Desu vs. Da

ashwinr

ashwinr

Desu is used to say that something is, but when listening/watching to anime I sometimes hear them using the word *da*. Can you use the word da or I'm is my understanding incorrect?
Sayaka-Matsuura

Sayaka-Matsuura

Konnichiwa Ashwinr-san, You are entirely correct!! :P *Desu*, the word which corresponds to the verb "to be" in English, and *Da* mean exactly the same thing. *Desu* is the formal version, while *Da* is more colloquial and familiar. *Da* can sound quite rough and abrupt at times, and is used mostly by male speakers. As a matter of custom, Japanese women tend to speak more politely - even in quite informal situations, you'll hear women use *"_something_-desu"* rather than *"_something_-da"*. So, *Da* and *Desu* differ ONLY in the level of politeness, not meaning or tense. It can be used interchangeably. -Sayaka :P
ashwinr

ashwinr

Domo arigato Sayake-san.
Sayaka-Matsuura

Sayaka-Matsuura

Do itashimashite! :P
Batou

Batou

Don't different regions of Japan use different copulas? I thought I've heard じゃ and や before instead of だ. Just curious.
Sayaka-Matsuura

Sayaka-Matsuura

Batou-san konnichiwa! Yes, you are correct. The standard dialect (Tokyo) uses Desu/Da (formal/informal) but you will certainly hear different endings for different dialects. For example, the Kansai dialect (spoken by people in Kyoto and Osaka area) - the standard copula *~da* is replaced by *~ya*, and similarly, *~datta* (past casual ta-form) becomes *~yatta*. -Sayaka :P
CatPanda

CatPanda

[quo]*Quote from * Sayaka Batou-san konnichiwa! Yes, you are correct. The standard dialect (Tokyo) uses Desu/Da (formal/informal) but you will certainly hear different endings for different dialects. For example, the Kansai dialect (spoken by people in Kyoto and Osaka area) - the standard copula *~da* is replaced by *~ya*, and similarly, *~datta* (past casual ta-form) becomes *~yatta*. -Sayaka :P[/quo] But wait wouldn't datta become confused with the expression Yatta! for "Alright!" or "I did it!"?
Sayaka-Matsuura

Sayaka-Matsuura

Derek-san, I believe the Kansai-people know which YATTA it is within the context of the conversation. If it sounds like a trailing, such as, きれいやった (Kirei-yatta) - [standard Japanese: きれいだった] or だめやった (Dame-yatta) - [standard Japanese: だめだった] then it's not the YATTA for "hurray!!". -Sayaka :P
CatPanda

CatPanda

[quo]*Quote from * Sayaka Derek-san, I believe the Kansai-people know which YATTA it is within the context of the conversation. If it sounds like a trailing, such as, きれいやった (Kirei-yatta) - [standard Japanese: きれいだった] or だめやった (Dame-yatta) - [standard Japanese: だめだった] then it's not the YATTA for "hurray!!". -Sayaka :P[/quo] さやか先生、 I figured so, but I thought it'd give you a good laugh if I asked anyways :lol: :P それではまたね、 皇子山出礼句

Ask a question or a post a response

If you want to ask a question or post a response you need to be a member.

If you are already a member login here .
If you are not a member you can become one by taking the free Rocket Japanese trial here .