Casual Japanese: How to use じゃん ( = jan)

「日本語、がんばってるじゃん!」

= Nihongo, ganbatterujan!

= I see you really working hard on studying Japanese.

  


Hi everyone! I’m Noodle, your guest teacher for today.

I love licking bare feet and stealing socks. 面白いじゃん ( =  Omoshiroi jan)  It’s fun, isn’t it?

Maggie Sensei asked me to make this lesson for one of her Patron family members.

I will teach you how to use  a casual suffix じゃん ( = jan) which you probably won’t see in your Japanese textbook or JLPT test. 😉

Kantou area people use じゃん ( = jan) more than people from the Kansai area, so it is considered to be a part of that dialect.

However, it is a very common casual suffix among young people so you may have come across it in daily conversation, TV dramas or in anime.

じゃん ( = jan ) is a casual contraction of じゃない ( = janai)

I’ll show you how it changes.

~ではないですか ( = de wa nai desuka )

(more casual) ~じゃないですか ( = ja nai desuka)

(more casual) ~じゃない ( = janai)

(more casual) じゃん ( = jan)

 :ii: How to form:

noun + じゃん ( = jan)

*  = inu = a dog/dogs

じゃん ( = inu jan)

* 犬じゃない ( = inu janai) = not a dog

犬じゃないじゃん ( = inu janai jan)

*犬だった ( = inu datta) was a dog

犬だったじゃん ( = inu datta jan)

*犬じゃなかった ( = inu ja nakatta) was not a dog

犬じゃなかったじゃん ( = inu janakatta jan)

verb + じゃん ( = jan)

Basically you can use any verb tense:

present tense:

* やる ( = yaru) to do, going to do / will do

やるじゃん ( = yaru jan)

* やらない ( = yaranai) not to do, not going to do / won’t do

やらないじゃん ( = yaranai jan)

present progressive:

* やっている ( = yatte iru) to be doing/ have been doing

やってじゃん ( = yatte iru jan)

(more casual: drop ( = i))

やってるじゃん ( = yatterujan)

* やっていない ( = yatte inai jan) not doing / haven’t done

やってないじゃん ( = yatte inai jan)

(more casual: drop ( = i))

やってないじゃん ( = yattenai jan)

past tense:

* やった ( = yatta) did / have done

やったじゃん ( = yatta jan)

* やらなかった ( = yaranakatta) didn’t do

やらなかったじゃん ( = yaranakattajan)

You can also use potential form / passive form, and with any auxiliary verbs みたい ( = mitai), らしい ( = rashii), かもしれない ( = kamo shirenai) ,  etc.

adjective + じゃん ( = jan)

i-adjective:

* 美味しい = oishii = delicious

美味しいじゃん oishiijan

* 美味しくない = oishikunai = not delicious

美味しくないじゃん = oishikunai jan

* 美味しかった= oishikatta = was delicious

美味しかったじゃん= oishikatta jan

* 美味しくなかった = oishikunakatta = was not delicious

美味しくなかったじゃん = oishikunakattajan

na-adjective:

* きれい () = kirei (na) = beautiful

きれいじゃん = kirei jan

* きれいじゃない = kireijanai

きれいじゃないじゃん = kireijanai jan

* きれいだった = kireidatta = was beautiful

きれいだったじゃん = kireidatta jan

* きれいじゃなかった = kireijanakatta = was not beautiful

きれいじゃなかったじゃん = kireijanakatta jan

 :ee: How to use:

The original form じゃない ( = janai) can be used for question or negate what comes before but you use じゃん ( = jan)  in an affirmative sentence / tag question to give a feedback, emotion or make one’s point.

Please check my じゃない ( = janai) lesson for more details

For example, when you see something cute, you say:

この靴、可愛いじゃない。

= Kono kutsu, kawaii janai.

= These shoes are cute, aren’t they?

= I think these shoes are cute.

In casual Japanese, you say

この靴、可愛いじゃん

= Kono kutsu, kawaii jan.

Both men and women use じゃん ( = jan). But since it is very casual, be careful who you use it with.

And of course, all my example sentences today are very casual.

1) to give someone one’s feedback, express one’s opinion, feelings.

Ex. このゲーム、面白いじゃん

= Kono geemu, omoshiroi jan.

= This game is fun!

If you need agreement from a listener, attach ( = ne)/ ねえ( = nee)

Ex. このゲーム、面白いじゃんねえ。(面白いじゃん。ねえ)

= Kono geemu, omoshiroi jan nee. (Omoshiroi jan. Nee.)

= This game is fun, isn’t it?

If you want to express surprised feelings or emphasize your feelings, attach ( = ka) to the end.

Ex. このゲーム、面白いじゃんか。

= Kono geemu, omoshiroi janka.

= This game is FUN, isn’t it?

