Now that we’re beginning to form more complex sentences it is a good time to introduce two particles that are used in practically every conversation, whether it’s two friends in a bar or a political interview: よ and ね. Now, if pushed to give a direct translation I would say that よ means “You know…” (as in the Americanism) and ね means “… isn’t it?” (as in, “That’s right, isn’t it?”). They are added at the end of the sentence to either the standard or polite form of the verbs. For nouns and na-adjectives we need to add the auxiliary verb.

  • よ is used to emphasise a point or to confirm that what the speaker just said is correct. In a sense, it’s like a sort of half-exclamation mark.
  • ね is used to show empathy or understanding with the other person.

The particles combined よね is used to show that the speaker wants confirmation from the listener. It is sometimes used as a question by inflexion.

祐介ゆうすけ 今週こんしゅう毎日まいにち 十時じゅうじまで はたらきました
Yusuke You know, I worked until 10 o’ clock every night this week.
絵里えり それは 大変たいへんです
Eri That’s tough, isn’t it?
祥子しょうこ 大地だいちも おまつりに ますよね
Shoko Daichi is also coming to the festival, right?
太郎たろう そうです
Taro That’s right.

Incidentally, ねよ has no meaning.

When used with a noun or na-adjective, female speakers will often drop the auxiliary verb in casual conversation.

はじめ 明日あしたの かいに よね
Hajime You’re coming to the drinks tomorrow, right?
明子あきこ そう
Akiko That’s right.

Male speakers will often replace ね with な which has the same nuance as above but sounds a little harder.

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