第185課: 語尾 III: かな, かしら, じゃん, い, け, が, こと, たら, & や

Yes, there are more 語尾. There are even more out there in dialects and Classical Japanese that you will one day encounter. 

The Final Particles かな & かしら

かな = "I wonder" and is a colloquial variant of ~でしょう. ~ないかな shows wishful thinking by stressing desire for something to happen already. かしら is a feminine version.

1. 終わるかな。
    I wonder if it's going to end. 

2. 悲しいかな。
    How sad!

3. まどを開けてくれないかな。
    Could you open up the window? 

Nuance Note: As demonstrated, かな may also elicit a request to people familiar/close to you. 

4. しゃべりすぎたのじゃないかしら。
    I'm afraid I did chatter too much. 

5. どのくらい雪が()もったかしらね。
    I wonder how much snow accumulated. 

6. どうかしら?
     How does it look? 

7. これをいただけるかしら?
     May I take this? 

9. 大丈夫だいじょうぶかしら。
    I wonder if he's OK. 

10. あの男、(だれ)かしら。
      I wonder who that man is. 

11a. 売らんかなの宣伝(せんでん   (慣用句)
11b. 売ってなんぼの姿勢が見え隠れする宣伝 (普通の言い方)
        Exploitation/sales talk 

Phrase Note: 売らんかな is a set phrase made up of the verb 売る (to sell), the auxiliary verb ~ん, which is a contraction of ~む (a Classical ending that shows guess here), and かな. 

13. 「トルコで(もっと)も危険な道路」と言われるのもむべなるかなである。
      It's also plausible that it's called "the most dangerous road in Turkey". 
From 雨天炎天 by 村上春樹. 

Phrase Note: むべなるかな is a set phrase made up an old 形容動詞 in its 連体形, むべなる, which is equivalent to もっともな (plausible; quite right), followed by かな. 

(     は)たせるかな means "just as expected". It is interchangeable with 果たして, but it may be confusing to some simply because it has かな in it.

14. {果たせるかな・案の(じょう)・思った通り}(こころ)みはことごとく失敗(しっぱい)したんだ。
       As expected, the experiment failed altogether.

The Final Particle じゃん

じゃん started out as a contraction of じゃないか. Once it reached Tokyo, it reached national stardom. Unlike what it came from, it is quite casual and is by no means blunt.

15. 足元あしもとが危なっかしいじゃん?
      Isn't your footing unsteady? 

Word Note: 危なっかしい is not a typo of 危ない (dangerous). The word is very similar and refers to a situation that is either unsteady or dangerous. It is very similar to the word "precarious".

16. いいじゃん。
      Isn't that good?

The Final Particle い

い is quite explosive and normally rude. It is almost always used by guys but is most importantly used by people of high temperament. It is often seen after だ, や, or じゃ and is also seen often after the 命令形.

17. 当たり前だぜぃ。
      That is obvious!  

18. おい、こりゃ何だい?
      Hey, what is this!? 

19. 何か飲むかい?
      Will you drink anything? 

20. こりゃ何じゃい?
      What's that? 

Etymology Note: This particle comes from the particle よ.  よ → え → い.

The Final Particle け

(っ)け is casually used in attempt to recall something by jogging one's memory and perhaps also the listener(s). っけ can only follow either the plain non-past or the plain or polite past forms. So, ですっけ isn't used. It is most often used with the plain forms, probably due to the fact that it is a contraction. However, with adjectives and verbs in the non-past, んだ is almost always inserted. So, you will see 新しいんだっけ but not 新しいっけ. This, though, may be acceptable in certain dialects.

      This restriction stems from the fact that its usage with the past tense has a much longer history. -た can show confirmation in sentences like "what was his name?". Obviously the person's name hasn't changed, but we still use the past tense form of the verb. 

      Similarly, with interrogatives it solicits a response from the listener, whether it's something that the listener(s) have actually said before or not. Some situations, then, require the past tense. For instance, if you're recalling an event that's already happened, だっけ is wrong.


21. よく喧嘩(けんか)したっけねえ。
      We often bickered, didn't we? 

22. このパンはもう賞味期限(しょうみきげん)が切れてるんだっけ?
      Isn't this bread already passed the expiration date? 

23. いつ(ぞう)(つか)まえたっけ?
     When did you catch the elephant? 

24. アメリカでは、税金(ぜいきん)が去年ぐーんと引き上げられたっけ。
      Weren't taxes raised straight up in America last year? 

25. いつだ(った)っけ。
      When is it? 

Historical Note: ~たっけ comes from ~たりけり. It does not come from ~たかえ. ~かえ is now old-fashioned, but it is a feature of Eastern Japanese dialects similar to かい without the vulgarity.

