Language Personal and Possessive Pronouns

By JREF · Nov 19, 2011 · ·
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    Personal pronouns

    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.

    I / mewatakushiFormal
    -bokuInformal / Masculine
    -あたしatashiInformal / Feminine
    -oreRude - Masculine
    -お前o-maeRude - Masculine
    he, him kare-
    she, her彼女 kanojo-
    he, him / she, herあの方ano kataFormal
    -- あの人ano hito
    we, us私達watakushitachiFormal
    -僕達bokutachiInformal - Masculine
    -あたし達atashitachiInformal - Feminine
    -俺等oreraRude - Masculine
    youあなた方 anatagata-
    -お前等o-maeraRude - Masculine
    they, themあの方々ano katagataFormal
    -あの方達ano katatachiFormal
    -あの人達 ano hitotachi-
    -彼等 karera-
    -彼女達kanojotachiAll women
    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.

    Dare ga uisukii deshita?
    Who had the whisky?

    Atashi desu.
    That’s me.

    Hee, uisukii nomimasu ka.
    Huh? Do you drink whisky?

    Possessive pronouns

    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.

    Personal Pronouns--Possessive Pronouns--
    watakushiI, me私のwatakushi nomy, mine
    watashiI, me私のwatashi nomy, mine
    bokuI, me僕のboku nomy, mine
    あたしatashiI, meあたしのatashi nomy, mine
    oreI, me俺のore nomy, mine
    あなたanatayouあなたのanata noyour, yours
    kimiyou君のkimi noyour, yours
    お前o-maeyouお前のo-mae noyour, yours
    あの方ano katahe, him / she, herあの方のano kata nohis / her, hers
    あの人ano hitohe, him / she, herあの人のano hito nohis / her, hers
    karehe, him彼のkare nohis
    彼女kanojoshe, her彼女のkanojo noher, hers
    私達watakushitachiwe, us私達のwatakushitachi noour, ours
    私達watashitachiwe, us私達のwatashitachi noour, ours
    僕達bokutachiwe, us僕達のbokutachi noour, ours
    あたし達atashitachiwe, usあたし達のatashitachi noour, ours
    俺等orerawe, us俺等のorera noour, ours
    あなた方anatagatayouあなた方のanatagata noyour, yours
    あなた達anatatachiyouあなた達のanatatachi noyour, yours
    君達kimitachiyou君達のkimitachi noyour, yours
    お前等o-maerayouお前等のo-maera noyour, yours
    あの方々ano katagatathey, themあの方々のano katagata notheir, theirs
    あの方達ano katatachithey, themあの方達のano katatachi notheir, theirs
    あの人達ano hitotachithey, themあの人達のano hitotachi notheir, theirs
    彼等karerathey, them彼等のkarera notheir, theirs
    彼女達kanojotachithey, them彼女達のkanojotachi notheir, theirs
    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.

    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.


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