How to use the suffix, 「ね ( = ne ) 」

ne

「いつもきれいにしている。」

= Itsumo kirei ni shiteirune.

= You always make yourself so clean, don’t you?

「まあね!」

= Maane!

= I guess so.

Hi everyone!
Levo-Sensei is back again to do some guest-teaching for us!

He will teach you when / how to use the suffix   ( = ne).

******

みなさん、こんにちは!Levoですよ。

= Minasan, konnchiwa! Levo desuyo.

= Hello everyone. I’m Levo.

Some of you might say ( = ne) is a suffix that only women use so you don’t need to learn it.
It’s true that some usages of ( = ne) is very feminine but other usages of ( = ne) are “unisex”.

How and when to use ( = ne):

There are many usage of ( = ne) but over all, the main function of ( = ne)  is to soften the tone of your speech and make it sound more friendlier.

1) Expressing your opinion or making your point.

LIKE” on Facebook  is いい ( = iine) in Japanese

It means “It’s good!” / “I think it’s good!”

Ex. 髪を切ったの?いい

= Kami wo kittano? Iine.

= You got your hair cut? That’s nice!

Ex. そうだといい

= Soudato iine.

= I hope so.

Ex. 今日はかわいい

= Kyou wa Kawaiine.

= You look cute today.

Ex. 何を食べているんですか?美味しそうです

= Nani wo tabete irun desu ka? Oishisou desune.

= What are you eating? It looks delicious.

Ex. これ、昨日、借りた1000円

= Kore, kinou, karita sen-en ne.

= Here’s 1000 yen that I borrowed from you yesterday.

Ex. この間は、 ありがと

= Kono aida wa, arigatone.

= Thank you for the other day.

Note: ありがと (=arigato) is a casual contraction of ありがとう ( = arigatou ne)

Ex. 「例のニュース聞いた?」

= Rei no nyuusu kiita?

= Did you hear that news?

「うん、怖い。」

= Un, kowaine.

= Yeah, scary, right?

Ex. 私はそうは思いません

= Watashi wa souwa omoimasen ne.

= I don’t think so.

Ex. いつもマギーは笑っている

= Itsumo Maggie wa waratte irune.

= You are always smiling, Maggie.

Ex. 今日、支払ってくれないんですか?それは困りました

= Kyou, shiharattekurenain desuka? Sore wa komarimashitane.

=  You are not going to pay me today? That would be a problem.

2) Asking someone an agreement. / When you want to share the same kind of feelings with others.

☆verb plain form + ( = ne)

Ex. 日本に行きたい

= Nihon ni ikitaine.

= I’d love to go to Japan.   / It would be nice if I could go to Japan. (Don’t you agree? / You, too, right?)

(more polite)

 Ex.日本に行きたいです

= Nihon ni ikitai desune

Ex. もうこの文法は習った

= Mou kono bunpou wa narattane.

= We have already studied this grammar,right?

Ex. 私達も高山に去年行った

= Watashitachi mo Takayama ni kyonen ittane.

= We went to Takayama last year,too, huh?

☆i-adjective+ ( = ne)

Ex. 今日は暑い

= Kyou wa atsuine.

= It’s hot today, isn’t it?

Ex. マギー先生のレッスンは面白い !niconico!

= Maggie Sensei no ressun wa omoshiroine.

Maggie Sensei’s lesson are interesting, huh?

Ex. これはひどい

= Kore wa hidoine.

This is awful, isn’t it?

☆na-adjective 〜だ ( = da) + ( = ne)

Ex. 花がきれいだ

= Hana ga kireidane.

= Beautiful flowers, aren’t they?

Ex. いつも元気だ

=Istumo genki dane

= You are always so energetic, aren’t you?

 

3) Asking someone to do something together.

 :rrrr: 〜たい ( = taine )

Ex. 京都にまた行きたい

= Kyouto ni mata ikitaine.

= It would be nice to go to Kyoto again together.

Note : If you say

:rrrr:京都にまた行きたい。

= Kyouto ni mata ikitai.

= I want to go to Kyoto.

It is simply expressing what you want to do.

By adding ( = ne), you are asking a listener to do something together.

4)  Telling someone what you are going to do / Expressing your will / intention

Ex. 来年、日本に行きます

= Rainen, nihon ni ikimasu ne.

