In this lesson, we will learn about the plural forms of the Kosoado こそあど for "this" and "that" which translate to "these" and "those" respectively in English. In doing so, we will learn more about the suffix -ra ら and about other related こそあど phrases.
Although Japanese doesn’t require marking nouns for plurality,
it still possesses means of making nouns plural. One such way is by using the suffix
The suffix -ra ら does have several restrictions. For instance,
it only follows pronouns and generic nouns relating to people. Instead, it
attaches itself to the aforementioned こそあど to achieve this purpose,
producing korera これら, sorera それら, and arera あれら.
Korera no kaki wa Hokkaidō-san desu.
These oysters are from Hokkaido.
Sorera ga subete utsukushii.
All of that (of which) is beautiful.
Kanteinin ga arera wo hyōka shita.
The judge evaluated those.
Korera no kaki wa dore mo oishii hazu da yo.
Kono kaki wa dore mo oishii hazu da yo.
Kono kaki wa dorera mo oishii hazu da yo.
Any of these oysters ought to be delicious.
Curriculum Note: Doreどれ means "which," but we will learn more about it once we learn about questions words.
“Kono ringo wo kudasai.” “O-ikutsu go-iriyō deshō ka?”
9b. “Korera no ringo wo kudasai.” “O-ikutsu go-iriyō deshō ka?”
“Please give me these apples.” “How many is it that you need?”
Kono ringo wa aokute nedan ga takai.
Korera no ringo wa aokute nedan ga takai.
These apples are green and pricey.
Sentence Note: If the speaker is holding just one apple, then Ex. 10a could be understood as being singular. In general conversation, kore/kono これ・この, sore/sono それ・その, and are/ano あれ・あの suffice for both the singular and plural sense because they refer collectively to things.
When talking about things, これ, それ, and あれ dominate regardless of whether there is one or more items being discussed. This is because in the Japanese mind, collective generalizations apply to everything that is present, and if differences are made important, those details are usually individually discussed in a greater context.
Even so, plurality can and does get marked on occasion. So, the first thing to do is look at the word forms that apply to things.
Arera あれら △
Next, let's see how each of these words are used to figure out why speakers use them on occasion.
The ways in which これら and それら are used are parallel to one another. When either is used, the individuality of the constituents being referenced are highlighted as opposed to grouping them altogether.
Shigoto ya okane ya korona ni tai-suru fuan to ōkute korera no koto de atama ga ippai ni natte iru.
Whether it be anxiety over my job, money, COVID, or what, I've been having a lot of worries, and these are all I've been thinking about.
Yōko-san wa mesuinu wo kaidashita. Sono kazu mo sambiki de [korera/kore] ga yagate koinu wo unda.
Yōko-san started to raise female dogs. There were three in total, and these (dogs) eventually gave birth to puppies.
Kamakura Jidai ni umareta mō ippō no bukkyō no nagare wa, Hōnen/Shinran no oshie to wa taishōteki-na mono de-atta. Sore wa "zen" de-aru. Nembutsu wo tonaereba, Amidabutsu ni yotte sukuwareru to iu shisō ni tai-shi, "Zen" wa zazen nado no shugyō ni yotte mizukara wo kyūsai-suru to iu oshie de-aru. Kore mo mata, furui bukkyōkai kara wa dan'atsu-sareta ga, Zen no kibishii Kamakura bushi ni ukeirerarete, zenkoku ni hiromatta. Sara-ni Kamakura Jidai ni wa, Nihon dokuji no Shintō riron ga keisei-sareta. Ise Shintō ga umareta no mo kono koro de-aru. Korera wo miru to, ato no Nihonjin no shūkyōkan, shiseikan no ōku ga Kamakura Jidai ni keisei-sareta to kangaeru koto ga dekiru.
There was another school of Buddhism that was born in the Kamakura Period, which was contradictory to the teachings of Hōnen and Shinran, that being "Zen." Contrasting with being saved by chanting Amitabha, the teaching of "Zen" allows saving oneself through discipline such as cross-legged meditation. This was also suppressed by the old Buddhist establishment, but it spread across the country by being accepted by Kamakura samurai who were strict on Zen. What's more, it is in the Kamakura Period when Japan's unique Shinto ideology formed and also the time period when Ise Shintoism was born. Upon viewing these things, one can conclude that most of the religious views and views on life and death that later Japanese people have were formed in the Kamakura Period.
From 日本国紀 by 百田尚樹.
Kaibutsu no futoi shokushu ga shihō kara shūrai-suru ga, ryū no hanatta kakyū ga sorera wo gekitai-suru.
The monster's thick tentacles charge from all directions, but the dragon's fireballs repel each of them.
Hoka no apurikēshon gamen wo hiraite iru ba’ai, sorera wo subete tojite kudasai.
In the case you have other application screens open, please close all of them.
Amerika, Furansu, Doitsu, korera no kuniguni de wa taima wa ihō desu ka?
In America, France, Germany, and all these countries, is marijuana illegal?
Torampu-daitōryō wa, tero taisaku kyōka no ikkan de aru koto wo kyōchō shite imasu ga, naze korera no nanakakoku ga taishō to natta no ka, gutaiteki na konkyo wa shimeshite imasen.
President Trump emphasizes that it is linked to strengthening measures against terrorism, but he hasn’t provided concrete evidence as to why these seven countries became targeted.
Korera no kinkyū jōhō wa, hajime ni “misairu hassha jōhō” ga tsutaerare, misairu ga Nihon no ryōdo/ryōkai ni rakka suru kanōsei ga aru to handan sareta ba’ai, “okunai hinan no yobikake” to iu jōhō ga nagareru koto ni natte imasu.
