10 Ways to Say ‘I’ or ‘me’ in Japanese

Posted by on April 19, 2019 – Japanese Study

Watashi? Boku? What’s the difference?

According to social status, gender and the situation, there are many ways to say ‘I’ or ‘me’ in Japanese. Usually, the Japanese learning textbook only shows you the usage of Watashi (私.)

It doesn’t show you how to change the first person pronoun due to different situations in daily life. This blog will show you 10 ways in common use to say ‘I’ or ‘me’ in Japanese.

1. Watashi (わたし/)
Most-frequently-used word to say ‘I/me.’ It’s a modest way to express yourself in any situations. Also, it’s used on a formal occasion or speak to someone who is superior.

2. Watakushi (わたくし/)
It’s a more polite way than Watashi. It’s used on official occasion. The Imperial Family use Watakushi when they make a speech.

3. Atashi (あたし)
A feminine variant. For informal occasions, the person you are speaking to is a friend or junior.

4. Atakushi (あたくし)
It’s a female variant which more polite than Atashi.

5. Uchi (うち)
It’s first pronoun for female in Kansai dialect on informal occasions.

6. Washi (わし/)
It’s used in the Kansai area for elder man. Common use on old man character in game or animation.

7. Boku (ぼく/)
A semi-humble pronoun for young men. Common use on boys.

8. Ore (おれ/)
Men use on informal occasions. A casual way to say ‘I,’ usually be pair with ‘Omae (お前, you.)’

9. Jibun (じぶん/自分)
A gender-neutral word often adopted by military personnel or athlete.

10. Ware (われ/)
Formal, used in the article as self-proclaimed. People use it for speech, meeting, or discussion. Often used in the plural as Wareware (我々, we.)

 

Also, there is more way to say ‘I’ and ‘me.’ The pronoun is in relation to whom you are speaking to and the occasion. By learning Japanese language, you have the opportunity to practice it and you will be able to put it into use. It helps you to tell the nuances in the Japanese culture.

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