= Sore totte!
= Can you get me that one?
= Which one?
This lesson is for my dear twitter follower, Hayley who asked me to make a lesson on “this” and “that” in Japanese and what situations they are used in.
Let’s take a look at the picture first.
Each toy on the floor is indicated by one of the following
★これ = kore ★それ = sore ★あれ = are
depending on the distance from Maggie.
When Maggie addresses the closest toy she will say,
これ = kore = this one
and the toy which is a bit further from her will be
それ = sore= that one
and when she refers the furthest toy, she will say
あれ = are = that one over there
So instead of saying the object name, you can just point it and say
★これ = kore = this one, this thing
(object which is right close to the speaker / It is so close that speaker can actually touch it.)
★それ = sore = that one, that thing, it
(the nearby object yet the speaker can’t reach./ The nearby object for the listeners. (Unless the speaker and the listener are right next to each other.)
★あれ = are = that one over there, that thing over there
(the object which is far from the speaker and the listener.)
1) The translation of それ ( = sore) and あれ ( = are) could be both “that one” in English butあれ ( = are) is used for things which they see much further それ ( = sore).
So back to the picture above, someone is asking Maggie,
= Nee, sore totte
= Hey, can you get me that one?
Maggie wasn’t sure which one so she asked,
= Which one?
どれ(= dore) is used for questions, which one
2) We also use these demonstrative pronouns for intangible things, such as matters, situations, topics,etc.
= Are dou natta?
= What happened to that (matter)?
= Sore wa ii desu ne.
= That’s nice!
★これ = kore
★それ = sore
★あれ = are
★どれ = dore
Pick the first hiragana of the words and line them up.
It will be
こそあど = kosoado
So these demonstrative pronouns which start from these letters are called,
こそあど言葉 = kosoado kotoba
(言葉 = kotoba = words)
Note : There are actually more for こそあど言葉 = kosoado kotoba. I will show you the rest later in this lesson.
Let’s learn how to use them!!
As an object :
For example when you go shopping and you don’t know the names of the items, you can just point to an item and say
= Sumimasen ** kudasai.
= Excuse me. Can I have **?
If the item is close to you, point to it and say
これ(を）ください。= kore (wo) kudasai.
And if it is a bit further, you can say
それ（を）ください。= sore (wo) kudasai.
If the item is far from you, you can say
あれ（を）ください。= are (wo) kudasai.
(Note : In conversation many people drop the particles, ex. を = wo が=ga, は=wa, etc)
= Kore (wo) hitotsu kudasai.
= Give me one (of these).
= Sore (wa) ikura desuka?
= How much is it / that one?
= Are (wo) misete kudasai.
= Please show me that one (over there).
= Dorega hoshii desuka?
= Which one would you like?
As a subject :
= Kore wa Maggie no omocha desu.
= This is Maggie’s toy.
= Demo are wa Maggie no omocha dewa arimasen
= But that is not Maggie’s toy.
= Dore ga Maggie no omocha desuka?
= Which one is Maggie’s toy?
(You can also say)
= Maggie no omocha wa dore desuka?
= Sumimasen kore wa nan desuka?
= Excuse me. What is this?
= Dore desuka?
= Which one?
= Kore desu.
= This one.
= Aa sore wa shouga desu.
= Oh that’s ginger.
The plural form:
There are plural forms for demonstratives but they sound formal and it might sound odd to use in daily conversation.
•これ = kore → これら= korera = these things
•それ = sore → それら = sorera = those things
•あれ = are → あれら = arera = those things (over there)
When you want to ask the price of plural things, we almost never say,
= Korera wa ikura desuka?
= How much are these?
It is grammatically correct but not natural. We just say これいくらですか？= Kore ikura desuka? or この〜はいくらですか？= Kono ~ wa ikura desuka?
Note : These demonstrative pronouns are for objects, not for people.
Ex. Let me make introduction. This is Maggie.
