Sentence ending わ

Discussion in '日本語 (Japanese)' started by adexx, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. adexx Senior Member


    I'd like to talk about わ as a sentence ending word which is usually used in conversations (like ね、よ、ぞ etc.).
    I've always thought that this is mostly used by girls/women, but I've heard men say it too (and quite often). So, is the わ used by men here different from the わ used by women, or is it acceptable to be used by both gender in certain cases?

    A simple example would be: 僕、帰るわ

  2. YangMuye

    YangMuye Senior Member

    Many dialects use wa quite often.
    The wa in these dialects often works like "yo". (I'm not sure.)

    Suppose you are talking about the standard Japanese, the intonation of the wa used by men and women are different.
    Women's wa is raising, while men's wa is low.

    I seldom see this usage so I don't know what exactly does it mean.
    I feel that it makes the speaker's action (go home) sound like a random movement, and makes the sentence sound casual.
  3. Nobu.0

    Nobu.0 Senior Member

    Yes, it is a different わ that I think is used colloquially by men most of the time. I also have the impression that this わ is used to describe speaker's motion or decision, that is, something that the speaker willfully decided to do.

    So I would say it is more appropriate to translate the sentence you just gave as "I decided to leave." or "I have to leave.", rather than simply "I'm leaving."
  4. adexx Senior Member


    So, this わ that men use is common and different from the わ that women use, and the intonation is going down, right?
    Is there any rule for this use? Nobu.0 san said that it's used to describe the speaker's "decision", does it mean it's used for "actions" only?
    What about judgments, comments etc. E.g. このケーキ、もったいないわ! (I think this is women's way of saying, but can men use わ like this?).

    Also, is this use of わ casual (among friends, coworkers etc.), or can it be used with people of higher position?

    Sorry for so many questions.
  5. Nobu.0

    Nobu.0 Senior Member

    Sorry for my belated reply...
    Yes it is.
    Sorry I think I generalized too much when I said this usage of わ is only used to describe decisions. And yes, it CAN mean the speaker's judgments.
    I agree that there is some ambiguity in the example you gave. To make it sound more natural, I can think of an example


    In order to make it clear that this usage is the men's わ, I needed some additional cues to show that this sentence is uttered by a man. That's why I added マジ, which is a rather 'manly' way of emphasizing something. I would also need a descending intonation if this is to be pronounced by a man.
    Apparently, there was something very wasteful or too luxurious for the occasion about this cake...
    This is a very casual usage. Never heard in official settings.
  6. YangMuye

    YangMuye Senior Member


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