How to use the suffix 〜よ ( = yo)

suffix-yo

「どいてよ!」

= Doite yo.

= Move over!

「じゃあ、私も旅行に連れてって。」

= Jaa, watashi mo ryokou ni tsuretetteyo.

= Then take me along for the trip too!

Hi everyone!

Today’s guest angel teacher is Minky-Sensei.

It looks like Minky Sensei wants to go traveling.

*****

Hi I am Minky. よろしくね!= Yoroshikune! = Nice to meet to you!

Yes, Maggie. I won’t move over until my friend promises to take me along on her trip.

Today we will learn how to use the suffix ( = yo )

それではレッスンを始めます

= Soredewa ressun wo hajimemasu yo!

= OK, then let’s start the lesson!

***
The function of the suffix ( = yo ) varies.

It makes the speech sound softer and sometimes it makes the speech sound demanding or accusing.

I will try to cover as many functions as possible.

!star! When to use  ( = yo )

★ When you tell someone something that they don’t know.

Let’s say, for example, that you see someone has dropped their ticket subway ticket but doesn’t realize it.

Ex.  切符を落としました

= Kippu wo otoshimashita yo.

= You dropped your ticket.

(落とす (= otosu) is a transitive verb.

You can also use the intransitive verb 落ちる (= ochiru):

 :rrrr: 切符が落ちました

= Kippu ga ochimashita yo.

= Your ticket fell.

If you see someone using an umbrella even though it has stopped raining, you can say:

Ex.  もう雨は止んでいます

= Mou ame wa yande imasu yo.

= It stopped raining already you know.

To a person who didn’t come to the party

Ex.  昨日のコンパは楽しかった。くればよかったのに。

= Kinou no konpa wa tanoshikatta yo. Kureba yokatta noni.

= The mixer party yesterday was a lot of fun. You should have come,  you know.

You notice someone’s purse is open.

Ex.  「バッグが開いています。」

= Baggu ga aite imasu yo.

= Your bag is open, you know.

Telling/writing to someone about Japanese climate.

Ex.  日本は9月に入って涼しくなりました

= Nihon wa kugatsu ni haitte suzushiku narimashita yo.

= It has been cooler since September in Japan, you know.

★ Telling someone what you are going to do/ did to get the listener’s attention.

Ex.  これ、買った、見て。

= Kore, katta yo, Mite.

= Look what I bought. (I bought this today! Look! )

Ex.  食事ができました

= Shokuji ga dekimashita yo.

= The meal is ready!

Ex.  お風呂、もう入った

= Ofuro, mou haitta yo.

= I already took bath you know. (It is your turn now.)

Ex.  仕事、終わった

= Shigoto, owatta yo!

= I’ve just finished my work.

Ex.  今、駅に着いた

= Ima, eki ni tsuita yo.

= I just got to the station.

Ex.  もうお腹がいっぱいで何も入りません

= Mou onaka ga ippai de nanimo hairimasen yo.

= I am too stuffed and I can’t eat anything anymore, you know.

Ex.  もうこのドラマみた

= Mou kono dorama mita yo.

= I have already seen this TV drama, you know.

Ex.  「元気?」

= Genki?

= How are you doing?

「うん、元気だ。」

= Un, genki dayo.

= I’m good!

Ex.  もう10時だ

= Mou juuji dayo.

= It is already 10:00, you know.

Note: The difference between ( = yo ) and ( = ne ).

You can use (=ne) when you ask listener’s agreement or confirmation but you don’t use ( = yo)  for a question.

You use them both, ( = ne ) or ( = yo), when you express your opinion or feelings.

The subtle difference is

Ex. そうは思いません

= Souwa omoimasen ne.

= I don’t think so.

Ex. そうは思いません

= Souwa omoimasen yo.

= I don’t think so.

They both mean ” I don’t think so.” but

(=ne) : Expressing your feelings/opinions to the listener.

( = yo) :Telling the listener your feelings/opinions.

*Sometimes you use both (-=yo) + (=ne)  → ( = yone)

You use ( = yone) when you ask for an agreement from a listener.

Ex. 昨日、言いました

= Kinou, ii mashita yone.

= I told you yesterday, right?

or when you are uncertain of something and make sure if you are right.

Ex. マギーはマックスと付き合っていた

= Maggie wa Max to tsukiatte ita yone.

