日本語 | Demonstratives & Place

A demonstrative is a word which indicates exactly what is being talked about. The most common ones in English are this and that.

The main demonstratives in Japanese are the ko-so-a-do series. Do- words are question words, like which and where.

RE れ

For the demonstratives to stand alone in a sentence, like “That is bright”, the suffix れ (re) is used after the ko, so, a, or do.

Hiragana Romanised English
これ kore this
それ sore that (close)
あれ are that (far way)
どれ dore which

どれ(dore) cannot be followed by the は(wa) particle and is followed by the が(ga) particle instead.

e.g.

SIMPLE:

どれですか。
Dore desu ka?
Which one is it?

MORE COMPLEX:

どれがあなたのペンですか。
Dore ga anata no pen desu ka?
Which one is your pen?

 

NO の

To be more specific and to add a noun, change the れsuffix to の

これ kore この kono
それsore その sono
あれ are あの ano
どれ dore どの dono

れ words must always stand alone.
の words must always be followed by a noun.

 

Sentence Structure

この+ noun + wa particle +rest of the sentence

このお茶はおいしいです。
Kono ocha wa oishii desu.
This tea is delicious.

その+ noun + wa particle + rest of the sentence

その花は黄色です。
Sono hana wa kiiro desu.
That flower is yellow.

あの+ noun + wa particle + rest of the sentence

あの彼女は美しいです。
Ano kanojo wa utsukushii desu.
That woman (over there) is beautiful.
(for example purposes, I added the あの but it is not always required in conversation.)

どの+noun + ga particle + rest of the sentence.

どの本が怖いですか。
Dono hon ga kowai desu ka?
Which book is scary?

 

Place

To indicate place, れ(re) and の(no) are replaced by こ(ko). However, for the あ series, it’s changed to あそこ (asoko) instead of あこ (ako).

Hiragana Romanised English
ここ koko here (near me)
そこ soko there (near you)
あそこ asoko over there
どこ doko where

 

*Any native Japanese speakers, please feel free to make any corrections. This information is based on studying from the Genki series of textbooks (Genki I, 2nd edition).*

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