Although the Japanese language does have personal pronouns (人代名詞 【じんだいめいし】), they are not as commonly used as in Western languages. Using personal pronouns puts a lot of stress on the subject and can often sound either self-centred or accusatory. Instead of using personal pronouns, the Japanese prefer to refer to another person by title or function, or by that person’s name.
There are several synonyms for each personal pronoun, often with different levels of politeness. Some personal pronouns are for exclusive used by women; others are exclusively used by men.
Personal and possessive pronouns are used only in situations where there could be some confusion as to whom is referred to. Once the topic has been established pronouns are usually no longer used.
I / me 私 watakushi Formal - 私 watashi Polite - 僕 boku Informal / Masculine - あたし atashi Informal / Feminine - 俺 ore Rude - Masculine you あなた anata Polite - 君 kimi Informal - お前 o-mae Rude - Masculine he, him 彼 kare - she, her 彼女 kanojo - he, him / she, her あの方 ano kata Formal - - あの人 ano hito we, us 私達 watakushitachi Formal - 私達 watashitachi Polite - 僕達 bokutachi Informal - Masculine - あたし達 atashitachi Informal - Feminine - 俺等 orera Rude - Masculine you あなた方 anatagata - - あなた達 anatatachi Polite - 君達 kimitachi Informal - お前等 o-maera Rude - Masculine they, them あの方々 ano katagata Formal - あの方達 ano katatachi Formal - あの人達 ano hitotachi - - 彼等 karera - - 彼女達 kanojotachi All women
Dare ga uisukii deshita?
Who had the whisky?
Hee, uisukii nomimasu ka.
Huh? Do you drink whisky?
Possessive pronouns (所有代名詞 【しょゆうだいめいし】) are formed by simply placing the particle の (no) after the respective personal pronoun.
When the possessive pronoun is followed by a noun it is translated as my, your, her, and so on, when the possessive pronoun is used by itself, it is translated as mine, yours, hers, etc.
Personal Pronouns - - Possessive Pronouns - - 私 watakushi I, me 私の watakushi no my, mine 私 watashi I, me 私の watashi no my, mine 僕 boku I, me 僕の boku no my, mine あたし atashi I, me あたしの atashi no my, mine 俺 ore I, me 俺の ore no my, mine あなた anata you あなたの anata no your, yours 君 kimi you 君の kimi no your, yours お前 o-mae you お前の o-mae no your, yours あの方 ano kata he, him / she, her あの方の ano kata no his / her, hers あの人 ano hito he, him / she, her あの人の ano hito no his / her, hers 彼 kare he, him 彼の kare no his 彼女 kanojo she, her 彼女の kanojo no her, hers 私達 watakushitachi we, us 私達の watakushitachi no our, ours 私達 watashitachi we, us 私達の watashitachi no our, ours 僕達 bokutachi we, us 僕達の bokutachi no our, ours あたし達 atashitachi we, us あたし達の atashitachi no our, ours 俺等 orera we, us 俺等の orera no our, ours あなた方 anatagata you あなた方の anatagata no your, yours あなた達 anatatachi you あなた達の anatatachi no your, yours 君達 kimitachi you 君達の kimitachi no your, yours お前等 o-maera you お前等の o-maera no your, yours あの方々 ano katagata they, them あの方々の ano katagata no their, theirs あの方達 ano katatachi they, them あの方達の ano katatachi no their, theirs あの人達 ano hitotachi they, them あの人達の ano hitotachi no their, theirs 彼等 karera they, them 彼等の karera no their, theirs 彼女達 kanojotachi they, them 彼女達の kanojotachi no their, theirs
Dare no tegami na no?
Whose letter is it?
Kanojo no ootobai desu.
It’s her motorbike.
Zenbu bokura no da.
It’s all ours.