= Maggie was dating Max, right?

★When you give an offer/suggestion but want your sentence to sound softer.

Ex.   忙しかったら手伝います

= Isogashikattara tetsudaimasu yo.

= If you are busy, I will help you, you know.

Ex.  疲れたら今度は、僕が運転する

= Tsukaretara kondo wa boku ga unten suru yo.

= If you get tired, I will drive next time.

Ex.  帰ったらメールいれる

= Kaettara meiru ireru yo.

= I will text you when I get home.

Ex.  わからないことがあったらいつでも聞いて

= Wakaranai koto ga attara itsudemo kitte yo.

= If there is something you don’t understand, you can ask me anytime you know.

Note:  Compared to (=ne), suffix ( = yo ) sounds slightly stronger

わからないことがあったらいつでも聞いて

= Wakaranai koto ga attara itsudemo kitte ne.

= If there is something you don’t understand, you can ask me anytime, OK?

★When you make your point/ when you talk back to someone

Ex.  もうその話は聞きたくない

= Mou sono hanashi wa kikitaku nai yo.

= I don’t want to hear about that anymore.

Ex.  がんばればきっと日本語が上手になる

= Ganbareba kitto nihongo ga jouzu ni naru yo.

= If you try hard, I bet your Japanese will improve.

Ex.  そんなこと無理だ

= Sonna koto muri dayo.

= That’s impossible, you know.

Ex. Maggie:「最近、太っちゃって…」

=Saikin, futocchatte…

= I have gained weight lately.

!happyface!「そんなことないです。」

= Sonna koto nai desu yo.

= That is not true.

 :rrrr: From Maggie: This is the safest answer no matter how fat I am.  :maggie-small:

:)「マギー先生は、いつも若くてきれいです。」

= Maggie Sensei wa, itsumo wakakute kirei desu yo.

= You are always young and beautiful, Maggie sensei.

Ex.  明日まで100も漢字を覚えるなんて無理だ

= Ashita made hyaku mo kanji wo oboeru nante muri dayo.

= There is no way to learn 100 kanji by tomorrow.

Ex.  「貸した本どこにあるの?」

= Kashita hon doko ni aruno?

= Where is the book I lent you?

「先週、もう返した。」

= Senshuu, mou kaeshita yo.

= I already returned it to you last week.

★Asking someone a favor  / Telling someone what to do or what not to do in a way that sounds demanding.

!to right! Common patterns:

*verb ( = te) +(下さい ( = kudasai ) ) +  ( = yo )

*verb てはいけない (te wa ikenai ) /だめ ( = dame ) + です ( = da/desu ) ( =  yo )

Ex.  ねえ、ちょっと手伝って

= Nee, chotto tetsudatte yo.

= Hey, give me a hand, will you!

Note:

The nuance difference: with ( = yo ) and without ( = yo )

*ちょっと、手伝って。

= Chotto, tetsudatte.

*ちょっと手伝って

= Chotto tetsudatte yo.

By adding ( = yo) at the end,  you show your stronger feeling (in this case, complains or frustration. )

Ex.  ねえ、新しい指輪、買って

= Nee, atarashii yubiwa, katte yo!

= Hey, buy me a new ring!

Note: It sounds more demanding than 買って ( = katte)

Ex.  そんなことをしたらいけません

= Sonna koto wo shitara ikemasen yo.

= You shouldn’t do that, you know.

Note: In this case, it depends on the intonation but if you say that softly, this ( = yo ) will make it sound more gentle than just saying:

Ex.  そんなことをしたらいけません。

= Sonna koto wo shitara ikemasen

But if you say it in a strong way, it sounds like you are accusing the listener more.

Ex.  やめてください

= Yamete kudasai yo!

= Cut it out now!

Casual form:

やめて ( = yamete yo) sounds feminine. Man would say やめろ ( = yamero yo).

Ex.  勘弁して

= Kanben shite yo.

= Give me a break!

Ex.  食べ終わったらお皿を洗って下さい

= Tabeowattara osara wo aratte kudasai yo.

= When you finish eating, you should wash the dishes, OK?

Ex.  まっすぐ家に帰るんだ(talking to a child )

= Massugu ie ni kaerun dayo.

You must go home directly, OK?

