How to use だって ( = datte)

Makoto: 「亀だってはやく泳げるよ。」

= Kame datte hayaku oyogeru yo.

= Even a turtle can swim fast.

Momoko: 「ナッツちょうだい。」

= Nattsu choudai.

= Give me some nuts! 


= Sakki tabeta bakari janai.

= But you just ate.


= Datte, onaka suitan damon.

= Because I am hungry, you know.


Hi everyone!

Today we have two guest teachers,

Makoto-Sensei and Momoko-Sensei. 

They have been patiently waiting to be our guest teachers.


= Omatase shimashita. 

= Sorry to kept you waiting! = I’m sorry to have kept you waiting.

Hi Makoto and Momoko here.

It’s about time to make a lesson together. 

Today we am going to make a lesson on だって ( = datte).

You may hear this a lot in conversation. 


Today I am going to make a lesson on だって ( = datte).

You may hear this a lot in conversation. 

1) to quote what someone says: When you quote what you have heard* When you quote what you have heard

★ How to form: 

*noun / na-adjective + だって ( = datte)

→(Note: verb / i-adjective + って ( = tte) / verb んだって ( = n datte) )


Ex. パパがマギー先生はきれいだって言ってたよ。

= Papa ga Maggie Sensei wa kirei datte itteta yo.

= My dad says Maggie Sensei is beautiful.

Ex. 明日は雨だって

= Ashita wa ame datte.

= I heard it is going to rain tomorrow.

Note: I already explain in my Indirect and Direct speech &  って ( = tte) lesson so please check this lesson for all the details. 

2)  to give a reason / to make an excuse/ to talk back: because: 

You start your sentence with だって ( = datte) to explain why. 

You use it in very casual conversation when you talk to someone very close to you.

Ex. 「よく食べるね。」

= Yoku taberu ne.

= You eat a lot, don’t you?


= Datte, onaka suite irun damon.

= ‘Cause I am hungry.

Note: もん ( = mon) is a casual contraction of もの ( = damono) 

In this case it means “から ( = kara)” 

You often it use with だって ( = datte) in casual speech. 

Children tend to use だって ( = datte) to make excuses.

Ex. Mother:「 どうしてサキちゃんにそんなことしたの?」

= Doushite Saki-chan ni sonna koto shita no?

= Why did you do such a thing to Saki-chan?

Child だって、おもちゃを貸してくれないんだもん。」

= Datte, omocha wo kashite kurenain damon.

= Because  she didn’t let me use her toy.

Mother だってだって言わないの!」

= “Date”, “datte” iwanai no!

=  Enough with your excuses. 

Ex. 「また新しい靴買ったの?」

= Mata atarashii kutsu katta no?

= You bought another pair of shoes?


= Datte, yasukattanda mon.

= Because they are cheap. 

 !purplecandy! From the picture above:

Momoko: 「ナッツちょうだい。」

= Nattsu choudai.

= Give me some nuts! 


= Sakki tabeta bakari janai.

= But you just ate.


= Datte, onaka suitan damon.

= Because I am hungry, you know.

Sometimes you just use  だって ( = datte) and leave the sentence unfinished on purpose.

Ex. 「なんで愛ちゃんのことばかり聞くの?」

= Nande Aichan no koto bakari kiku no?

= Why do you ask about Ai so much? 


= Datte…

= Because..

The listener can assume this person wants to say


= Datte, sukinan damon.

= Because I like her.

Ex. 「どうして来ないの?」

= Doushtie konai no?

= How come you are not coming?


= Datte saa…

= Because you know…

Note: さあ ( = saa) is a casual suffix which you use when you are thinking what to say.

3)  interrogative word + だって ( = datte) :anytime, anyway, anybody / whatever, whenever, whoever 

It is similar to <interrogative word + でも ( = demo)>  but it sounds a little stronger. 

Ex. そんなこと誰だってできる。

= Sonna koto daredatte dekiru.

= Anybody can do such a thing.

Ex. 「生徒会長、誰を選ぶ?」

= Seito kaichou, dare wo erabu?

= Who would you choose as a student council president.


= Dare datte iiyo.

= Whoever. (I don’t care.)

Ex. いつだって私たちは支え合ってきた。

= Itsudatte watashitachi wa sasaeatte kita.

= We always have been supporting each other. 

Ex. 休みの日はどこだって満員だよ。

= Yasumi no hi wa doko datte man’in da yo.

= Wherever you go, it is full on the holidays.

*Interrogative word+ particle だって ( = datte) 


= Dare ni datte iitaku nai koto wa aru hazu da.

= Anybody has things that they don’t want to share.

4) even : to emphasize what comes before. = でも ( = demo) 

noun +(particle) +  だって ( = datte)

Ex. 百円だって無駄にはできない。

= Hyakuen datte mudani wa dekinai.

