くん Japanese Grammar Lesson
Grammar Type: Suffix
Essential Meaning: Suffix affixed to the first or last name of someone of an equal or lower social status
- First Name + くん
- E.g. ジョンくん [John-kun]
- Last Name + くん
- E.g. 黒木くん [Kurogi-kun]
- In Japanese, it’s very common to affix suffixes to names (e.g. くん, ちゃん, さん, 先生) as terms of endearment, respect, or humility.
- くん is generally attached to the first or last name of someone of an equal or lower status than the speaker. For example, a teacher might address a student named 黒木 太郎 as 太郎 くん or 黒木くん. 太郎 ‘s friends would likely call him 太郎 くん as well.
- くん is generally used to refer to young boys, ちゃん is used to refer to young girls, and さん / さま is used to refer to anyone in a humble or respectful way. However, these are general principles and are often broken for a variety of reasons. For example, a large adult man may refer to himself with ちゃん in a humorous, ironic manner.
山田くん [Mr. Yamada]
もしもし。一郎くんいますか。[Hello. Is Ichiro there?]
田口くんが来年結婚するそうだ。[I heard that Mr. Taguchi is getting married next year.]
田口一郎くん、昇進おめでとう。[Ichiro Taguchi, congratulations on your promotion!]
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