Ex.  明日は、6時に起こして

= Ashita wa, rokuji ni okoshite yo.

= Wake me up at six tomorrow, OK?

明日は、6時に起こして

= Ashita wa, rokuji  ni okoshite ne.

= Wake me up at six tomorrow. OK?/ Will you?

sounds softer. ~よ(=yo) sounds more demanding.

★Expressing your opinion

Ex.  Minkyはすごい

= Minky wa sugoi yo!

= You are great, Minky!

Ex.  そんなことない。Mistyの方がすごい

= Sonna koto nai yo. Misty no hou ga sugoi yo.

= That’s not true. YOU are greater Misty!

Ex.  これから日本語はもっ と楽しくなります

= Korekara nihongo wa motto  tanoshiku narimasu yo.

= I bet learning Japanese will be more and more fun from now on.

Ex.  マギーは幸せだ

= Maggie wa shiawase dayo.

= I think you are happy, Maggie.

Ex. 勝負は終わってみるまでわかりません

= Shoubu wa owatte miru made wakarimasen yo.

= We won’t know who will win until the game is over, you know.

★Asking someone to do something together./encouraging someone to do something: Let’s ~

*~しょう( = shou )・しよう( = shiyou) /( = o )(= u )  + ( = yo )

Ex.   一緒に遊園地に行こう

= Issho ni yuuenchi ni ikou yo.

= Let’s go to the amusement park together.

Ex.   もっと日本語の勉強をしましょう

= Motto nihongo no bekyou wo shimashou yo.

= Why don’t you study Japanese more?

Ex.   もうこんな喧嘩はやめよう

= Mou konna kenka wa yameyou yo.

= Let’s not fight like this anymore.

Ex.   今度、飲みに行こう

= Kondo, nomi ni ikou yo.

= Let’s go out for a drink next time.

Ex.  ねえ、もっとがんばろう

= Nee, motto ganbarou yo.

= Hey, why don’t you try a little harder. (or Let’s try harder.)

★Expressing your feeling in a cute way. (It may sound  a bit girly or childish.)

(Variation:  When you write, you sometimes stretch  the sound ) よお/ よぉ( = yoo ), ようよ~ ( = yoo )

Ex.  暑いよお...

=  Atsui yoo…

= It’s hot!!

Ex.  子犬が欲しいよお

= Koinu ga hoshii yoo.

= I wanna a puppy!!

Ex.   この映画、怖いよお

= Kono eiga, kowai yoo.

= This movie is scary!!

Ex.  そんなことできないよお

=Sonna koto dekinai yoo.

= I can’t do such a thing.

Ex.  日本語、難しいよ〜

= Nihongo, muzukashii yoo.

= Japanese is sooo hard…

★Female usage

Note: Though some women use this type of ( = yo ) and you may hear this usage a lot in anime or TV-drama. It may sound too

dramatic if you use it in our daily life.

*noun / pronoun + ( = yo )

Ex.  

= Watashi yo.

= It’s me.

Ex.  それは昔の話

= Sore wa mukashi no hanashi yo.

= That’s an old story, you know.

Ex.   私が欲しかったドレスはこれ

= Watashi ga hoshikatta doresu wa kore yo.

= THIS is the dress that I’ve wanted.

Ex.   明日は一緒に買い物に行くって言ったのは誰

= Ashita wa issho ni kaimono ni ikutte itta no wa dare yo.

= Who is the one who said “I will go shopping with you”?! (It was you! )

*verb plain form + (=wa) + ( = yo)

Ex.   今、やるわ

= Ima, yaru wayo.

= I said I will do that now.

Ex.   違うわ

= Chigau wayo.

= That’s not right.

*na-adjecitve

Ex.   マギー、きれい

= Maggie,  Kirei yo.

= You look beautiful, Maggie.

Note: na-adjective + ( = da ) ・です (= desu ) + ( = yo )  is neutral.

* きれいだ

= Kirei dayo

* きれいです

= Kirei desu yo.

Note: If you add ( = yo ) right after an i-adjective, it sounds neutral.

Ex.   この番組、面白い

= Kono bangumi, omoshiroi yo.

= Look! This TV program is funny.

★Male usage

*Imperative form +(=yo ) : Strong / blunt command or suggestion but it sounds softer than imperative form without (= yo)

Ex.   しっかり勉強しろ

= Shikkari benkyou shiro yo.