= Goshoukai shimasu. Kore wa Maggie Sensei desu.
Ex. Which one is your father?
= Dore ga anatano otousan desuka?
It is not polite to address people with これ= kore, それ = sore, あれ= are, どれ = dore
Well, there are people who use these for people casually but just remember it is not polite.
Ex. 「あれ誰だよ？ 」(rough)
= Are dare dayo?
= Who is that?
「あれ、俺の彼女！」(male casual talk)
= Are ore no kanojo!
= She’s my girlfriend.
Also when you are looking at pictures, you might say
= Kore Maggie no otousan?
= Is this your (Maggie’s) dad?
When you address other people , use honorific demonstrative pronouns.
•これ = kore →(more polite) こちら = kochira = this person, to indicate a person who is physically very close to you.
•それ= sore→(more polite) そちら = sochira = that person, to indicate a person who is a bit further from you or closer to the listener.
•あれ= are→(more polite) あちら = achira = that person over there, to indicate a person who is far away,
•どれ = dore →(more polite) どちら = dochira = who, which person, used in questions
So the above sentences should be:
御紹介します。こ ちらはマ ギー先生です。
= Goshoukai shimasu. Kochira wa Maggie sensei desu.
= Dochira ga Maggie sensei desuka?
These polite forms might look familiar to some people. These are also the polite forms of the demonstrative pronouns to define locations.
To define the locations:
•ここ = koko = here (casual form : こっち = kocchi)
(more polite ) こちら =kochira
•そこ = soko = there (casual form : そっち = socchi)
(more polite ) そちら = sochira
•あそこ = asoko = over there (casual form : あっち = acchi)
(more polite ) あちら = achira
•どこ = doko = Where? (casual form : どっち = docchi)
(more polite ) どちら = dochira
= Doko ni okeba ii? Koko?
= Where should I put it? Here?
= Here!! (This way!)
= Soko no ie no neko kawaii yo.
= The cat who belongs to that house is so cute.
= Dochira ni osumai desuka?
= Where do you live?
( You can also say, お住まいはどちらですか？= Osumai wa dochira desuka?)
= Kochira he douzo!
= This way, please.
= Itsu achirani ikareru no desu ka?
= When are you going there?
•この = kono = this + noun
= Kono inu no namae wa nani?
= What’s the name of this dog?
•その = sono = that, the + noun
= sono toori no mukai
= across from the/that street
= Sono omise ni wa itta koto ga arimasen.
= I have never been to the store. (or restaurant, bar)
•あの = ano = that + noun
= ano hito doushiteru?
= How is she/he/ that person?
•どの = dono = which + noun
Ex. どの部屋？ = dono heya? = Which room?
Ex. A: 「この曲大好き！」
= Kono kyoku daisuki!
= I love this song!
= Dono kyoku?
= Which song?
= Kono hana no namae wo shitte imasuka?
= Do you know the name of this flower?
= Eh? Dono hana no namae desuka?
= What? Which flower’s name?
= Aa sono hana desune. Nadeshiko desu.
= Oh, that flower. It’s “Nadeshiko”
The plural form for demonstrative adjectives :
•この = kono →これらの = korerano = these + noun
•その = sono →それらの = sorerano = those + noun
•あの = ano →あれらの = arerano = those over there + noun
Ex. これらの国々 = korerano kuniguni = these countries
Note : Again, these plural forms are for formal use and we don’t use them so much in a daily conversation.
Plural forms in Japanese :
Unlike other western languages, we have limited plural forms for nouns.
Ex. 生徒 = seito = student(s) → (plural) 生徒達 = seito tachi = students
日 = hi = day(s) →(plural) 日々= hibi = days
人 = hito = person/people →(plural) 人々 = hitobito = people
We use both singular or plural form of demonstrative adjectives for those nouns in plural form
Ex. these people:
この人達 = kono hitotachi or これらの人達 = korera no hitotachi (not so common)
Ex. these children:
その子供達 = sono kodomotachi or それらの子供達 = sorera no kotomotachi (not so common)
There are also adjective forms for こちら = kochira、そちら = sochira、あちら= achira
こちらの = kochirano + noun
そちらの = sochirano + noun
あちらの = achirano + noun
どちらの= dochirano + noun
= Achira no kata wa donata desuka?