= I am going to Japan next year.

Ex.着いたら電話する

= Tsuitara denwa surune.

= I will call you when I get there.

Ex. 今日は私 ( or *)がおごる

= Kyou wa watashi (or boku) ga ogorune.

= It’s on me today.

(* ( = boku ) is an informal first person pronoun for men.)

5) Asking someone to do something / not to do something

Ex. このCD貸して

= Kono CD kashitene.

= Lend me this CD, OK?

Ex. 是非、日本に留学して

= Zehi, nihon ni ryuugaku shitene.

= Please come study in Japan by all means.

Ex. 何かあったら連絡して

= Nanka attara renraku shitene.

= Let me know if anything happens.

Ex. メールちょうだい

= Meiru choudaine.

= Send me an email, OK?

Ex. もう、そういうことしないで

= Mou,  souiu koto shinaide ne.

= Please don’t do such a thing again.

6) To make sure something, to confirm st:

Ex. この薬は食後に飲めばいいんです

= Kono kusuri wa shokugo ni nomeba iin desune.

= I should take this medicine after every meal, right?

Ex. 暗証番号は1234です

= Anshou bangou wa ichi nii san shii desune.

= Your PIN code is 1234, right?

Ex. 「そこにあるお菓子もっていって。」

= Soko ni aru okashi motte itte ne.

= Take some sweets over there.

「ああ、これ。有り難う。」

= Aa, korene. Arigatou.

= Oh, you mean this? Thank you.

Note: If you want to confirm something that you are almost sure , use  (=yone)

:rrrr: いいんですよ

= Iindesu yone.

Ex. 私達って付き合っているんだよ

= Watashitachi tte tsukiatte irun dayone.

= We are exclusive, right? (We are dating only each other now.)

Ex. 明日、迎えに来てくれるよ

= Ashita, mukaeni kite kureru yone.

= You are picking me up tomorrow, right?

Ex. お砂糖、スプーンに一杯でいいんだよ

= Osatou, supuun ni ippai de iin dayone.

= You want just a spoonful of sugar right?

7) Telling a story / To tell someone what happened or explaining why you do something.

☆verb ( = te)  form + ( = ne)

Ex. 昨日、またあの店に行っ、美味しいビールを飲んだきたよ。

= Kinou, mata ano mise ni itte ne, oishii biiru wo nonde kita yo.

= I went back to the bar again yesterday and had a good beer.

Ex. 彼女とは昔いろいろあっ

= Kanojo to wa mukashi iroiro attene.

= I had some history with her, you know.

Ex.「どうしてこの店で買わないの?」

= Doushite kono mise de kawanaino?

= Why don’t you shop at this store?

「他の店の方が安いと思っ。」

= Hoka no mise no hou ga yasui to omotte ne.

= I thought other stores are cheaper so…

(more polite : 思いまし ( = omoimahistene))

Ex.「ちょっと熱が出て。明日は会えないよ。」

= Chotto netsu ga dete ne. Ashita wa aenai yo.

= I have a slight fever so I can’t see you tomorrow.

(more polite 出まし ( = demashite ne))

Ex. 会社やめたんだ。ちょっともめ

= Kaisha yametan da. Chotto mometene.

= I quit my job. I had some trouble you know.

5) As a gap filler that you use  while thinking what to say
:rrrr: usually we stretch the sound ねえ, ねー, ね〜 ( = nee)

There is no meaning but just to fill the gap

Ex. 昔はねえ、子供は外でもっと遊んでいたものなんだよ。

= Mukashi wa nee, kodomo wa soto de motto asonde ita mono nan dayo.

= You know children used to play outdoor more in old days.

Ex. 「来年、日本に来るの?」

= Rainen, nihon ni kuruno?

= Are you coming to Japan?

「それはね~まだ何ともいえないなあ。 」

= Sorewa nee mada nanto mo ienai naa.

= Well… I don’t know yet.

Ex. 実はねえ、来年、結婚するんだ。

= Jitsuwa nee, rainen, kekkon surunda.

= Actually, I am going to get married next year.

Ex. この犬はねえ、僕にとっては家族と同じぐらい大切なんだよ。

= Kono inu wa nee, boku ni totte wa kazoku to onaji gurai taisetu nan dayo.