26. 出来たかえ。
      Could you do it?
From 我輩わがはいは猫である by 漱石.

Dialect Note: In some dialects け can be a ruder or typical version of か.

27. これ要るけ。(京都弁)
      Do you need this? 

   Also, in some dialects け → かいな. In Standard Japanese, though, this is an old ending that stresses a thought with a sense of doubt or is a contraction of そうかな.

28. やったかいな (京都弁) = やったっけ  

The Final Particle が

1. The final particle が shows malice by speaking ill of someone. This usage is very rude and may cause sharp backlashes.

29. ガキめが!
      You brat! 

2. The final particle が may hint at one's own thoughts rather than what's at hand.

30. 今日はもう閉店なんですが。
      But we're already closed for today. (Polite) 

31. 引っ()せばよかったんだが。
      It would be good if we had moved, but... 

32. 僕も注意したんだが。
      I also warned them, but... 

33. もしもし、鈴木ですが。
      Hello, this is Suzuki. (Polite) 

34. 社長がお呼びですが。 (Respectful)
      The company president has called for you. 

The Final Particle こと

The final particle こと is not the nominal noun 事. It has quite a few usages.

  • Shows a practical yet somewhat harsh command most often used by superiors.
  • Shows slightly deep emotion in feminine speech. 
  • Shows a slight feeling of questioning in feminine speech. 
  • ことよ softens an affirmative statement in feminine speech.

     Use the definitions above to figure out which usage is being used in the following examples.

35. めずらしい動物だこと。
       It's a rare animal!

36. もういいこと!
      Isn't it already OK? 

37. 金を返すこと!
      Pay back the money! 

38. とにかく(あやま)ること!
      Anyhow, apologize!

The Final Particle たら

This たら brings up something to someone's attention with a sense of surprise, criticism, or impatience. This has nothing to do with the conditionals, but don't be surprised when you hear it. It's not a good thing if such a statement is directed to you. 

39. やめてったら!
      Stop that!

40. だまってたら! 
      Shut it!

The Final Particle や

The final particle や has 4 usages.

  • Expresses urgency to people at or below one's status. In masculine speech this can be used to coax action similarly to "shall we".
  • Lightly declares. This could be out of an array of emotions.
  • Expresses exclamation.
  • Used to call a person/thing one has a close relationship or an underling. By elderly people, this can be used to soften the tone.


41. お祖父(じい)さんや、今日はあなたの誕生日(たんじょうび)ですよ。
      Today's your birthday, my dear old man.

42. まあ、座れや。(Old person; dialectical)
      Well, sit down. 

43. そんなこと、知らなかったや。
      I had no idea about that. 

44. こりゃええや。(Dialectical)
      This is good. 

45. まあいいや。
      Ahh, forget it. 

46. おそろしいや。
      That's scary!

Multiple 語尾

You will often see more than one 語尾 at once. There are several important combinations that you should be aware that you can make. Exact combinations may not be common in some parts of Japan. Plus, there are plenty of interjectory particles that are very regional.


     かな is the combination of か and な. かね is also possible. It works the same way as かな, but it is definitely more common in certain age groups and or dialects in Japanese. It can also be used to soften a criticism like in "どうしてそんなことをしているのかね?". It is softer than かな.


       This comes from the archaic particle もがな, which shows wishful thinking. This is equivalent to といいなあ. がな is still occasionally used. It may also be dialectal to emphasize (a reminder).

47. もう()んだがな!
      It should already be done! 


    かい  is a more harsh version of か. Its use is declining and can be associated with foreigner speech as learners tend to overuse it.

48. もういいのかい。
      Isn't it already OK? 


    やい is used to harshly call out for someone. It may also make a curt statement.

49. 意気地(いくじ)なしやい!
      You coward! 

50. 俺じゃねーやい!
      It's not me! 

51. 高田君やい!


わい is typical of (older) male speech, and it is more common in dialectical speech, especially in West Japanese Dialects. This ending shows exclamation.

52. こんな老人を目の前にして「お墓」の一語をさらりと口に出すというのはなかなか良い根性をしておるわいと平岡は思い一転して愉快な気分になってきた。
Having such an old man in front of his eyes without hesitation express the word "grave" shows good tenacity, Hiraoka thought, and in turn, he came to feel delightful.  
From 不可能 by 松浦寿輝.

53. 困ったことだわい。
      I'm troubled.

54. そんなことないわい。
      That's not it at all. 

Other Important Combinations

    There are still more combinations. よ is often followed by ね and な. わ is often followed by よ and ね. い is seen all the time after ぜ and ぞ. If 語尾 have opposing usages, they aren't going to be used together. You may hear のね but not のな. Many combinations are often limited to certain regions of Japan.