第111課: The Volitional I

     The volitional form shows "will". The affirmative and negative forms are made differently, and there are several speech modals that you have to be aware with. The auxiliaries at the center of this lesson are ~よう and ~う.

~よう & ~う

 Conjugating with ~よう & ~う

This lesson will focus on verbs with these endings. The basic meaning of these endings is "let's". Both of these endings go after the 未然形, but they go with particular classes. 

 Class Ending Ex. Class Ending Ex. Class  Ending Ex. Class Ending Ex.
 一段  ~よう 食べよう 五段 ~う 行こう サ変 する しよう カ変 ~よう 来(こ)よう

Grammar Notes

1. ~う follows 五段 verbs with a sound change of あう to おう. This おう" is pronounced as a long o

2. する verbs can end in just す, which then can be treated as 五段 verbs. So, it is possible to see volitional forms such as 愛そう instead of 愛しよう. 

3. ~(よ)う has a 連体形, which looks no different, but it is rarely used. It basically on used with dummy nouns like こと and はず. This is not used with the 意志形 function at the focus of this lesson.  


 The 意思形いしけい 

  The main usage of these endings is to shows one's volition/will to do something. ~(よ)うと思います shows that you are now determined to do something while ~(よ)と思っています shows that you've made a decision some time ago. The latter may also, however, express third person like in the first example.  

1. 姉()中国()日本語()を教えようと()っています。
    My older sister is thinking about teaching Japanese in China.

2. ハワイに()こうと()います。
    I'm going to Hawaii.

3. 奨学金しょうがくきんをもらおうとえています。
     I'm considering receiving scholarship money.

Pronunciation Note: 奨学金 may also be pronounced as しょうがっきん.

4. 中国語()勉強()しようか。
    I'll study Chinese.

Particle Note: か can actually strengthen the volitional form with a falling intonation.

5. 食事()()ませてから、()()よう。
    Let's go outside after we finish supper.

6. この電車()()んでるから、()のに()ろう。(Colloquial)
    Since this train is crowded, let's get on the next one.

7.  将来しょうらい映画監督えいがかんとくになろうとっている。
     I'm thinking of becoming a movie director in the future.

8. 寿司()()べよう。
    I'll eat sushi/Let's eat sushi.

9. これだけははっきりとさせておこう。 
    Let's get this (much) straight.

10. 少()()もうか。
     How about taking a rest for a while?

11. もう()()わないから、ゆっくりしよう。
      It's not that we have to make it on time. So, let's go slowly.

Word Note: 間に合う should only be used with time.

12. さらに()べようっていうの? (ちょっとくだけた)
      You're going to eat on top of this?

Grammar Note: ~ようでは・じゃないか can also make a volitional question.

13. 出()かけ{ようでは}ないか?
      Why don't we go out?


2. Shows guess. This is not common. This is normally replaced with だろう・でしょう.

14a. 長時間歩()いたのでお腹もすいていよう。(古風)
14b. 長時間歩いたのでお腹もすいているんじゃない?(More natural)
14c. 長時間歩いたのでお腹もすいているでしょう。(More natural and polite)
        You're also probably starving because you walked for a long time.

15a. 彼らは指摘してきできよう。
15b. 彼らは指摘できるだろう。(Natural)
        They'll probably be able to identify it.

Situations where this is more natural include instances like the following. Notice the verbs that are used and other grammatical structures.

16. そんなことがあろうはずがない。
      Such a thing should not happen.

17. 黙っていようものなら、自滅するぞ
      If you were to continue to stay quiet, we'll be ruined.  


3. Creates a rhetorical question. か has a shorter pitch than an actual question.

18a. 許()されようか。(古風)
18b. 許されるのだろうか。(Natural)
        Will it be forgiven?

19a. あやつはそれができようか。(古風)
19b. 彼はそれができるのか。(Natural)
        Can he do it?


4. "...(よ)うが", "...(よ)うと", "...(よ)うとも", "(よ)うものなら", and "...(よ)うにも", show supposition and is equivalent to "しても". They are like "no matter what" or "even if".

20. 家出()をしようにもお()がないよ。
      Even if run away, you don't have any money.

21. 真実()であろうが()であろうが、まだ関係()はない。
      Whether it's true or a lie, I still have no part in it.

22. 行()こうと()くまいと()()ちだ。
      Even if you go or don't go, it's my victory.

23. どんなに反対されようが、消費税の引き上げが施行される。 
      No matter how much it's protested against, the consumer tax hike will be enforced.

24. どんな苦しみを味わおうが、自分が決めたことは変えたくない。
      No matter the suffering I suffer, I won't want to change what I've decided.

25. どれだけお金を損しようが、賭博し続けるよ。 
      No matter how much money I lose, I'll continue to gamble. 

26. 何()をしようと()()ったことではありません。
      Whatever you do, it's nothing that I know.

27. たとえ雨が()ろうともフットボールをする。
      I play football even if it rains.

28. どれだけ時間()がかか{ろうとも・っても}、()らを支持()します。
      I will support them no matter how long it takes.

29. 先生()(あつ)かましくも口答(くちごた)えをしようものなら、大目玉(おおめだま)()らうでしょう。
      Should you ever have the nerve to talk back to the teacher, you'll surely get scolded severely.

30. 火事()になろうものなら、大変()だぞ。
      It would be grave should there be a fire.  


5. ~よ(う)が・もない follows the 連用形 to mean "no way to".

31. 何()とも()いようがないね。
      There's nothing to be said.

32. 私()はお()()しようもありません。
      There's is no way that I could ever thank you enough.


6. ~ようとしたら is when "just as one is about to do X, Y happens". Y is out of your control, and often includes speech modals like ~てしまった and ~きた. 