= You know this dog is as important to me as my family.

8) When you talk to someone / When you needs someone’s attention (slightly feminine or childish)

Ex. ねえ、知ってる?

= Nee, shitteru?

= Hey, you know…

Ex. ねえ、今日、カレー食べない?

= Nee, kyou karee tabenai?

= Hey, do you wanna eat curry today?

Ex.  ねえねえ、これ見て。

= Neenee, kore mite.

= Hey look at this!

Sometimes we just keep going on and on

Ex.ねーねーねーねえ、ねえ、ねえ

= Nee nee nee…

= Hey, hey, hey (Heeeey)

Ex. あの、もう何回も言っていると思うんだけど自分のことは自分でしたら?

= Anone, mou nankai mo itte iruto omoundakedo jibun no koto wa jibun de shitara?

= You know, I think I have told you many times but why don’t you take care of your own business?

9) Just make it sound friendlier.

Ex. じゃあ

= Jaane.

= See you!

Ex.  じゃあ、また

= Jaa matane.

= See you later/ sometime!

Ex. がんばって

= Ganbattene!

= Good luck! / Hang in there!

10) ( = ne) for women

So what is usage of ね ( = ne) that only women use.

:u:

(1) ☆na-adjective ~い ( = i) + ( = ne)

Ex. きれい

= Kireine.

= It’s beautiful.

(Female speech)

As I explained above, if you add ( = ne) after ( = da), men can use it.

Ex. きれいだ

= Kireidane.

(both women and men say that.)

*わね (= wane)

Ex. 暑いわ

= Atsui wane.

= It’s hot, isn’t it?

(2) *わよね ( = wayone)

Ex. もう日本に行ったわよ

= Mou Nihon ni itta wayone.

= You have been to Japan already, right?

Note: If there is no ( = wa), it sounds neutral.

もう日本に行ったよ

= Mou Nihon ni itta yone.

*そう ( = soune) そうよ ( = souyone) = I agree, it’s right.

Ex. もう帰らない?

= Mou kaeranai?

= We should go home now.

そうね、もう8時だし。

= Soune, mou hachiji dashi.

= You are right. It’s already 8:00 so…

Note: そうです  ( = soundesune)  is neutral

Ex. そうです。もう8時ですし。

= Soudesune. Mou hachiji desushi.

 !heart3! From the picture above:

「いつもきれいにしている。」

= Itsumo kirei ni shiteirune.

= You always make yourself so clean, don’t you?

「まあ!」

= Maane!

= I guess!

Note : まあ ( = maane) also means “sort of/ kind of”

*When a girl wants to share the same feelings with others

Ex. A: 「美香ちゃんと私は友達だもんね~!」

= Mikachan to watashi wa tomodachi damon ne ~!

= (talking to Mika)  We ARE good friends!

Mika ね~!!」

= Nee!

= That’s right!!

If you want to learn more about female speech go check this lesson.

maggie-senseiマギー先生より = Maggie sensei yori = From Maggie sensei

Levo先生、これで3回目のレッスンになります

= Levo Sensei, kore de sankai me no ressun ni narimasune.

= This is your third lesson for you, isn’t it?

また教えにきて

= Mata oshieni kitene.

= Please come back to teach again.

***

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27 Comments

    1. @petefinal

      It depends on the intonation and I can’t attach a sound file here but
      You usually say まぁねぇ when you reluctantly say your opinion/agree with the listener or put your thoughts together.

  1. hi Maggie-sensei, thank you for all your lessons! I know this is an old thread but I’m hoping you’ll still see this message.

    is it possible to use ですよね alone as a reply without attaching it to a statement?

    for example:
    a: 桜は素敵ですね
    b: ですよね~

    instead of
    a: 桜は素敵ですね。
    b: そうですよね/綺麗ですよね~

    I’ve heard ですよね alone used as a reply before but I don’t hear it commonly so I’m wondering if it’s acceptable/natural! thank you ♡

    1. @c

      Hello!
      Q: Is it possible to use ですよね alone as a reply without attaching it to a statement?

      →Yes. It is conversational but pretty common.

      The other casual contraction is でしょう。

      Ex. A 桜がきれいですね。
      B. でしょう? Isn’t it?