= Study hard, OK?

Ex.   馬鹿なことを言うな

= Bakana koto wo iuna yo.

= Don’t be ridiculous. /  Don’t say that.

Ex.   そのゲーム、俺に貸してくれ

= Sono geemu, ore ni kashite kure yo.

= Let me use the game. / Lend me the game, OK?

Ex.   もっと彼女に優しくしてやれ

= Motto kanojo ni yasashiku shite yare yo.

= You should be nicer to her.

*Certain usage of noun + (= da ) + ( = yo )

Ex. これだ!ずっと欲しかった時計は!

= Kore dayo! Zutto hoshikatta tokei wa.

= This is it! This is the watch I have been wanting so badly.

* ~んだ (=n dayo) When you emphasize a reason why.

Ex.   今は忙しいんだ

= Ima wa isogashiin dayo.

= I am just busy right now you know.

Ex.   だから買い物は嫌なんだ

= Dakara kaimono wa iyanan dayo.

= That is why I hate shopping.

Ex.   いちいち、うるさいんだ

= Ichiichi, urusain dayo.

= Stop nagging me.

*Strong command (~せ) ( = seyo )

The following examples are a little bit old fashioned or literary, and you might even hear them used in  military settings.

Ex.   これを見よ。

= Kore wo miyo!

= Look at this!

Ex.   注意せよ。

= Chuui seyo.

= Alert! / Be careful!

 !onpu! From the picture above:

「どいて!」

= Doite yo.

= Move!

「じゃあ、私も旅行に連れてって。」

= Jaa, watashi mo ryokou ni tsuretette yo.

= Then take me along for the trip too!

Note:

* どいて (=doite) is from a verb どく (=doku) move over

* じゃあ (=jaa) then

* 連れてって(= tsuretette ) is a casual contraction of  連れて行って ( = tsurete itte ) take me.

*****

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

Minky先生、ありがとう!

= Minky sensei arigatou!

= Thank you, Minky Sensei!

私でよければいつでも一緒に旅行に行きます

= Watashi de yokereba itsudemo issho ni ryokou ni ikimasu yo.

= If don’t mind me (coming along), I can travel with you anytime!




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22 Comments

  1. hello! I have another question. It’s something that came up during my japanese class. My teacher couldn’t explain very well, so I have to ask to you. hahaha.

    Anyways here the example:

    まどが開けてあります. I asked my teacher if there was any difference between that and まどが開いてあります, and why or when to use that instead of まどが開けています.

    Could you explain that?

    1. @reid

      OK,
      *開く=あく= intransitive verb  The window opens
      *開ける=あける= transitive verb Someone opens the window.

      まどが開いてあります is grammatically wrong.
      ”開(あ)く→開(あ)いて” is an intransitive verb so it should be まどが開いています。(The window is open.) Describing the state of the window which is open.

      Vてあります is used when someone intentionally leave something in certain state and you use it with transitive verb. 開ける(あける)
      まどが開けてあります。= when you describe the state where you or someone left the window open (on purpose).
      or
      まどを開けています。= Someone leaves the window open/ someone opens window.

      FYI I have a lesson on 開く. So please go check the lesson.

      And ~てある

      1. That’s a terrific explanation! I don’t even feel like it is complicated anymore. I will definitely study the lessons too. Thanks a lot!

  2. こんにちはマギー先生!

    文章の最後に来る「〜わよ」と「〜わ」の違いは何ですか?
    よく日本語に翻訳された英語書籍/記事で出てくる女性のセリフに「〜わ」が使われているようです。例えば翻訳されたエマ・ワトソンのインタビューとか。
    そしてゲームには戦闘の始まりに「行くわよ!」って叫ぶ女性キャラもいます。
    両方は 「〜よ」と同じような意味だと思っていたけど、違うのですか?

    1. @Lava

      こんにちは、Lava!
      「わよ」と「わ」の違いですね。これもsituationによって使い方が異なります。

      行くわ = just expressing “I am leaving now.”/”I am off!”
      行くわよ= involving the listener. “Let’s go!”

      説明にも書きましたが、「わ・わよ」はアニメの女の子のキャラやドラマや海外の映画や本の翻訳、吹き替えなどでは女性らしさを強調するために使いますが、実際にはそれほど使いません。

      1. 説明ありがとうございます!