Ex. もう、こんな時間じゃん。行かなくちゃ。

= Mou, konna jikan jan. Ikanakucha.

= Look at the time! I gotta go now.

Ex. A: 新しいスカート買ったの。どう?似合う?

= Atarashii sukaato katta no. Dou? Niau?

= I bought a new skirt. How do I look?

B: いいじゃん。似合うよ。

= ii jan. Niau yo.

= That’s nice! You look good in it.

Ex.今日のお弁当美味しそうじゃん

= Kyou no obentou oishisou jan!

= Today’s boxed lunch looks good, doesn’t it?

Ex. キミちゃんかわいそうじゃん。助けてあげたら?

= Kimichan kawaisou jan. Tasukete agetara ?

= Poor Kimi-chan. Why don’t you help her?

Ex. 蛇なんてこわくないじゃん

= Hebinante kowaku naijan.

= Snakes are not scary.

Ex. そのジャケット、かっこいいじゃん

= Sono jaketto, kakko iijan.

= That jacket is cool!

Ex. 悪くないじゃん、この曲!

= Waruku naijan, kono kyoku!

= This song is not bad!

Ex. ねえねえ、この間、彼とデートに行くって言ってたじゃん。どうだった?

= Nee nee, kono aida, kare to deeto ni ikutte itteta jan. Doudatta?

= Hey, you told me that you were going out on a date with him, the other day. How did it go?

Ex. あれ?今日、誕生日じゃん!ごめん、忘れてた!

= Are? Kyou, tanjoubi jan! Gomen, wasureteta!

= Oh, it’s your birthday today, isn’t it?  Sorry, I forgot about it.

2) to give advice or suggestions.

verb たら ( = ba) / ( = ba) + いいじゃん ( = iijan)

Ex. もっと勉強したら*いいじゃん

= Motto benkyou shitara ii jan.

= You should study more.

(You can also say 勉強すれば = benkyou sureba)

Ex. A: 「パソコンがフリーズしちゃった。」

= pasokon ga furiizu shichatta.

= My computer froze up.

B: 「再起動したらいいじゃん。」

= Saikidou shitara iijan.

= Why don’t you reboot it?

(You can also say 再起動すれば  ( = saikidou sureba))

Ex. 疲れているならもう寝たらいいじゃん

= Tsukarete iru nara mou netara ii jan.

= If you are tired, why don’t you go to bed already.

(You can also say 寝れば = nereba)

Ex. 日本語がわからなかったらマギー先生に聞けばいいじゃんか。

= Nihongo ga wakanarankattara Maggie Sensei ni kikeba iijan ka.

= Why don’t you ask Maggie Sensei if you don’t understand some Japanese words.

3) to make your point, express one’s frustration, complain,  talk back to someone

Ex. そんなことどうだっていいじゃん

= Sonna koto doudatte ii jan.

= I don’t care about that.

You attach ( = ka) at the end to emphasize your feelings.

そんなことどうだっていいじゃんか。(Sounds stronger than いいじゃん ( = iijan))

= Sonna koto doudatte iijan ka.

Ex. A: 「ソファで寝たら風邪ひいちゃった。」

= Sofa de netara kaze hiichatta.

= I slept on the couch and got a cold.

B:「だから言ったじゃん。」

= Dakara ittajan.

= I told you so.

Ex. A:「おいし~い!」

= Oishiii !

= Yummy!

B: 「ちょっと!それ、私のアイスクリームじゃん。」

= Chotto! Sore, watashi no aisukuriimu jan.

= Hey! That is MY ice-cream.

Ex. お母さん、もうマヨネーズないじゃん

= Okaasan, mou mayoneezu naijan.

= Mom, we are already out of mayo, you know.

Ex. Girlfriend : 「私のこときらいなの?」

= You don’t like me?

B: Boyfriend :「だから、そんなこと言ってないじゃん。」

= I’m telling you. I am not saying that.

Ex. だめじゃん、ちゃんと彼女にあやまらなくちゃ。

= Dame jan, chanto kanojo ni ayamaranakucha.

= That’s bad.  You should apologize to her properly.

Ex. A: 「その時計5万円もしたの?高っ!」

= Sono tokei, goman mo shitano? Takah!

= That watch cost you 50,000 yen? That’s expensive!

B: 高くないじゃん。セールで買ったんだよ。

= Takaku naijan. Seiru de kattan dayo.

= Not expensive! I bought it on sale.

**

マギー先生より= Maggie Sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei

Noodle先生、ありがとう!

= Noodle Sensei, arigatou!

= Thank you, Noodle Sensei!

今日のレッスン、簡単じゃん

= Kyou no ressun, kantan jan.

= Today’s lesson was a piece of cake!

***

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2 Comments

  1. It’s not easy to find such thorough lessons regarding the more colloquial side of the language, so thank Yukari. Your site is a godsend.

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