Friday, December 5, 2014

Do you know the difference between いい and いいね in Japanese?

It's getting cold. If you're in Japan, you'd hear people say 寒いね, or 寒いですね each other.

You may know what 寒い/samui/ means, yeah, it means "cold". But what at the end of the sentence means? Do you know? Technically it's called a "sentence ending particle". We really often use it in our daily conversations.

If you're curious, search how often  is used in my blog, by using the search box on the upper right corner. :)

There're several sentence ending particles in Japanese. And it's depend on them that how the sentence sounds. I mean, the same sentence with different sentence ending particles sounds different. It can be a friendly term, a bluntly term, or a question form.

Let's have a look at some examples.

(1) 今日は、寒いです。
/kyou wa, samui desu/

(2) 今日は、寒いです
/kyou wa, samui desu ne/

(3) 今日は、寒いです
/kyou wa, samui desu yo/

(4) 今日は、寒いです
/kyou wa, samui desu ka/

The last sentence (4) 今日は寒いですか is a question form. Maybe you've already learned it before. Xですか means "is it X?". Okay, then I add one more sentence.

(5) 今日は、寒い
/kyou wa samui ka/

It can be used as a question, but it usually indicates another situation. I'll explain it later.

Let's start from the first sentence.
(1) 今日は、寒いです。
It simply means "It is cold today." You know, です makes the sentence polite, so if you're talking with your friends or family, you can put です away and just say 今日は、寒い

Let's move on.
(2) 今日は、寒いです or 今日は、寒い as its casual form.
If we're talking to someone, we tend to add at the end of the sentence to make it sound more friendly. is often translated as "don't you think so?" or "isn't it?" We use it to confirm the information.

In other words, it indicates that you're sharing the information (in this case, the information is 今日は寒い) with the other person.
And it indicates that the other person might already know the information.

a) これはあなたのお父(とう)さんのカバンです。
This is your father's bag.
* You show the bag to the other person. It doesn't matter if he knows that the bag is his father's, but you just tell him the fact.

b) これはあなたのお父(とう)さんのカバンです
This is your father's bag, right?
* You know that he already know it's his father's bag.

Oh, do you remember how to say "give a like" in Japanese? I wrote it in my previous post.
We say イイネ! This words, イイネ, consists of 良い (good) + ね. So it literally means "it's good!" In all cases,  brings us closer!!:)

By the way, we sometimes say いい to refuse something. It's confusing, though.
For example;
Try some Taiwanese stinky tofu. It's yummy.
No, I'll pass.

So if I say いいね, I agree to your idea. But if I say いい, it means I wouldn't like to.
Agree or disagree, that is the question. Haha

Well, I'll write about the rest next week. Maybe!
*Japanese Word of the Day*
「寒いね」と 話しかければ 「寒いね」と 答える人のいるあたたかさ
/samuine to hanashikakereba samuine to kotaeru hito no iru atatakasa/

I said "it's cold"
You reply "it is"
That makes me feel warm

*話(はな)しかける /hanashikakeru/ to speak to someone
 →話しかければ when I speak to, if I speak to

*答(こた)える /kotaeru/ to reply, to answer

*いる /iru/ to exist, to be there

*あたたかい /atatakai/ warm
あたたかさ /atatakasa/ warmth

This is a famous Japanese poem composed by Machi Tawara. You won't feel alone (cold) as long as there's someone to answer. Do you like it?

Thank you for reading! Bye (^_-)-


  1. I've been always wondering what are these ending particles! Now everything is crystal clear :)

    1. Wow, I'm really glad I could help.
      Thank you for your comment, Mahyar! :)


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