  2. Hi Maggie-sensei! Thanks for all the great lessons!

    I have a quick off-topic question about one of the example sentences:

    “Kinou, mata ano mise ni itte ne, oishii biiru wo nonde kita yo.”

    What is the meaning or nuance of ~tekuru form (nonde kita) here? I went through the examples in the ~tekuru/iku lesson but couldn’t find something that matched.

    I thought “nonde kita” -> “it became that I drank” or “I ended up drinking” maybe?

    Sorry if it’s a silly question!

    1. @Greg

      Hi Greg!

      It is a good question.
      As I explained in my ~tekuru / te iku lesson,
      • 買ってくる(=katte kuru) to buy something and bring it to the place where speaker is.

      That kind of ~ tekuru is used when speaker goes to somewhere to do something and comes back to the place where they are.

      But this “nonde kita” means “went out for a drink (and came back where the speaker is)”.
      Also “~tekita” has a function to describe one’s experiences more vividly.
      ¥
      So, if you say “biiru wo nonda”, you are just talking about the action
      but if you say “biiru wo nonde kita! you are talking about your experience more vividly.

      1. oh, that is a very good question, a doubt I didn’t even know I had too. Thanks for linking to the lesson as well, I will study it tomorrow!

  3. OH! Thank you! I have always seen ね more like something instictive, but it is good to know exactly how it is used.

    I have a question. In this sentence “昔はねえ、子供は外でもっと遊んでいたものなんだよ”, why do you use “もの”? Is it necessary or could have used the same sentence without the use of もの? I have seen other sentences like that, but I don’t really understand how もの is used in that case.

    1. @reid

      Hi reid, 
      もの has a lot of functions but when you look back on your past and remember habitual actions or events, you say
      verb past tense + ものだ・です

      Ex. 小さい頃は、よく父がこの店に連れてきてくれたものだ。
      = When I was a child, my father used to take me to the store.

      Ex. 若い頃は、家から歩いて街まで行ったものだ。
      = When I was young, I used to walk to the town from my house.

    1. Ahhh good question! I have to make another lesson on よ ( = yo) sometime.
      (Oh wait.. I did explain in my female speech lesson lesson.)
      I won’t go too far here but…

      As I explained ね(=ne) expresses your will,

      *よ ( =yo) is used when you tell some information that the listener doesn’t know or should know.

      Ex. 電車は遅れているみたいですよ。
      = Densha wa okurete iru mitai desuyo.
      = I heard the train is late.

      You use ね, when you want agreement from the listener.

      Ex. 財布を落としましたよ。
      = Saifu wo otoshimashitayo.
      = You dropped your wallet.

      X Since the listener doesn’t know the fact, you don’t use ね (=ne)

      You use よ if the speaker’s action is related to the listener.
      In that case you can change ね to よ.
      Also ます・です+ よ is safe to use but if you use “verb plain form + よ” may sound either slightly blunt or for a male speech.
      来年、日本に行きますよ。
      →(nuance) You should know this information.

      着いたら電話するよ
      今日は私(僕)がおごるよ。

      The actions, ‘calling/treating” related to the listener so you can use よ but in these two cases, よ sound a bit blunt. (male talk)

          1. Is it the same when you make your point? For example, what’s the difference between私はそうは思いませんね and 私はそうは思いませんよ. Or, for example, if someone asks you コーヒーが好き?is it better to reply “あまり好きじゃないね” or “あまり好きじゃないよ” ?
            よろしく!

          2. @Lollo
            Hello Lollo,

            It depends on the intonation but the basic difference is if you involve the listener or not.

            そうは思いませんね・あまり好きじゃないね。: You are just making your point/expressing your opinion.

            そうは思いませんよ・あまり好きじゃないよ Telling the listener your opinion or feelings.

            I am making a new lesson on the suffix よ. Will try to include the sentence to explain so please wait.

  4. Ex. [今日]は私 ( or 僕*)がおごるね。

    = Kyou wa watashi (or boku) ga ogorune.

    = It’s on me [tonight]—————————>today,It’s on me .
    Ex. 「そこにあるお菓子もっていってね。」

    = Soko ni aru okashi motte itte :rrrr: [ne–missing].

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