How to use こそ ( = koso)

koso

Minky:「Misty、私のおもちゃ隠したでしょ。」

= Misty, watashi no omocha kakushita desho.

= Misty, you hid my toy, didn’t you?

Misty:「Minkyこそ、私のおやつ隠したでしょ。」

= Minky koso, watashi no oyatsu kakushita desho.

= You, too, hid my snack, didn’t you? Minty.


Hi everyone.

Today’s guest teachers are these gorgeous sister angels,  Minky Sensei and Misty Sensei.

They will teach you how to use  こそ ( = koso)

*********

Hi! We are Minky and Misty. Today’s word is kind of difficult to teach because there is no equivalent word in

English but we will do our best.

がんばります!( = Ganbarimasu!)

★How to form:

* noun + こそ  ( = koso)

* verb/noun  + particle ( から ( = kara) , ( =  ni) ,( = de) etc.) + こそ  ( = koso)

*adjective + から(=kara) + こそ(= koso)

* verb ( = te) form + こそ ( = koso)

* verb + conjunctive particle   ( = ba) +  こそ ( = koso)

 

It is hard to translate the word, こそ ( = koso), but basically you use it to emphasize the word which comes before.

1) Time related word + こそ  ( = koso) : emphasizing the certain time period.

When you express your determination to do something in the indicated time period or show strong desire for something that hasn’t been happening up to now.

For example you have been procrastinating studying Japanese but finally you make up your mind to start studying Japanese this year, you say,

Ex. 今年こそ日本語を勉強します。

= Kotoshi koso nihongo wo benkyou shimasu.

= I will study Japanese very this year.

It sounds much stronger than

今年は日本語を勉強します。

= Kotoshi wa nihongo wo benkyou shimasu.

= I will study Japanese this year.

*****
If you simply want the weather is to be nice nice tomorrow you say,

*明日は晴れますように。

= Ashita wa haremasu youni.

= I hope the weather will be nice tomorrow.

But the weather has been bad until today and you are tired of the bad weather, you say:

Ex. 明日こそ晴れますように。

= Ashita koso haremasu youni.

= I really hope the weather will be nice tomorrow.

(Emphasizing “明日 = ashita = tomorrow“)

*****

Ex. 来年こそ彼女が欲しい。

= Rainen koso kanojo ga hoshii.

= I really want a girlfriend next year.

From this sentence, we can tell the speaker hasn’t had a girlfriend this year (or these last few years) but is showing the strong desire to have a girlfriend next year.

***

Ex. こそ、みんなが力を合わせなくてはいけない。

= Ima koso, minna ga chikara wo awasenakute wa ikenai.

= Now is the time for us to work together as a team.

(Expressing “now” is the very important time.)

***

Ex. 今度こそ、うまくいきますように。

= Kondo koso, umaku ikimasu youni.

= (It has been failing but) I hope it will work out this time.

***

Ex. 今日こそ、彼女に自分の気持ちを伝えます。

= Kyou koso, kanojo ni jibun no kimochi wo tsutaemasu.

= Today is the very day that I will tell her how I feel about her.

2)

(1) noun + こそ ( = koso):

*emphasizing the noun, the very ~ , precisely ~  (Usually positive.)

Usually when you pick one primary thing / person / event among many and say “this is it!!”

Ex. 相撲こそが日本の伝統的なスポーツです。

= Sumou koso ga nihon no dentoutekina supootsu desu.

= Sumo is the traditional Japanese sports. (Nothing else.)

Ex. 辛い時に一緒に泣いてくれる友達こそが本当の友達です。

= Tsurai toki ni issho ni naite kureru tomodachi koso ga hontou no tomodachi desu.

= A friend who cries with you when you are having a hard time is your true friend.

Ex.こそが私達が探していた人です。(It may sound a little dramatic.)

= Kare koso ga watashitachi ga sagashite ita hito desu.

= He is the very man who we have been looking for.

Ex.こそがすべてだ。

= Ai koso ga subete da.

= Love is everything.

Ex. 誠実さこそ、結婚相手に求めるものだ。

= Seijitsusa koso, kekkon aite ni motomeru mono da.

= Sincerity is the very thing that I want from someone I marry to.

Ex. 疲れた時こそ、このサプリを飲んで欲しいです。

= Tsukareta toki koso,  kono sapuri wo nonde hoshii desu.

= I want you to take this supplement especially when you are tired.

 

*It is often used with demonstrative pronouns.: That is (was) the very thing ~ .

Ex. それこそ私の言いたかったことです。

= Sore koso watshi no iitakatta koto desu.

= That is exactly what I wanted to say.