33. 電車に乗ろうとしたら、ドアが閉まってしまいました。
      I was about to get on the train when the door (regrettably/accidentally) closed. 

34. アイスクリームを買って、歩きながら食べようとしたら、「みっともないですよ」っておこられちゃったし。
When I tried to eat the ice cream I bought while walked, I was scolded and told that it was "indecent". 

35. 喫茶店へ行こうとしたら、雨が降って来た。
      Just as I was about to go to the coffee shop, it started to rain. 

36. 出かけようとしたら、電話がかかって来た。
      Just as I was going to leave, a phone call came. 

~ましょう

     ~ましょう, from ~ます + ~う, is attached to the 連用形 of a verb. Aside from the "let's" usage, most others have fallen out of use. It is able to show "guessing", but this has almost completely been replaced with でしょう.

37. 価格を下げることで売り上げがびるように定価から2千円を割りきましょう。
      In lowering prices in order to boost sales, let's knock off 2000 yen from the price. 

38. 乾杯かんぱいしましょう。
      Cheers!

39. 私()から電話()しましょうか。
      Shall I call?

Particle Note: This usage of から may be replaced with が.

40. 一緒()外食()しましょう。
      Let's go out to eat together.

41. 早速出()かけましょう!
      Let's go at once!

42a. 彼()()がつきましょうか。
42b. 彼は気がつきますか。(More natural)
        Will he notice?

Abbreviation Note: ~ましょう may also be shortened to ~ましょ, though it's slightly less polite. 

43. にあるかぎ最善さいぜんつくしましょう。
      Let's do our best to live in this world as much as possible.

Phrase Note()にある means "to live in this world". 

~だろう

      ~だろう comes from the volitional form of だ and follows the 終止形 of inflectional parts of speech. It is often shortened to ~だろ. ~だろう is often not used by females, and it is normally replaced by ~でしょ(う). Even males may use the latter when trying to sound nicer.


1. Used to show guess. It may follow nouns, adjectives, and verbs.

44. 明日()()()るだろう。
      It will probably rain tomorrow.

45. 結局けっきょく悪化あっかするだろう。
      It will surely get worse.

46. 出席者()高々(たかだか)10()だろう。
      There will be no more than ten attendees. 

47. あの様子(ようす)からして離婚()間近(まぢか)だろう。
      Based on that condition, divorce is surely close.

48. 迷惑めいわくだろう。
      It's probably a bother.


2. Followed by か, it may show a feeling of doubt. With a high intonation it shows hope that the listener will agree. ~だろう(か) is more likely to be said by men in casually. Depending on one's tone, this can also make rhetorical questions. 

49. 何時()だろうか。
      I wonder what time it is.

50. いつ()うだろうか。
      I wonder when he'll carry it out.

51a. お()()るだろう。(Casual; 失礼()
52b. あなたも来るでしょう。(Neutral)
        Aren't you coming too?

53. 誰()議事堂(ぎじどう)()くのだろうか。
      Who would go to the Diet?

54. あんな馬鹿(ばか)行為()()されるだろうか。
      How would such a stupid action be allowed?

55. 嘘()ではないだろうか。
      Isn't it supposed to be a lie?

Phrase Note: "...ではないだろうか" = "isn't it supposed to be?". It definitely follows the aggressive stereotype of だろう.

56. 犯人()なのではないだろうか。
      Isn't he supposed the criminal?


3. "...だろうが" and "...だろうと" show supposition and mean "even (in/as)" or "no matter". This usage is neutral as it is part of a more complex grammar pattern. However, it will be interesting to see if even these usages of ~だろう are replaced with ~でしょう in the future. 

57. 雨天うてんだろうと決行するつもりです。
      I plan to carry it out even in rainy weather

58. 子供()だろうが容赦(ようしゃ)はしない。
      Even as children, they don't show mercy. 

59. どんな()だろうと、この映画()()しめます。
      No matter what kind of person you are, you can enjoy this movie.


4. ~だろうに meaning "even though it's supposed to be". At the end of a sentence, it is like "how I wish!". The politer form is possible, but the pattern as a whole is losing currency, and some speakers may not quite know what it means. 

60. 苦しかっただろうに、よくがんばった。
      Even though it was supposed to be painful, he persevered well.

61. 人生()をもう一度()やりなおせたらどんなにいいだろうに。
      How I wish I could live my life again!

62. もう少し早く出ればに合っただろうに。
      If we only left a little bit more early, we would have made it on time.

~でしょう

     For the most part ~でしょう is the polite form of ~だろう, but we are going to take time to get used to it and see what is actually different between the two. First off, ~でしょう comes from the combination of the 未然形 of です and ~う. It is often shortened to ~でしょ.

63. 今晩()()でしょう。
      It's probably snow this evening.

64. 戻()ってくるでしょう。
      It'll probably return.

65. 雷雨らいうになるでしょうか。
      I wonder if there's a thunderstorm.

66. 間()()うでしょうか。
      Are we going to make it in time?

67. くすり頭痛ずつうおさまるでしょう。
      Headache should subside with medicine.

68. よろしいでしょうか。
      Isn't it alright?

69. 彼女()本当()(よろこ)ぶでしょう。
      I think it'll probably make her really happy.

70. 間()()わないのではないでしょうか。
      Are we not going to be able to make it?

71. 真実()ではないでしょうか。
   Isn't it supposed to be true?

Grammar Note: ~でしょう normally goes after the plain form, but it's occasionally after ~ます in attempts to be more honorific. Even so, many still think it's improper.  

72. 日本に来られて何年になりますでしょうか。
      How many years has it been since you've come to Japan?

73. お分かりになりますでしょうか。
      Do you understand?