= Who is the person over there?
= Kochira no sensei ga Maggie Sensei desu.
= This teacher is Maggie-Sensei.
Additional Note for more advanced learners :
To refer to intangible things:
これ ( = kore)、それ ( = sore) 、あれ ( = are) and also この ( = kono), その ( = sono), and あの ( = ano) are used when we refer to intangible things such as time, matters, events, memories,etc.
Basically if the event is far back, we tend to use あれ ( = are) and あの ( = ano), if the event has happened a little while ago, we use それ ( = sore) or その ( = sono), and if it the event is happening right now we use これ ( = kore) and この ( = kono)
= Kono ryokou de ippai ii omoide wo tsukuritai.
= I would like to make lots of good memories on this trip.
(It is happening right now or the speaker is talking about future trips which will happen soon.)
= Ano toki wa tanoshikatta ne.
= That was fun. / It was fun that time.
(When a speaker recalls an old memory.)
= Sono setsu wa osewani narimashita.
= Thank you for the other day!
(When a speaker recalls a fairly recent event.)
However, in a lot of cases it is not always easy to know which one to use.
Sometimes It is determined by how the speaker feels about the event in terms of space, time and psychology.
Ex. A : あのパーティーは行ったの？
= Ano paatii wa itta no?
= Did you go to that party?
B : えっ？あのパーティーってどのパーティー？
= Eh? Ano paatii tte dono paatii?
= Umm? (“That party” means ) What party?
A : ほら、マギーのあの誕生日パーティー！
= Hora Maggie no ano tanjoubi paatii!
= I’m talking about that birthday party Maggie had!
B -1 : ああ、そのパーティーだったら行かなかったよ。
= Aa sono paatii dattara ikanakatta yo.
= Oh, I didn’t go to that/the party.
B -2 : ああ、あのパーティーだったら行かなかったよ。
= Aa ano paatii dattara ikanakatta yo.
= Oh, I didn’t go to that party.
Note : B-1, B-2 : If the listener sees the party distantly time-wise of psychologically they use あの = ano and if they use それ =sore if they see it closer.
Once it appears in the conversation, however, the listener tends use その = sono or それ = sore.
Ex. A : 明日、誕生日パーティーを開くんだ。
= Ashita tanjoubi paatii wo hirakunda.
= I am going to have a birthday party tomorrow.
B : そのパーティーには何人位来るの？
= Sono paatii niwa nannin ku(gu)rai kuru no?
= How many people do you expect to come to the party?
A : まだわからない。でもこのパーティーの為に１ヶ月以上準備してるんだよ。
= Mada wakaranai. Demo kono paatii no tame ni ikkagetu ijou mo junbi shiterundayo.
= I don’t know yet. But I have been preparing for this party for over a month.
Note : The speaker A uses この ( = kono) or これ ( = kore0 because he sees it happening in his head right now. Thus which one to use is often determined by the speaker’s psychological distance to an event.
For intermediate level people, I will teach you one expression.
あれこれ = arekore = this or that, all sorts of (→We also say あれやこれや = areya koreya)
= Are kore yatte mita ga damedatta.
= I tried many things but nothing worked.
= Are kore kangaeru dake jikan no mudada.
= It is just waste of time kicking around things.
= Are kore urusaku iwanai de!
= Don’t nag!
= Kore wa watashi no omocha desu. Soremo aremo zennbu watashi no omocha desu.
= This is my toy. And that one and that one over there are all mine as well.
= Demo kibun ga ii toki wa kashite agemasu.
= But I will share them with you when I am in a good mood.
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