Ex.  Maggie: 「彼、日本語の先生を探しているんだって。教えてあげたら?」

=Kare, nihongo no sensei wo sagashite irun datte. Oshiete agetara?

= I heard he is looking for a Japanese teacher. Why don’t you teach him?

Yukari: 「それこそマギー先生が教えたらいいじゃない。」

= Sorekoso, Maggie sensei ga oshie tara iijanai.

= (If that the case) Then you should teach him, Maggie.

Ex. 台風の時に外出したらだめだよ。怪我でもしたらそれこそ大変だ。

= Taifuu no toki ni gaishutsu shitara dame dayo. Kega demo shitara sore koso taihen da.

= Don’t go out in typhoon OK?  What if you (go out and ) get injured? THAT will be a disaster.

***

Ex. 「この間は、ありがとうございました。」

= Kono aida wa, arigatou gozaimashita.

= Thank you very much the other day.

「こちらこそ、ありがとうございました。」

= Kochira koso, arigatou gozaimashita.

= (I am the one who should thank you.) Thank you very much,too.

****

Ex. 「御迷惑をかけて、すみませんでした。」

=Gomeiwaku wo kakete sumimasen deshita.

= I am sorry for all the trouble.

「いえいえ、こちらこそすみませんでした。」

= Ieie, kochira koso sumimasen deshita.

= Oh no. I am the one who should apologize.

*When you accuse someone: Look who is talking/you are the one who should be blamed.

Ex. 「どうしていつも文句ばかり言うの?」

= Doushite itsumo monku bakari iu no?

= How come you are always complaining?

「マギーこそ、いつも文句ばかり言ってるじゃない。」

= Maggie koso, itsumo monku bakari itteru janai.

= You are the one who is always complaining. / You also complain a lot, Maggie.

Ex. 「どうして部屋の掃除をしないんだ?」(male speech/rough)

= Ani : 「Doushite heya no souji wo shinain da?

= Older brother “How come you don’t clean your room?”

: 「自分の部屋こそ散らかっているじゃない。」(slightly feminine.)

Imouto = Jibun no heya koso chirakatte iru janai.

Younger sister = (Look who’s talking!) Your room is a big mess, too, you know.

Ex. 「元カレとまだ会っているってどういうこと?」

= Motokare to mada atte irutte douiu koto?

= What do you mean you are still seeing your ex-boyfriend?

「そっちこそ、昨日、かわいい子と歩いていたじゃない。」

= Socchi koso, kinou, kawaii ko to aruite itajanai.

= What about you? I saw you walking with a cute girl yesterday.

Ex. 「もう、あなたとは絶対に会わないから!」

= Mou, anata to wa zettai ni awanai kara!

= I had it enough. I will never see you again!

「こっちこそ、もううんざりだよ。」

= Kocchi koso, mou unzari dayo.

= That’s my line.  I had it enough!

*Or sometimes you can use it in a positive way.

Ex. 「さとる君は本当にかっこいいね。」

= Satoru kun wa hontou ni kakkoii ne.

= You are really good looking, Satoru.

「めぐちゃんこそ、本当にかわいいよ。」

= Megu chan koso, hontou ni kawaii yo.

= You are also cute, Megu.

Note: You can replace this type of こそ (= koso) with (=mo) or だって ( = datte) also, but こそ ( = koso) is stronger.

*although you didn’t do ~ , it was close enough. / although it was close enough, it turned out OK

We use the particle ( = wa) to show the contrast.

Ex. 納豆は、食べられませんが、日本食は大好きです。

= Nattou wa taberaremasen ga, nihonshoku wa daisuki desu.

= Though I can’t eat Natto (fermented soybeans) , I love Japanese food (over all).

( = wa) here emphasizes 納豆 ( = nattou)  shows the contrasts between 納豆 ( = nattou) and other Japanese food.

こそ ( = koso) is usually used when you bring up some extreme example.

:rrrr: Ex. 納豆こそ食べられませんが、日本食は大好きです。

= Nattou koso taberaremasen ga, nihonshoku wa daisuki desu.

= Though I can’t eat Natto, I love Japanese food (over all).

Ex. 事故こそ起こしていないけど、自転車に乗るときはもっと気をつけてね。

= Jiko koso okoshite inai kedo, jitensha ni noru toki wa motto ki wo tsukete ne.

= Although you didn’t cause an accident, you should be more careful when you ride a bike.

Ex. 彼らは結婚こそしていないがもう10年も一緒に住んでいる。

= Karera wa kekkon koso shite inai ga mou juunen mo issho ni sunde iru.

= Though they are not married, they have been living together over 10 years.