As for these (means of) emergency information, at first “missile launch information” will be transmitted, and in the event that it’s concluded there exists the possibility a missile could come down on Japanese territory/waters, information calling for “indoor evacuation” will play.
Namae mo kako mo rireki mo, sorera subete wo tebanashita.
My name, my past, my background, I let go of all those things.
Phrase Note: Korera これら and sorera それら are frequently followed by subete すべて. In this situation, you can’t drop the /ra/.
Kimari ni gimon ga areba, sore mo kaisei teian wo shinsei dekiru.
If you have any questions about the rules, you can submit them in a reform proposal.
Sentence Note: Sore それ is used because there is no context that implies individuality to potential problems with the rule(s) in question.
Machi mo, umi mo, sora mo, yama mo, mangetsu mo, kisetsu mo, densha mo, kōen mo, yūnchi mo, sūpāmāketto mo, omochaya mo, watashi wa kono ko kara sorera wo subete ubatte kita n da.
Towns, the sea, the sky, mountains, the full moon, the seasons, trains, parks, amusement parks, animals, supermarkets, toy stores, I’ve stolen all those things from this child.
Shōrai no koto toka fuan ga ōi yo. Korera no koto de atama ga ippai de, ren’ai ni tsuite kangaeru yoyū wa nai.
I have a lot of anxiety about the future and all. My mind has been full of these things, and I don’t have time to think about love.
Kono tsukue ni takusan no empitsu ga aru kedo, korera no naka kara hitotsu dake motte itte ii yo.
There are many pencils in this desk, but it is okay for you to take only one out of these with you.
Sentence Note: This first kono この can’t be interpreted in the plural sense in context. Although korera no naka これらの中 could be rewritten by using kono この instead, the individuality of the pencils the listener could choose from would not be emphasized.
Korera no gonin no uchi, sakkā sekai senshuken de ichii to natta hito wa dare deshō.
Of these five individuals, who will become number one in the soccer championship?
Toranku ga itsutsu atte, sorera wa sara ni ōkina kaban ni tsumerarete hitotsu ni natta.
There were five trunks, and these trunks become one by being crammed into a much larger briefcase.
Karada no kesson ga mirareru tōshi wa zara-de, kaizō wo hodokosareta mono mo ōku iru. Tagai-no torauma ni furenai yō, sorera wa kinki no yō-ni atsukawareta.
It is commonplace for gladiators to have body parts missing, and there are also many who have been re-engineered. It had become taboo for them to speak of these things so as not to touch on each other's traumatic experiences.
これら and それら are most naturally used when the referents are specifically mentioned in context, and even if they aren't, they are still visually obvious. Overall, you will see それら more frequently as it is more common for people to talk about abstract concepts or things only experienced by one side of a discussion.
Although it is not fair to say that あれら is always unnatural, it is indicative of translated Japanese from other languages, notably English, in which capturing the meaning of "those (over there)" may be more pertinent.
Unlike これら and それら, あれら doesn't particularly point out the individuality of its referents. This is possibly due to it being far more unlikely that two people (or more) - the speaker and the listener(s) - are specifically aware of more than one interrelated thing, and the recognition of that shared understanding may be even harder to come by. If there is such common ground, あれ already suffices.
Nonetheless, examples of あれら can still be found if mutual recognition between the speaker and listener(s) can be met. Also, because あれら is used in translated works, that does mean that a native speaker had to think it was appropriate to use it. In one's own storytelling, though, it is much easier to have everyone on the same page because everyone's thoughts are controlled by the writer.
26. 中華やタイ料理をはじめとするエスニック料理のことですね。【 あれらの・あの】料理で喉が渇くのは、化学調味料が過剰に使われているせいです。
Chūka ya tai ryōri wo hajime to suru esunikku ryōri no koto desu ne. [Arera no/ano] ryōri de nodo ga kawaku no wa, kagaku chōmiryō ga kajō-ni tsukawarete iru sei desu.
You're talking about ethnic foods including Chinese and Thai cuisine, right? Why those cuisines make your throat dry is because of how chemical flavorings are used excessively.
Arera mo kudamono de-wa-nai
Are mo kudamono de-wa-nai.
Those aren't fruits either.
28. ｛あちら ◎・あれら △｝の山は高いですね。
[Achira/arera] no yama wa takai desu ne.
The mountain(s) over there are tall.
Sentence Note: As arera あれら doesn't really exist outside translated works, achira あちら would be far more natural in Ex. 28.
In earlier forms of Japanese, これ, それ, and あれ could be used as personal pronouns just as often as they referred to physical things. Their use in this way is not so common anymore, but the ability to refer to people lives on in their casual forms as seen in the chart below.
Koitsu こいつ (this thing/this guy)
Koitsura こいつら (these guys)
Soitsu そいつ (that thing/that guy)
Soitsura そいつら (those guys)
Aitsu あいつ (that thing/that guy)
Aitsura あいつら (those guys)
These crude/vulgar forms come from the word yatsu 奴, which in its literal meaning refers to people in a crude manner but can also casually refer to both physical and abstract things, contracting with こそあど to refer to either people or things, but they are still very casual in nature, and if used angrily, your tone is certainly matched by using them.
Nante yatsu da!
What a guy! (Sarcastic)
Koitsu wa mazui.
This ain't good.
Nante koto wa nai n da. Aitsura wa baka da kara.
It's nothing 'cause they're a bunch of idiots.
Aitsu wo totte kure.
Take that over there.
Soitsu ga warui n darō?
Isn't that guy the one at fault?
Soitsu wa arigatai.
I appreciate that.
Koitsura wa omaetachi no kanau aite ja nai!
You guys are no matches for the likes of them!