Common Sentence Enders (Desu, Yo, Ne, Ka)

Japanese Tutorial

Common Sentence Enders (Desu, Yo, Ne, Ka)


Sentences in the Japanese language tend to follow patterns.

Sample Problem

Desu= It is
Used when the subject in the sentence ‘is’ something.
Example 1: Watashi no namae wa Arielle DESU.
(My name is Arielle.)

Yo= to inform the person you are talking to
Used to tell someone information that they may not know, but you do.
Example 1: Watashi no hon DESU YO!
(It is my book!)
Example 2: CD ga hoshii YO.
(I want that CD.)

Ne= ….,isn’t it?
Used to try to get validation of a fact that you are unsure of.
Example 1: Takanobu-san wa Tokyo ni ikimashita NE?
(Takanobu-san went to Tokyo, didn’t he?)
Example 2: Takanobu-san wa ramen o tabetai NE?
(Takanobu-san wants to eat ramen, right?)

Ka= Question
The verbal sign of a question being asked. It differs from ‘ne’ because there is nothing to validate.
Example 1: Ikura DESU KA?
(How much does it cost?)
Example 2: Kore wa nan DESU KA?
(What is this?)


The end of a sentence in Japanese sets the tone for the whole sentence. It is very important to understand the differences between the most common ways to end a sentence. To practice, try ending your own English sentences with these words in your head. As silly as it sounds, doing this simple exercise in your head WILL make it easier to produce these sentence enders when the time comes.

Example 1: Is that yours, KA?

Example 2: We’re going to leave without you, YO.

Example 3: He didn’t say that, did he NE?

Example 4: That’s a poster, DESU.

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