Ex.苦労こそあれ、このサイトで皆に日本語を教えるのは本当に楽しいです。

= Kurou koso are, kono saito de mina ni nihongo wo oshieru nowa hontou ni tanoshii desu.

= Though it is hard, it is so much fun to teach you all the Japanese on this site.

(Note: あれ ( = are) is a literal expression of あっても ( = attemo) )

Ex.  南極こそ、行っていないが世界中いろいろな所を旅行した。

= Nankyoku koso, itte inai ga sekaijuu iroirona tokoro wo ryokou shita.

= Though I didn’t go to the South Pole, I have traveled around the world.

Ex. 一晩中こそ、勉強してはいないが長い時間がんばって勉強した。

= Hitobanjuu koso, benkou shite wa inai ga nagai jikan ganbatte benkyou shita.

= Though I didn’t study all night long, I still studied hard for a long time.

(2) noun + particle + こそ ( = koso)

Ex. 「父さん、試験は受からなかったけれども来年またがんばるよ。」

= Tousan,  shiken wa ukaranakatta keredomo rainen mata ganbaru yo.

= Dad, I failed the exam but I will try again next year.

「それでこそ私の息子だ。」

= Sore de koso watashi no musuko da.

= That’s my son!

Ex. こういう場所にこそいい人が集まってくるんだよ。

= Kouiu basho ni koso iihito ga atsumatte kurun dayo.

= Nice people gathered for this kind of place.

(Because this place is special, (for some reason) people gather.)

Ex. 今でこそ笑っていられるが当時は毎日悩んでいました。

= Imade koso waratte irareru ga touji wa mainichi nayande imashita.

= I can laugh at it now (because it is over) but I worried about it every day back then.

Ex.こんな時代にこそ、この映画は観なくてはいけない。

= Konna jidai ni koso, kono eiga wa minakute wa ikenai.

= We should see this movie especially at this time.

3)

(1) verb+(=te) + こそ ( = koso):  emphasizing certain condition/reason

Ex. 努力しこそ、結果がついてくる。

= Doryoku shite koso, kekka ga tsuite kuru.

= Only when you make efforts, do you get good results.

Ex. 毎日、勉強しこそ、日本語はうまくなります。

= Mainichi, benkyou shite koso, nihongo wa umaku narimasu.

= Only when you study hard, will your Japanese improve.

Ex. Yukari : マギー先生、あっこその私です。

= Yukari : Maggie sensei atte koso no watashi desu.

= Yukari : I am nobody without you./ I am lost without you.

(2) 

*verb plain form + から ( = kara) + こそ ( = koso)

*noun + auxiliary verb (=da) + から ( = kara) + こそ ( = koso)

emphasizing a reason why you do something: precisely because

Ex. 彼のことを知っているからこそ心配なんだ。

= Kare no koto wo shitte iru kara koso shinpai nanda.

= I know him very well. That’s why I am worried about him.

Ex. あなたのことを大切に思うからこそ今は距離を置きます。

= Anata no koto wo taisetsu ni omou kara koso ima wa kyori wo okimasu.

= I care about you so much. That is why I decided to put some distance between us.

Ex. あれだけがんばったからこそ、大学に受かったんですよ。

= Aredake ganbatta kara koso, daigaku ni ukattan desuyo.

= You have studied so hard. That is why you passed the university exam.

Ex. 長年の付き合いだからこそ言うけど最近、ちょっと天狗になっていない?

= Naganen no tsukiaida kara koso iu kedo, saikin chotto tengu ni natte inai?

= I am telling you because we have known each other for a long time. I think you are getting a bit stuck up.

Ex. みんながいてくれたからこそ、楽しい学生生活が送れました。

= Minna ga ite kureta kara koso, tanoshii gakusei seikatsu ga okuremashita.

= Since I had you all, I got to have this fun school life.

= Thanks to you all, I had a fun school life.

Ex. 「日本は英語の案内を見つけるのが大変ですね。」

= Nihon wa eigo no annai wo mitsukeru no ga taihen desune.

= It is hard to find information in English, isn’t it?

だからこそ、漢字を勉強しなくてはいけないのです。」

= Dakara koso, kanji wo benkyou shinakutewa ikenai no desu.

= That’s why you have to study kanji.

Ex. マギーだからこそこうやって本音で話せるんだよ。

= Maggie dakara koso kouyatte honne de hanaserun dayo.

= It is only you, Maggie, that I can tell the truth to.

Ex. 不景気だからこそいい投資をしなくてはいけない。

= Fukeiki dakara koso ii toushi wo shinakute wa ikenai.

= Since the economy is bad, we have to make a good investment.