= We can not waste even 100 yen.

(You can also use でも ( = demo))

Ex. 彼女と別れるなんて一度だって思ったことないよ。

= Kanojo to wakareru nante ichido datte omotta koto nai yo.

= I have never thought about breaking up with her (my girlfriend). Not even once.

Ex. 子供だってそんなこと知ってるよ。

= Kodomo datte sonna koto shitteru yo.

= Even a child know such a thing.

Ex. だって平気!

= Ame datte heiki!

= I don’t mind even it is raining. 

Ex. 犬にだって休む権利はある。

= Inu ni datte yasumu kenri wa aru.

= Even a dog has a right to take a day-off.

Ex. 「どうして仕事をやめたこと教えてくれなかったの?」

= Doushite shigoto wo yameta koto oshiete kurenakatta no?

= Why didn’t you tell me you quit your job?


= Shigoto wo kubi ni natta nante oyani datte itte nai noni.

= I haven’t even told my parents I got fired. (How could I tell you?) 

Ex. このアプリすごいんだよ。俗語だってちゃんと訳してくれるよ。

=  kono apuri sugoin dayo. Zokugo  datte channto yakushite kureru yo.

= This app is amazing. It even translates slang  words properly. 

5) too / emphasize what comes before

Ex. だって日本に行きたい。

= Watashi datte Nihon ni ikita.

= I want to go to Japan,too.

Ex. お母さん、iPad買ってよ。田中君だって持ってるんだよ。

= Okaasan, iPad katte yo. Tanaka-kun datte motterun dayo.

= Buy me an i-Pad, Mom. Tanaka-kun has one, too. 

Ex. この間だって同じこと言ってたじゃない。

= Kono aida datte onaji koto itteta janai.

= You said the same thing the other day,too.

 :pinkcandy2: From the picture above:

Makoto: 「亀だってはやく泳げるよ。」

= Kame datte hayaku oyogeru yo.

= (Even a turtle can swim fast.)

It implies, “I am a turtle and you may think I can’t swim fast but I do! “

6) and : giving some examples

Ex. 男の子だって女の子だって楽しく子供に料理を教えたい。

= Otokonoko datte onnanoko datte tanoshiku kodomo ni ryouri wooshietai.

= It doesn’t matter boys or girls. I would like to teach children cooking with fun. 

Ex. 今日は天ぷらだってすき焼きだってなんでも作ってあげる。

= Kyou wa tenpura datte sukiyaki datte, nandemo tsukutte ageru.

= I will make you anything, Tempura, Sukiyaki… you name it.

Ex. 「いつ会おうか?」

= Itsu aou ka?

= When should we get together?


= Itsudemo iiyo. Getsuyoubi datte kayoubi datte zutto hima dakara.

= Anytime is OK with me. Monday, Tuesday… I am free anytime.

Ex. 最近、忙しくて。昨日だって帰ったの12時すぎだったよ。

= Saikin, isogashikute. Kinou datte kaetta no juuniji sugi dattayo.

= It has been hectic lately.  Like yesterday, I got home past midnight. 


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


= Makoto Sensei, Momoko Sensei, arigatou!

= Thank you, Makoto- Sensei and Momoko-Sensei.


= Kono saito dewa kame datte hamustaa datte minna ganbatte nihongo wo oshiete kuremasu yo.

= On this site, everybody including turtle and hamster, is trying hard to teach you Japanese.


= Minna mo ganbarimashou!

= Good luck everyone!

I REALLY appreciate your support!  サポートありがとう! !CHECKHEART! 

My supporters can access an audio file for this lesson on my Pateron page and some mini lessons and quiz.

Audio File for this lesson

:rrrr: Click here.


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  1. Maggie-sensei,

    I heard someone said “たまたまだって” before。I don’t really understand the function of “だって” in this case. Could you please break it down for me?

    Thank you sensei.

    1. Hello Mimi

      Ah, OK, in casual conversation, you finish the sentence with だって or だってば to stress what comes before, to make your point or show your frustration.

      = It is just a coincidence. (Making your point.Stress たまたま)

      Ex. このコーヒー、飲んでみてよ。本当に美味しいんだって。/ 美味しいんだってば。
      (Try this coffee. (Trust me!) It is surely good. )

      Ex. 私はそんなことやってないんだってば。
      = I am telling you. I didn’t do such a thing.
      (Expressing one’s annoyance/frustration)

      It is like “I am telling you, it is just by chance.”

