating emphasis on the statement you are making. It also adds a bit more friendly approach to the statement when using Yo(よ) softly while talking to your partner. We often use this particle when we are advising our partner on something.

Examples are:

  • Kono okashi oishii desu yo . このお菓子、美味しいです。(このおかし、おいしいです。)- This snack is delicious.


  • Nihon wa tanoshii desu yo. 日本は、楽しいです。にほんは、たのしいです。-Japan is fun.


  • Omise wa kochira desu yo. お店は、こちらです。(お店は、こちらです。) – The store is this way.


  • Kono hon wa benkyo no tameni katta houga iidesuyo. この本は、勉強のために 買った方がいいです。(このほんは、べんきょうのために かったほうが いいです。)-You better buy this book for your study.


Try making some sentences using these particles. Let me know if you have any questions on these!


Working with Passive Verbs in Japanese

Posted on 28. Aug, 2014 by in Grammar

This morning, one of my boys opened our refrigerator and said, “Oh no, someone ate my cake!” He was devastated as he wanted to save his cake for later.


photo from Stevie Spiers (Photography) on

In Japanese, when something is stolen or taken away from you, we often use “passive verb” in our expression rather than “active” verb.  In the scenario above, you can also say: “My cake was eaten up by someone! ”  In Japanese, it is more common to express using passive verbs than just saying, “Someone ate my cake!”.  Using passive verb, it will be, ” Boku(watashi) no ke-ki ga darekani taberareta! ” – (僕の(わたしの)ケーキが誰かに食べられた! ぼくの(わたしの)ケーキが だれかに たべられた!)

In this article, let me show you how you can use passive verbs in Japanese conversation.

==> My watch was stolen yesterday. – Tokei ga kinou nusumareta.

(時計が昨日、盗まれた。とけいが きのう ぬすまれた。)

==> I was scolded by my mother this morning. – Kesa watashi wa haha ni shikarareta.

(今朝、私は 母に しかられた。けさ、わたしは ははに しかられた。)

==> My comic book was taken away by my teacher because I was reading it during the class. – Jyugyo chu ni yondeitanode, bokuno manga wa sensei ni bosshu sareta.

(授業中に読んでいたので、ぼくの漫画は没収された。じゅぎょうちゅうに よんでいたので、ぼくの まんがは ぼっしゅう された。)

Note here: Take away is often expressed in Japanese as “Bosshu suru(没収する, ぼっしゅう する)”

Taken away will be “Bosshu sareru (ぼっしゅうされる)”

As you might have noticed, “~sareru (される) or ~rareru (られる) ” is a passive expression in Japanese.

Let’s convert the following verbs into passive forms.


Eat ==>

Taberu 食べる、たべる ==> Taberareru 食べられる、たべられる

Hit == >

Tataku 叩く、たたく==> Tatakareru 叩かれる、たたかれる


Nusumu 盗む、ぬすむ ==> Nusumareru 盗まれる、ぬすまれる

Break ==>

Kowasu 壊す、こわす ==> Kowasareru 壊される、こわされる


Shikaru 叱る、しかる ==> Shikarareru 叱られる、しかられる

Use ==>

Tsukau 使う、つかう ==> Tsukawareru 使われる、つかわれる


Homeru 褒める、ほめる==> Homerareru 褒められる、ほめられる


Pay close attention to how each verb changes as it is converted into passive form. Let’s try making the sentence: I was scolded by my father. How would you say this in Japanese? Share your answers in the comment section. Answer will be posted tomorrow. :)

==> Answer is:

Watashi wa chichi ni shikarareta. 私は、父に叱られた。わたしは、ちちに しかられた。

(I was scolded by my father. )