How to use the suffix 〜な ( = na) / ~ なあ ( = naa)



= Kamera chikai naa…

= The camera is too close, you know.

Hi everyone! I am Max! I am Maggie’s best friend and I will be your guest teacher today for the first time in a long time.
I know I am cute, but the camera is a bit too close. Don’t you think?

Maggie told me that you studied the suffixes ( =  yo) and ( = ne).
Today we will learn another casual suffix, ( = na).
Since it is for casual speech, you should only use it with family or friends, OK?

★How to form:

* adjective + ( = na) /なあ ( = naa)

☆ i-adjective + ( = na) /なあ ( = naa)

Ex. おいしいな  ( = oishii na) /なあ ( = naa) おいしいなあ  ( = oishii naa)

☆na-adjective ~だ  ( = da) +   ( = na) /なあ ( = naa)

Ex. 元気だな ( = genki dana)/元気だなあ ( =genki danaa)

★How to use:

Some of the usage of ( = na) is for male speech. So I will mark neutral (both women and men use) or male speech.

1) When you express your opinion or feeling. (Both women and men use).

In this usage, we tend to stretch the sound

:rrrr: なあ ( = naa)/ (more colloquial way to write) な~ ( = naa)

You use the suffix   ( = ne) when you ask for agreement from a listener.

Ex. これ、おいしい

= Kore, oishii ne.

= This is delicious, isn’t it?

You use the suffix なあ ( = naa) when you express what you feel or think. Sometimes you are just talking to yourself so it doesn’t matter whether you have a listener or not.

Ex. これ、おいしいなあ

= Kore, oishii naa.

= This is delicious.

Ex. 寒くなってきたなあ

= Samuku natte kita naa.

= Ah…It is getting colder.

Ex. このバッグ、欲しいな~

= Kono baggu, hoshii naa.

= I’d love to have this bag.  / I really want this bag.

Ex. マギー先生は、厳しいなあ

= Maggie sensei wa, kibishii naa.

= Maggie Sensei is strict.

Ex. 困ったなあ。 定期券を家に忘れてきたみたい。

= Komatta naa. Teikiken wo ie ni wasurete kita mitai.

= I am in trouble. (I don’t know what to do.) I think I left my commuter pass at home.

Ex. 変だなあ。誰も家にいない。

= Henda naa. Dare mo ie ni inai.

= How strange… Nobody is home.

Sometimes you say that to someone to show your emotion.

Ex. これ、3万円もするの?高いなあ

= Kore, sanman en mo suru no?  Takai naa.

= This costs 30,000 yen?? How expensive!

Ex. ロバートはすごいなあ。もうそんな難しい漢字が読めるの?

= Robaato wa sugoi naa. Mou sonna muzukashii kanji ga yomeru no?

= You are great, Robert. You can read that difficult kanji already?

2) When you are not certain about something.:  I wonder…

Ex. マギーが美味しいって言っていたジャーキーこれかなあ

= Maggie ga oishii tte itte ita jaakii kore ka naa?

= I wonder if this dog treat (literally: jerky) is the one Maggie said was delicious.

Ex. 駅はどこか。/ どこかなあ

= Eki wa doko kana./ doko kanaa.

= I wonder where the station is.

Ex. 明日は晴れるかなあ。/ 晴れるかなあ

= Ashita wa hareru kana./ hareru kanaa.

= I wonder if it will be nice (weather) tomorrow.

Ex.ちょっと塩辛いか/ 塩辛いかなあ

= Chotto shiokarai kana./ shiokarai kanaa.

= I wonder if it is a bit salty.

Ex. それは本当か/ 本当かなあ

= Sore wa hontou kana./ hontou ka naa.

= I wonder if it is true.

Ex. 「彼は真面目だから絶対に浮気をしないね。」

= Kare wa majime dakara zettai ni uwaki wo shinai ne.

= He is serious, so I bet he won’t cheat on you.


= Sore wa dou kana/ dou kanaa.

= Hmm I don’t know about that.


⭐️ Male speech

  ( = na) suffix is generally considered to be “male speech”.

Male speech is rough so you have to be careful who you use with.

From the example above,

Ex. これ、おいしい

= Kore, oishii na.

= This is delicious.

The speaker is talking to themselves. In this case, both men and women use.
However, if you use ( = na) suffix when you are talking to someone asking for their agreement or confirmation (just like ~ ね ( = ne) suffix), it is for male speech.

Ex. これおいしい(male speech)

= Kore oishii na.

= This is delicious, isn’t it?

(これおいしいね。( = Kore oishiine. ) is used by both men and women.)

★ How to form:

* i-adjective + ( = na) / ( = yona)

* na-adjecitve ~ だ ( = da) ( = na) / ( = yona)

* verb  + ( = na)  / ( = yona)

* noun + ( = na)  / ( = yona)

* noun + ( = dana)  / ( = dayona)

You sometimes add ( = yo) before ( = na) when you ask for agreement from the listener.

* Asking for agreement from the listener.

To confirm something. (A speaker is sharing the feelings with the listener.)

This usage is the same as ( = ne) which is more feminine or neutral.

