Pronoun Course

Admin bar avatar
Marshall
JLPT Basic, JLPT Course
Free
  • 9 lessons
  • 0 quizzes
  • 96 week duration

Pronoun Course

Lesson 1: How to say “I” and “We” in Japanese?

In this lesson, I will teach you how to say “I” and “We” in Japanese.


If you are a male, You can use わたくしわたしぼくおれ to say “I”.

Explanation
わたくし
The most formal one. Only use in formal situation such as interview. (Both male and female can use it)
わたし
Less formal than わたくし, but it’s polite enough to use in an interview. (Both male and female can use it)
ぼく
ぼく can only be used by male. And in fact Japanese male usually use ぼく instead of わたし. But it is said it’s impolite to use ぼく to your superior. So you’d better use わたし to your superior, and use ぼく/おれ to your friends.
おれ
おれ can only be used by male. The least formal one.  You can only use it with your friends. 
I for Male

If you are a female, You can use わたくしわたし、あたし to say “I”.

Explanation
わたくし
The most formal one. Only use in formal situation such as interview. (Both male and female can use it)
わたし
Less formal than わたくし, but it’s polite enough to use in an interview. (Both male and female can use it)
あたし
can only be used by female. The least formal one.  You can only use it with your friends. 

As for the “We”, you can refer to below.

(The order is: The most polite … → The least polite). Usually, you can use わたしたち.

Pronoun
Male
わたくしども>わたくしたち>我々われわれわたしども>わたしたち>ぼくたち>ぼくら>おれたち>おれ
Female
わたくしども>わたくしたち>我々われわれわたしども>わたしたち>あたしたち>うちら

Examples:

わたし学生がくせいです。
I’m a student.

ぼく先生せんせいではない。
I’m not a teacher.

おれ天才てんさいだ。
I’m a genius.

わたしたちは観光かんこうきゃくです。
We are visitors.

ぼくらと関係かんけいない。
None of our business.
328+
avataravataravataravataravataravataravataravataravatar

10 thoughts on “Lesson 1: How to say “I” and “We” in Japanese?

  1. Can you give me some examples of 3rd person? Like, near vs not far vs far? Especially near vs not far.

    1+

    1. Admin bar avatar

      There are three people, A B and C.
      The position is like, AC B
      And A don’t know who is C, so he asked B, “Who is he?”この人はどなたですか。
      —————————–
      There are three people, A B and C.
      The position is like, A BC
      And A don’t know who is C, so he asked B, “Who is he?”その人はどなたですか。
      —————————–
      There are three people, A B and C.
      The position is like, AB C
      And A don’t know who is C, so he asked B, “Who is he?”あの人はどなたですか。

      12+

  2. I decided to practice and post little dialogues in lessons that I learn, so I can practice and people can benefit from too 🙂

    私たちは医者ですWe are doctors
    僕たちは学生ですWe are students (Males)
    俺が猫ではない, We are not cats (Males)
    あたしたち歌手です, We are singers (Females)

    クレエ: おはよう、ジル、お元気ですか?
    ジル:元気です
    クレエ: ジルさんは家の中にですか?
    ジル:いいえ、ではいません
    クレエ: 今は車の中にいますか?
    ジル:クレエさん、何でしょう?

    Conversation between Jill and Claire
    Claire : Good morning Jill, how are you?
    Jill : Good.
    Are you in the house now?
    No I am not
    Are you inside the car now?
    Claire San, what do you want?

    5+

  3. What about groups of people including men and women? Do we pick the “we” pronoun based on who is speaking the sentence then? Or do we have to use one of the gender-neutral ones?

    2+

    1. Admin bar avatar

      Just use 私たち.

      3+

  4. I’m a little confused about the verbs in the example sentences.

    For the ”I’m not a teacher” sentence, why does the sentence end in ではない instead of ではりません ?

    For the “I’m a genius” sentence, why does the sentence end in だ instead of です ?

    I don’t entirely understand the verbs in “None of our business” either, but I feel like we didn’t learn that yet so I’m not as worried.

    0

    1. I’m pretty sure だ is just the casual form of です, it might be used in this sentence just because 俺 is used more often with friends or closer acquaintances.

      1+

    2. Admin bar avatar

      ではない=plain form
      ではありません=polite form
      だ=plain form
      です=polite form

      4+

  5. Since ~たち is slightly more formal than ~ら, does ~たち come off as too distant with a close friend and ~ら too familiar with a normal friend?

    Also, it’s really cool that 々 exists, I didn’t realize there was a mark to repeat the previous kanji, it makes writing so much easier.

    0

    1. Admin bar avatar

      Yes!

      1+

Leave a Reply