First person and deshou/darou?

Discussion in '日本語 (Japanese)' started by ihitokage, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. ihitokage

    ihitokage Senior Member

  2. yuna0406 Member

    I guess I don't use "~ darou" or "~ deshou" when the subject is "watashi", but I didn't know it's simply wrong to use them.

    To mean "I will go to Kobe tomorrow", it's just more natural to say "Ashita watashi wa Kobe ni ikimasu", rather than "iku deshou/darou".

    When you hear "~ deshou" with "watashi", isn't the sentence something like "watashi no fuku (wa) suteki deshou?" (My dress is pretty, isn't it?)

    Even with the word "watashi" in the sentence, the subject isn't watashi.

    But I think we'll know what you mean if you use "~ darou" or "~ deshou" with the subject "watashi".....

    I'm not sure about this really, so I hope smarter Japanese friends on this forum can help you with this!!

    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013
  3. animelover Senior Member

    Eastern Germany
    That can be a very enlightening question.

    To start off, natural language can be vague. When we talk about a sentence as being wrong, there are actually two kinds of "wrongness" we could have in mind: Wrong and False.
    - factually wrong (=false): Consider the statements "Our sun is pink." or "The brother grows towards the sky." They are normal English themselves, but both are wrong because that's just not the way reality works.
    - linguistically wrong: On the other hand there are phrases such as "Our been sun yellow." or "Sky towards the growed plant." They can be neither true or false, they simply don't mean anything because English grammar does not allow such constructions.

    The important point to observe here is that there is no way to salvage the second kind of phrases short of having it spoken by a madman, the first can often be turned meaningful.

    We are not limited to the real work, we can think and talk about fictive situations by means of our imagination. (novels, tales &c.) Imagine a novel about the people whose sun is a dying red giant, or consider the tale of the curse that turned her brother into a plant.

    Back to your question.

    The kind of wrongness we need to talk about here is of the first kind, factually wrong.

    But before that, I would like you to recall that there used to be a difference in the future form in English: will and shall.
    - She will go. (out of her own free will)
    - She shall go. (she complies)
    - I shall go. (out of my own free will)
    - I will go. (I comply)

    This distinction may not be observed so strictly anymore, but it illustrates the vital concept here.
    You usually would not guess your own thoughts and wishes, because you know what you will(=want). You can only do that with others. Which explains what that site is telling you about

    "Ashita watashi wa Kobe ni iku darou"

    But we can still salvage this sentence. Consider a philosopher pondering about whether there is a hidden center of consciousness different from our physical brain: A sentence such as above could well one for him to analyze. (Will this me go to Kobe tomorrow?) Alternatively, consider the sentence short for "...kobe ni iku koto ni naru darou) Here's a related site I foundとwillの違い.html

    A quick way to figure out the truth behind such statements is to do a quick search on the net. You shall find phrases such as
    - watashi ha doushite dekita no darou? (pondering on the past)
    - watashi ha tsuki niha ikanai darou (external obstacle)
    - watashi ttara nani itteru n darou? (doubting yourself)

    And this illustrates why you shall be critical with vague and general statements such as "darou cannot be used with your own actions." darou can be used in many more instances that only bear a slight resemblance if any to the darou used for making plans for the future, but they certainly refer to your own actions.
  4. Tonky Senior Member

    It can be used with first person sometimes, but it means different. For a simple future tense, or expressing the possibilities, 1st person should not be used as the linked page says.
    "I will/shall go to Kobe" does not translate into 私は神戸に行くだろう, but into 私は神戸に行きます/行くつもりです instead.
    If you are a beginner, do not use だろう/でしょう with first person, but use かもしれない if you want to mean you are not sure. Remember that だろう/でしょう does not make future tense, but it makes your sentence an inference. (As the title of the linked page says "uncertainty")

    私は神戸に行くだろう/でしょう can be used only with special context. For example, like when you cannot stop your own action against your actual will for some reason. It implies that the speaker is not supposed to go to Kobe, or he does not want to, but he thinks that he would end up going to Kobe anyways.
  5. ihitokage

    ihitokage Senior Member

  6. YangMuye

    YangMuye Senior Member

    I sometimes find でしょう, だろう(and especially であろう) are used to make the future tense or express intentions as べしor む in classic Japanese.
    Maybe it sounds more literary or archaic. (擬古風?)

    さすれば、我は汝らに大いに賜うであろう。 in classic Japanese it might be (I'm not sure) しからば、朕、そなたに大いに賜わん
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013
  7. yuna0406 Member

    I'm sorry, I was wrong when I said before that I don't use "~ darou" or "~ deshou" when the subject is "watashi".

    I think if "probably" is in the sentences as below, nothing wrong with using them.

    I will probably be very busy tomorrow.   私は明日とても忙しいでしょう。
    I will probably wait for him.    私は彼を待つでしょう。
    I will probably go home in 50 days.    私はあと50日で帰るだろう。

  8. ihitokage

    ihitokage Senior Member

    Thank you very much. ^^

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