Ex. 昔はよくそのゲームを一緒にやった。/ やった(male speech)

= Mukashi wa yoku sono geimu wo issho ni yatta na. / yatta yona.

= We used to play that game, huh?

Ex. 田中もやる。/  やる(male speech)

= Tanaka mo yaruna. / yaru yona.

= Tanaka is something, huh?

Ex. あの子、かわいい。/ かわいい(male speech)

= Anoko, kawaii na. / kawaii yona.

= Don’t you think she is cute?/ She is cute, isn’t she?

Ex. それはひどい。/ ひどい(male speech)

= Sore wa hidoi na. / hidoi yona.

= That’s horrible, isn’t it?

Note: ~よ ( = yona) is almost always for male speech.

But women say それはひどい ( = sore wa hidoina) when they express their feelings without asking for agreement from the listener.)

Ex.  「高校の時、眼鏡かけていた田中って覚えてる?」(male speech)

= Koukou no toki, megane kakete ita Tanakatte oboeteru?

= Do you remember the Tanaka guy, the guy who wore glasses?

「ああ、そういう奴、いた。/ いた。」(male speech)

= Aa, souiu yatsu, ita na/ ita yona.

= Ah, there was that kind of guy.

Ex. 最近、仕事が増えた。/増えた(male speech)

= Saikin, shigoto ga fueta na. / fueta yona.

= We have more work now, don’t we?

Ex. 東京に行くの、明日だ。/ 明日だ(male speech)

= Toukyou ni ikuno, ashita da na/ ashita  da yona.

= We are going to Tokyo tomorrow, right?

*When you tell someone what you are going to do.

Ex. 家に帰ったらメールする(male speech)

= Ie ni kaettara meiru suru na.

= I will  text you when I get home, OK?

Ex. 「あの件どうなった?」

= Ano ken dounatta?

= What happened to the matter?

「ああ、車の件。大丈夫。手配しておいたから。」(male speech)

= Aa, kuruma no ken na. Daijoubu. Tehai shite oita kara.

= Ah, about the car. Don’t worry. I have arranged it already.

Ex. もう行く

= Mou ikuna.

= I am off, OK?

*When you give your opinion to someone.

Ex. 今日は、よく勉強した (male speech)

=  Kyou wa, yoku benkyou shita na.

= You studied a lot today. (Good job!)

Ex. そのドレス、似合う (male speech)

= Sono doresu, niau na.

= (I think) You look good in that dress.

Note: If you are talking to yourself, both men and women this usage of  ( = na)

Ex. 彼女は何を着ても似合うなあ

= Kanojo wa nani wo kite mo niau naa.

= She looks good in any outfit.

Ex. 今日は、よく勉強したなあ

= Kyou wa, yoku benkyou shita naa.

= I think I studied hard today.

*When you want to prohibit someone from doing something.strong negative command

★How to form:

*verb plain form + ( = na)

Ex. する ( = suru)  to do + ( = na)

:rrrr: する ( = suruna)  Don’t do something.

Ex. そんなことする(male speech/ rough/ strong)

= Sonna koto suruna.

= Don’t do such a thing.

Ex. このことは誰にも言う(male speech/ rough/ strong)

= Kono koto wa dareni mo iu na.

= Don’t tell anybody about this.

Ex. おしゃべりする(male speech/ rough/ strong)

= Oshaberi suru na.

= Stop talking.

Ex. まだ行く(male speech/ rough/ strong)

= Mada iku na.

= Don’t go yet.

Ex. もう彼とは会うと言われても会うからね。(Women uses it in a quote form)

= Mou kare to wa auna to iwarete mo au kara ne.

= Even if you tell me not to see him anymore, I will see him anyway, OK?

It is a rough male speech but you may also see it as a warning sign.

Ex. ここに入る(male speech/ rough/ strong)

= Koko ni hairu na.

= Don’t enter here.

です  (= desu) /  ます ( = masu) + ( = na)

I said the male usage of  ( = na)  is rough but there is a form that is attached to です ( = desu) / ます ( = masu)

When you are talking to someone asking for an agreement.

Ex. 会社の外で会うなんて珍しいです(both men and women use)

= Kaisha no soto de au nante mezurashii desune.

= It is unusual to see each other outside of the company, isn’t it?

↓  Change (=ne) with ( = na)

Ex. 会社の外で会うなんて珍しいです(male speech)

= Kaisha no soto de au nante mezurashii desuna.

Though it uses ( = na), it is polite.  However, we tend to hear this from older men.



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

Max ありがとう!

= Max Arigatou!

元気だった?= Genki datta? = How have you been?


= Appu no kao mo iketeru yo.

= Your close-up face is cool, you know.


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  1. Maggie sensei, I heard someone said “忘れんなよ” before, and I’ve asked my friend who is also studying Japanese and she told me that it was like a shorten form/colloquial of “忘れないよ”. But my thought is a bit different. I have read somewhere that “してるの?” = “してんの?”, so my guess “忘れんなよ” = “忘れるなよ” 🤔🤔 I’m not sure which one is correct…

  2. Hi,i told someone in Japanese, that i didn’t eat anything today ,and he told me “食べな or maybe 食べなあ” so may u plz help me to understand what he meant?does he mean Eat or Don’t eat??