      1. Thank you so much, Maggie sensei. 😍

        Actually I’m still new to Japanese, I’ve learned Japanese for 3 months by self-study. That’s why I’m so grateful for what sensei have done so far. Every lesson was made with so much efforts! On my learning process, I come across many difficulties and I have many questions, which I don’t think that anyone out there would talk about it. But whenever I look it up on Google, Maggie sensei’s site always has full explanation for everything!!! 🙏

        I’m not good at English so I will stop here. Thank you so much sensei. 🥰

        Have a good day. 😊😊

  2. Hi Maggie Sensei! I hope you’re ok! I wanna ask you about だった as “because”… It’s always used when there is something previous? For example in the example sentence said: 「だって、おなかすいたんだもん。」But there is “something previous”: 「さっき食べたばかりじゃない。」In this case it’s a reply. Would be right start a conversation with だって? For example: 「あのさ、だって日本に行きたい、よく日本語の勉強するよ」It’s that ok? I think with から would be ok but I wanna know with だって. Same example but with から: 「あのさ、日本に行きたいから、よく日本語の勉強するよ」

    1. Hello David,
      だった→You mean the usage of だって?
      You don’t say 「あのさ、だって日本に行きたい、よく日本語の勉強するよ」
      As you said, から works
      あのさ、日本に行きたいから ~
      よく日本語の勉強をするよ is a bit unnatural. I would say もっと日本語の勉強をするよ。・日本語をがんばるよ。

      You can’t connect “reason” and “outcome/decision” with だって. You say something first and then explain the reason why starting with だって.


      1. いつもありがとうございます!💐わかった!
        But in your final example would be ok if you omit から and say: もっと日本語の勉強をがんばるよ。だって日本に行きたい。? Use だって and から at the same time isn’t like I’m saying because two times?
        Also I feel a bit confused with “日本語の勉強をがんばる”, because I thought that がんばる was an intransitive verb and you couldn’t use を… 😓😹

        1. You can say だって日本に行きたい。but you are explaining the reason why you will study Japanese more so
          だって~から/だって〜し/ だって〜もの(ore more casual もん) are more natural in conversation.
          だって日本に行きたいから。/ だって日本に行きたいし/だって日本に行きたいもの(casual もん)

          As for がんばる, yes it is 自動詞 but you can use it as 他動詞 as well in conversation.
          Noun をがんばる
          You can also say もっと上達するようにがんばるよ。

  3. Thanks for the great lesson! Just a question: I was doing some more reading regarding だって 、and I saw a very similar grammar point 、「たって」。It seems that these mesanings are the same, and maybe even when だって is in the middle of a sentence it is the exact same as when you use たって with a noun (it becomes だって)。Are these two grammar points the exact same or is there a bit of a difference? Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Rebekah,

      Actually there are a couple of usages of たって but you are probably talking about
      verb past tense + って. or i-adjective く + たって
      If so, you are right. It is the same as だって and it means Vても (even doing something)

      Ex. どれだけ食べたって太らない = どれだけ食べても太らない = No matter how much one eats, one doesn’t get fat.
      Ex. 今は、彼女に何を言ったって無駄だ。 = 今は、彼女に何をいっても無駄だ。= It’s no use telling her anything now.
      Ex. どんなに美味しくたって高ければいらない。 = どんなに美味しくても高ければいらない。 = No matter how delicious it is, if it is expensive, I am not going to buy.

  4. Hi sensei, what does “datte” mean here? emphasis?


    thank you :3

    1. Hi Megu,
      It is a conversational expression but let me explain.
      If this person is talking to her senpai (senpai is one’s senior who entered the school/company earlier than the speaker)
      I decided that you are special.(It may sound too dramatic but she is saying “I hereby declare that I like you!” )

  5. ということは、「だって」というのは「でも」のカジュアルの言い方ですか?

    1. 「小学生だって/でもこの問題を解けるよ」

  6. Hi Maggie,

    Shouldn’t this sentence use instead 教えてあげます of 教えてくれます?
    I thought if you are speaking, and you give something to someone (or do something for someone), you always use あげます because くれます is reserved for when you are the receiver.

    1. Hi Dennis,

      Good question. It is because I am not neither a hamster nor turtle. I am talking about they give the readers lessons.
      If I am talking about myself, it sounds a bit arrogant but I could say 日本語を教えてあげます。

      1. I see, thank you. So as a third party, it is okay to say くれます. Are both くれます and あげます fine to use when you are a third party?

        1. You can use くれる if the receiver is the one you are talking to.

          Someone (the third person) が (listener/readerに) Vてくれるよ・くれますよ
          = “Someone does something for you*” (you = the listener/reader) *or someone who you can related to.

          As for あげる, the speaker has to be yourself.
          Aがみんなに日本語を教えてあげる (Not natural)

  7. だってこのサイト大好きですよ、いつも役に立つのレッスンがあるんだからね。

  8. え、…読心術?今夜、僕は普段閲覧が終わって、勉強を準備している。

    1. すごーい!!偶然!
      Kの心が読めたかな? ヤッタ〜!!!


  9. いつも楽しいレッスンをしてくれてありがとう、マギー先生!

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