 

*i-adjective + から(=kara) + こそ (= koso)  / na-adjecitve + だから(=dakara) + こそ(=koso)

Ex. 暑いからこそ、もっと、汗をかいた方がいい。

= Atsui kara koso, motto, ase wo kaita hou ga ii.

= Since it is hot, we should sweat more.

Ex. 日本語は難しいこそ、楽しい。

= Nihongo wa muzukashii kara koso, tanoshii.

= Since Japanese is difficult, it is fun to study.

Ex. 親が元気だからこそ、好きなことをしていられる。

= Oyaga genki dakara koso, sukina koto wo shite irareru.

= Since my parents are healthy, I can do anything I want.

 

(3) verb ~ば ( = ba) こそ ( = koso) : literal, a bit old fashioned  (the same meaning as から(=kara) + こそ(=koso))

Ex. 愛があればこその人生だ。

= Ai ga areba koso no jinsei da.

= This life is worth it because there is love.

Ex. 困っていると思えばこそお金をあげたのに…。

= Komatte iruto omoeba koso okane wo ageta noni…

= I gave you money only because I thought you were in trouble…

(4) verb ( = te) + こそ(=koso): only if / only with certain condition, only because of ~

Ex. ファンの応援があってこそ今の私達があります。

= Fan no ouen ga atte koso ima no watashitachi ga arimasu.

= Thanks to our fans, we are here now.

Ex. この製品は、毎日使ってこそいい効果が出ます。

= Kono seihin wa, mainichi tsukatte koso ii kouka ga demasu.

= You can get a good result only if you use this product everyday.

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

Minky先生、Misty先生、ありがとう!

= Minky sensei, Misty sensei, arigatou!

= Thank you, Minky Sensei and Misty Sensei

日本の古いことわざに「好きこそものの上手なれ」というのがあります。

= Nihon no furui kotowaza ni “Suki koso mono no jouzu nare” to iu no ga arimasu.

= There is an old Japanese saying “What one likes, one will do best.”

皆も日本語が好きだったら絶対に上達すると思います。

= Mina no nihongo ga sukidattara zettai ni joutatsu suru to omoimasu.

= I bet your Japanese will also improve if you like studying Japanese.

楽しんで勉強して下さい。

= Tanoshin de benkyou shite kudasai.

= Have fun studying!

 

 

You may also like

18 Comments

  1. Hi Maggie Sensei!

    Thank you so much for letting Misty and Minky teach on your site! I actually think Minky ate Misty’s snack, rather than hiding it. :lol: ゆかりは”マギー先生、あってこその私です”と言いました。 私もミスティーとミンキーに同じ気持ちがありますね。 !CHECKHEART!

    1. @Palidor

      Hi Palidor!
      Hahaha, so you think Minky sensei is guilty, huh?
      Thank YOU for introducing use Misty and Minky Sensei! They have been a great help!
      ありがとう!!!

  2. Thanks for the lesson! It is fairly difficult at first, but I don’t have any questions about it for now.

    But I do have questions about other stuff again! hahaha.

    I was studying a test my teacher gave me, and now I have 2 problems I am not really sure about.

    I am supposed to choose the correct order for 4 options to make the complete sentence.

    1 – the sentence is 会社へは何で行っていますか. I understand this sentence, but at first I was a bit confused because of that は. Usually I would have just said “会社へ/に何で行っていますか”

    would it be wrong to say it without the は? Why do I need to use the は in this case?

    2- This one seemed way more confusing to me. I am not even sure this is right.

    This is the first sentence: 私はこの本を買います。アンナさんはどんな本がいいですか, then I have to complete the reply, and it goes like this : 私はもう少し__ __ __ __ がいいです and there are 4 options to choose the order: 1-本 2-かんたんな 3-が and 4-日本語

    So I am not sure about this. It seems like that が should be a の or something like that. Nothing I make sounds right in that sentence. How would it be? Is one of the options wrong? Is there an extra が that shouldn’t be there?

    1. @reid

      Hi reid,
      1. Yes, you can say 会社へ(に)何で行っていますか” / 何で会社へ(に)行っていますか? without using は.
      When you show the contrast, you use the particle は.
      So the speaker wants to know what kind of transportation the listener uses especially when he/she goes to work.
      Since you emphasize “to work”, you tend to start the sentence with 会社へは

      2. I see.
      If there are just two words
      もう少し+(adjective)+(noun)がいいです。
      →もう少し簡単な本がいいです。
      But since there are が and 日本語、

      clause +noun がいいです。
      So the clause has to modify a noun which comes after.
      Therefore,
      日本語がかんたんな本がいいです。

      1. OOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHH! Thanks! I got too focused on the が itself and forgot to read it as a whole. 日本語がかんたんな本がいいです = A book with simple japanese would be okay for me.