    1. HI PariSan

      That suffix な is for a male speech when you tell someone what to do.
      食べなさい Eat! →食べな ( male speech/a bit rough) Eat!
      I explained in my male speech lesson. Click this link.

  3. Sensei:

    I was watching this anime (
    And I came across two なs, but I am unsure about how they are being used.

    For example, in the first one, in my opinion I think the guy uses it to expect agreement from the other guy he is having dinner with: 食料に不自由しなくなってな (Food has not become inconvience, な, or there is not poverty of food, な). That is how I see it, but on the other hand, why would he expect agreement from the other person if that person doesn’t now about the 海ネズミ and it is the first time he is eating it (that is what makes me doubt).

    3:12で 結局うまいのか

    In the second one, the same guy, to me, sounds as if he is expecting agreement because he is explaining about how things while in 位相差空間 do not have any effect where they are, but they can see it. So he uses な to say, don’t you think so?. But again I am not sure


    Are my suppositions correct 先生、or is な being used differently?


    1. This な is the one for a male speech.
      The function is similar to ね

      The speaker is not actually expecting agreement but probably needs the listener’s attention.
      It is similar to “You know/You see” in English.

  4. Hi Maggie,

    I hope everything is going well for you :)

    I’m reading a new book about the 第五福竜丸 fishing boat which is really interesting, but I saw a bit of speech that I have no idea about at all.

    I’m not sure if it’s relevant to this なあ topic at all (apologies if not)…
    The crew are checking each other after they were rained on by a mysterious substance, and one says:


    I’m not sure if the にゃ is なければ and なあ is ね, but that doesn’t really make sense to me, so I’m very confused! :D

    Many thanks,

    1. Hi Peter,

      Or it could be
      けずらにゃ(いかん)なあ。or けずらにゃなあ。(without ん)

      As you guessed, Vにゃ(いかん) is a dialect or casual contraction that elderly men use which means Vなければいけない (= have to do ~). It is similar to なきゃなあ (=なければいけないなあ)

      So he is saying そろそろ指をけずらなければ(いけない)なあ、大石

      1. Hi Maggie,

        Thanks for the help.
        I think he’s saying “I have to scrape it off carefully with my fingers Oishi”, but I’ve never seen that にゃん contraction before :)

        Many thanks,

        1. OK, just one thing.
          with my fingers should be 指で not 指を
          指をけずる= scrape/shave off one’s finger(s)
          指でけずる= scrape/shave off with one’s fingers

  5. Thank you very much. taihen benkyuu narimashita. Every time i search nihongo topics, I always check if you have that lesson first before i open other websites … :-)..

  6. Thanks for this, I always wondered about the nuance between ‘ne’ and ‘na’. The examples were quite helpful in grasping this difference!

  7. Question.

    You said な can be used to tell someone you’re going to do something, but also can be used to tell someone not to do something.

    Does context decide on which use the speaker is going for? If so, does this:


    also mean “When I get home, don’t text (me),” if the context allows for it?

    1. @eightgate

      Q:When I get home, don’t text (me),” if the context allows for it?
      Situation-wise, it sounds a bit strange, but I guess it is possible. Or “When you get home, don’t text me (anymore).”

      When I get home, don’t text (me),”→ I would say “俺(僕)が家にいる時はメールするな。”/ 家にはメールするな。 Don’t text me when I am home.

  8. まさに”な”の問題について他の先生にメールを書こうとしていたときにこのレッスン出た。不思議なあ。マギー先生は第六感があるかなああ。 :s:

    “Kanojo wa nani wo kite mi niau naa.” :rrrr: “kite mo”

    I was wondering, since the the combination of a verb+na could mean both an expression of emotion or a negative command, how do know what is meant. Is there maybe a difference in pronunciation if I say for instance: “今食べるな。”, so that you would know whether I meant: “Don’t eat now!” or “I’m goin to eat now!”? I don’t want to sound like ordering people around when I just want to express my feelings… :P

    1. @Zetsuboumanadeshi

      Haha good question.
      could mean
      1) Don’t eat now.
      2) I am going to eat now, OK? (male speech)
      and the intonation is different.
      It is too bad that I can’t attach a sound file here but 1) you stress “食べる” more. and you say 2) more softly.

  9. ああ、そういう奴、いたな。/ いたよな。
    Aa, souiu yatsu, ita na/ !koujichuu!  !koujichuu!  [iata] —> ita yona.

  10. おもいしろかった!!! !riceball!  !riceball!  !purplecandy! !purplecandy!
    Tetsudatte kurete arigatou Magi sensei, but
    sensei why don’t give this lesson through video it would be awesome and i’m no one who watch it

      1. おもしろかった haip chigaimashita gomen2 :)
        Ohhh its okay sensei :) !JYANE! !JYANE! !JYANE!
        Sensei i have a request can u make a lesson about onomatopoeia japanese? :)

  11. Hold me now don’t bother if every minute it makes me weaker
    You can save me from the man that I’ve become, oh yeah

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