Live Seminar

How to use sentence ending particles in Japanese


How to use sentence ending particles in Japanese

Welcome back to another “Video & Article” series with tutor Wakako. In this article and video we will talk about how to speak casually in Japanese. Speaking casual Japanese does not only mean leaving out “Keigo”. It involves varying degrees of leaving out and adding particles and exchanging certain stiff or polite words. Let’s take a first look at how to speak casual Japanese!

Table of Contents
[Sentence ending particles]
[よ, ぞ & ね]
[な, なあ & や]
[か↗ & か↘]
[わ↗, わ↘ & わよ]


In spoken Japanese, many kinds of sentence ending particles are used. These particles function to show the speaker’s mood, emotions, or attitude and often allow the speaker to give off a friendly impression or make the tone of the sentence softer.


[Sentence ending particles]

If you speak Japanese entirely without using sentence ending particles, it is going to sound too direct and unnatural – sometimes even impolite.

You can use sentence ending particles not only with the dictionary form of verb in casual conversations, but also in polite conversations. They can be added to the “ます”-form of a verb as well.

You can also add these particles to nouns and adjectives.

There are many varieties of sentence ending particles. It’s best to be a little careful, since some particle sound very masculine and others very feminine. Additionally, each particle has a subtle nuance. Let’s take a look at some of these particles now.

[よ, ぞ & ね]

“よ”, “ぞ” and “ね” are used to relay information thought to be important by the speaker, especially when the speaker wants to make extra sure.

The time to meet tomorrow is 10.


“ぞ” is usually used by men since it sounds very masculine, but sometimes women use it as well.

I put a lot of effort into this food, so please eat a lot.

“よ” is used to call someone over as well.

Mike, it’s dinner time!

(“ミケ” is a typical name for a cat in Japan.)

Takeshi, it’s already 10am. Get up!

“ね” is also used to ask for confirmation from the listener.

The time to meet tomorrow is 10, isn’t it?

This way is correct, isn’t it?

“ね” is also used to ask for agreement.

Ryoko looks good in this dress, doesn’t she?

It’s hot today, isn’t it?

[な, なあ & や]

“な↘”, “なあ↘” and “や” express that the speaker is impressed.

Ryoko sure eats a lot!

It’s amazing that Ryoko ate 20 pieces of Sushi!

* “(かん)
” is a counter word for Sushi.

[か↗ & か↘]

If you use “か” with rising intonation, it makes a question sentence. However, you can also use “か” with falling intonation. In that case, “か” expresses that the speaker has accepted something with a sense of surprise.

I’m surprised that Ryoko managed to eat 20 pieces of Sushi by herself.

What? Your daughter is already 20 years old!

“か” can also be used for talking to yourself, e.g when you’re trying to motivate yourself to do something.

It’s 10 am. I should get up now.

I have an exam tomorrow, so I guess I should start studying.

[わ↗, わ↘ & わよ]

“わ” with rising intonation and “わよ” are used only if the speaker wants to sound feminine and express a feminine nuance. However, they are not used by young women these days. They sound a bit old-fashioned.

Ryoko eats a lot.

I eat a lot, too.

Sometimes “わ” is used with falling intonation. In this case, it doesn’t sound particularly feminine, so both men and women use it.

I’ll do that task.

I’ll tell this to Ryoko.


“ぜ” sounds very masculine, so it’s mostly used by men. However, you will hardly ever hear this particle used in a real-life conversation. “ぜ” sounds like a male anime or manga character speaking.

I love you!

My treasure? If you want it, I’ll give it to you…!

That is all for today’s lesson. If you have any questions you can always clear them up by booking a lesson with one of our native Japanese tutors. See you next time!

単語たんごリスト(Vocabulary list)
(ぶん) Sentence, text
最後(さいご) Last
()ける To attach, to add
紹介(しょうかい)する To introduce
気分(きぶん) Mood
気持(きも) Feeling
態度(たいど) Attitude
(しめ) To show, to indicate
(かん) Sense, impression
(やわ)らかい Soft
()()わせ Appointment
()放題(ほうだい) All-you-can-eat
料理(りょうり)する To cook
(はん) Meal
(みち) Way, road, street
似合(にあ) To suit, to match
(あつ) Hot
寿司(すし) Sushi
(かん) Counting word for Sushi
(むすめ) Daughter
()きる To wake up, to get up
財宝(ざいほう) Treasure
()しい Wanted, wished for, to want something

Recommended Links

Would You Like to Have a Native Tutor Guide You?

Since we are providing online lessons, you can learn Japanese with native speakers and our well-designed curriculum from anywhere in the world. Our lessons are;

  • -One on one lessons for 50 minutes once a week

  • -JPY7,560 (About USD 66 or EUR 63 -22th Nov 2016) per month

  • -Continuous support from the same tutor

  • -Regular lesson time selected by users

We can be sure that your Japanese will enhance further. Please join in Wasabi today via the following.

How to Enroll