        So 日本語がかんたんな is adding that “simple japanese” characteristic to 本, right?

        It feels like it was right in front of me and I didn’t see it.

        Could you also say “簡単な日本語の本がいいです”? Because that’s the one of the ways I was thinking about. I think that is what made me not see how it worked with が, I was just looking at it in one way, but there is always more than one way, hahaha

  3. 全て理解するわけではないのに、このレッスンこそ待ち望みました。 ありがとうございました。 !happyface!

    タイポ:

    “(fermented soybeans” :rrrr: “)” is missing
    “Though I can’t eat Natt,…” :rrrr: “Natto”
    “Although you didn’t cause an acciden,…” :rrrr: “accident”

    And some questions:
    1. 今でこそ笑っていられるが当時は毎日悩んでいました。 Could you explain why “今で” instead of just “今”?
    2. 彼らは結婚こそしていないがもう10年も一緒に住んでいる。 Would it be possible to place “こそ” behind “していない”?
    3. 努力してこそ、結果がついてくる。 This is the only example for Verb+ こそ, however, it’s the te-form and therefore is identical to the V-te+ こそ meaning, isn’t it? Can you think of an example of Verb+ こそ without the te-form?

    よろしく

    1. @Zetsuboumanadeshi

      Thank you for spotting the type as always.

      1. 今こそ= “now” the very moment, It is now to do something
      今でこそ= is used when you refer to your current state looking back the past.

      2. No.

      3. There are a few more examples with verb plain form + こそ
      But I will add more example sentences for ~て+こそ later.

      全て理解するわけではないのに、このレッスンこそ待ち望みました。
      Hmmm how can I make this sentence more natural…
      How about… 全ては理解できませんが、このレッスンこそ待ち望んだものでした。

      1. Thank you for the correction, I too really appreciate it. I read the monka/monda lesson of yours, but I can’t figure out why it’s necessary here and what function it has. And why is わけではない not appropriate in my sentence?

        1. @Zetsuboumanadeshi

          このレッスンこそ待ち望んだものでした。
          This もの means “the one”
          This lesson IS the one I had been waiting for.

          You could say
          このレッスンこそ待ち望んだレッスンでした。
          but there are two レッスン so I switched it to もの

          ***
          I deleted わけではない in your previous sentence because it was not quite natural.

          Did you want to say this?
          Though you knew wouldn’t be able to understand the whole lesson, you were looking forward to this lesson.

          1. Ahh, now I understand the もの. I thought you just add こそ to a nown in a normal sentence, but in some cases you have to repeat the noun. What I wanted to say was:

            “Although it’s not like I understand all of it, this lesson is really one I’ve been
            eagerly awaiting.”

            And what I really wanted to say was: マギー先生ばかりでなくゆかり先生のことも大好きです。 !formingheart3!

          2. @Zetsubomanadeshi

            “Although it’s not like I understand all of it,
            全部わかるわけではない OK

            this lesson is really one I’ve been eagerly awaiting.”
            このレッスンこそ、ずっと待ち望んでいたものです。
            But when we put these two sentence together, it doesn’t sound natural.
            I think it is because you can’t tell you wouldn’t understand all of it before you read my lesson.
            How about switching the sentence?
            このレッスンこそ、ずっと待ち望んでいたものです。といっても全部わかるわけではないですが….

            And Yukari is thrilled to read your message! ❤

  4. Imade koso waratte irareru ga touji wa mainichi !damedame!  !damedame!  [nayannde] :rrrr: [nayande] imashita.

    Doryoku shite koso, kekka ga tsuite kuru.
    = Only when you make efforts, !koujichuu! !koujichuu!  [do] !koujichuu!  you get good results.
    :rrrr: Only when you make efforts, you get good results/good results will come.

    Fan no ouen ga atte koso ima no !koujichuu!  [watashitatachi] :rrrr: [watashitachi] ga arimasu

    1. @zoheb

      Thank you for spotting the typos. I really appreciate it.
      As for the English sentence,

      Only when you make efforts….
      →When you start a sentence with “only”, you have to change the word order. So I will leave the way it is.

      いつもありがとう!

    1. @Joanne

      Hi Joanne,
      1) 明日は晴れますように = Ashita wa haremasu youni. ( I hope the weather is nice tomorrow.)
      2) 明日は晴れたらいいな = Ashita wa haretara iina. (It would be nice if the weather is nice tomorrow. )

      Yes, they mean the same but “youni” shows your stronger desire.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *