Japanese Language Blog

How to use Desu and Masu in Japanese? Posted by on Jul 19, 2017 in Culture, Grammar

When to use Desu (です) & Masu (ます) in Japanese? 

Photo from chotda on flickr.com


Hi everyone, hope everyone is enjoying the summer. Some of you might be out on vacation, others might be just staying in to relax and enjoy quality time with your friends and family.

Starting this month, I thought I would start a basic Japanese lesson to give you a foundation of Japanese, from the simple ones to a more complex ones. These are must know basic rules in Japanese in my opinion so you can have a good foundation on learning more complex rules later on.

In my first post in this series, I would like to cover “~desu(です), and ~masu(ます)”. Desu & Masu expressions are critical to know so you can speak clean and polite Japanese at all times which you can apply to any situation.

Let’s get started!


~desu. (です)


1.わたしの なまえは さとこ です。(私の 名前は さとこ です。

Watashino namae wa Satoko desu. My name is Satoko.


2. ここが わたしの いえ です。(ここが 私の 家 です。)

Koko ga watashi no ie desu. This is my house.


3. わたしは 25さい です。(私は 25歳 です。)

Watashi wa 25 sai desu. I am 25 years old.


4. わたしの おとうさんは べんごし です。(私の お父さんは 弁護士 です。)

Watashi no otousan wa bengoshi desu. My father is a lawyer.


5.かれは にほんじん です。(彼は 日本人 です。)

Kare wa nihon jin desu. He is Japanese.



~masu. (ます)

1. きょう あには さっかーの れんしゅうに いって います。(今日 兄は サッカーの 練習に 行って います。)

Kyou ani wa sakka- no renshu ni itte imasu. My brother went to soccer practice today.


2. これから かいものへ いきます。(これから 買い物へ 行きます。)

Korekara kaimono e ikimasu. I am going shopping now.


3. いってきます。(行ってきます。)

Itteki masu. I am leaving now.


4. あとで べんきょう します。(後で 勉強 します。)

Ato de benkyo shimasu. I am going to study later.


5. どちらを かおうか まよって います。(どちらを かおうか まよって います。)

Dochira o kaouka mayotte imasu. I am not sure which one to buy.


When you use “desu & masu” at the end of your sentence, it normally softens up the whole expression. It sounds much cleaner and more polite than using “da(だ) & dearu(である)” .

Stay tuned for the next lesson of Basic Japanese series~. 🙂

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About the Author: keiko

Born and raised in Japan. She currently lives in U.S. with her husband and two kids.


  1. Troy:

    Very helpful Keiko, thank you!

  2. jay:

    I did not find it helpful as I still have no idea when to use desu and when masu.