        そうでしたか、アニメやドラマなどに「わ・わよ」がよく出でくると気づいたけど、セレブが実際に言ったセリフにも出てきたので、なんでだろうと思っていました(^^;

        1. @Lava

          「わ・わよ」はかわいらしさを強調する言葉ですが、逆にちょっと年配の人が使うこともありますよ。
          それから男女が使う「わ」のカジュアルな使い方の一つで”make your point”というものもあります。これは少し強く聞こえるので家族やよく知っている友達の間で使います。また関西地方などで使う「わ」もあります。
          しらんわ!

  3. ありがとう、先生、でも~…
    :uparrow: これもう直さなかったよ。細心の注意をせよ。叱らせないでよ!  :)

    “もっと日本語の勉強を勉強しましょうよ。”  :rrrr: 余計な”勉強”
    “Motto nihongo no bekyou wo shimashou yo.” :rrrr: “benkyou”

    しかも

    “Kippu wo otashimashita yo.” :rrrr: “otoshimashita”
    “Issho ni yuuennchi ni ikou yo.” :rrrr: “yuuenchi”
    “Sono geeimu…” :rrrr: “geimu”

    And could you explain the te-miru form in this sentence “Shoubu wa owatte miru made wakarimasen yo.” It’s not “to try to do”, but what is it?

    大変ご迷惑をおかけして申し訳ありません。 !ase! 

    1. @Zetsuboumanadeshi

      Thank you again, my spelling angel!

      I have to hire a cat to proofread my lesson. :)

      Vてみる

      When it is used with a volitional verb, it means “to try to do”.

      You use it with a non-volitional verb + a conditional particle, such as みる+と、みれ+ば

      one some action has finished/ done (→some condition is fulfilled , something happens/ the state will change. you will realize something/ you end up realize something

  4. Thanks for the lesson! I never had any trouble understanding “yo” in context, but it is good to know it has a lot of different naunces. Great lesson, as usual.

  5. Ex. わからないことがあったらいつでも :rrrr: 聞いてよ。

    = Wakaranai koto ga attara itsudemo !koujichuu!  [itte] yo.

    わからないことがあったらいつでも :rrrr: 聞いてね。

    = Wakaranai koto ga attara itsudemo !koujichuu!  [itte] ne.

  6. マギー先生、Minkyに教えさせてくれてありがとうございます! I noticed in a typo of Minky’s name in a few places – it is written as “Minty.” It’s kind of cute though, like a combination of “Minky” and “Misty”! MinkyとMistyは姉妹なのに、たぶんそれがあまり好きじゃないですよ。 :P (Although they are sisters, they probably wouldn’t like that!)

    小さな間違いを見つけたと思います:Note: i-adjective + だ ( = da ) ・です (= desu ) + よ ( = yo ) is neutral.
    Should that be “na-adjective”?

    マギー先生、私は質問がありますよ。 この文は“バッグが開いていますよ”, “あく”を使っています。 “あく”と“ひらく”の違いは何ですか。いつどっちがどっちかを使いますか。(Maggie Sensei, I have a question. In this sentence, you use “aku”. What’s the difference between “aku” and hiraku”? When do you use one or the other?)

    ありがとう! :grin:

    1. @Palidor

      Hello Palidor! Ohhh I’m sorry for the typos of the name. Hope Minky will forgive me.
      And yes, it should be na-adjective. I fixed them.
      ありがとう!!

      バッグが開いています。You usually use あいています for a bag.

      I have a lesson on this specific theme.
      開く lesson.

      And thank you again for introducing us two cute guest teachers. :)

      1. 大丈夫ですね。 Minkyは暢気ですよ。 :lol:

        ああ、そうですね。 ありがとう! サイトはとても大きいので、私はまだ全部読みません。  :wink:

        1. @Palidor
          よかった〜!Minkyにあやまっておきます。長いレッスンなのでゆっくり読んで下さいね。
          (せっかくだから少しだけ直しますね。
          大丈夫ですね。→ 大丈夫です”よ” の方がいいです。)

          1. Ah, okay. Thank you Maggie! I felt kind of weird using “よ” in two consecutive sentences, but I see why it’s more appropriate.

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