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たち / ども / がた / ら

たち / ども / がた / ら

たち / ども / がた / ら Japanese Grammar Lesson

Grammar Type: Suffix

Essential Meaning: Pluralizer

Construction:

  • Personal Pronoun + たち
    • E.g. わたしたち [We]
    • E.g. あなたたち [You all]
  • Human Name + たち
    • E.g. 山田やまださんたち [Yamada-san and company]
  • Human Group Noun + たち
    • E.g. 子供こどもたち [Children]
    • E.g. おとこたち [Men]

Notes:

  • Unlike in English, there is no straightforward plural noun form in Japanese. Instead, pluralization is generally conveyed with counters (e.g. りんごをふたべました。[I ate two apples.]) or with degree adverbs (e.g. りんごをたくさんべました。[I ate many apples.]). But with human beings, the suffix たち can be used to indicate a pluralized group.
  • Specifically, たち (たち in kanji) can be used with personal names, nouns that refer to human beings, and personal pronouns (with the exception of かれ, which can NOT take the suffix たち).
    • E.g. わたしたち [Us]
    • E.g. あなたたち [You all]
    • E.g. 彼女かのじょたち [Women]
    • E.g. ヤマダさんたち [Yamada-san and company]
    • E.g. 子供達こどもたち [Children]
    • E.g. おとこたち [Men]
  • There are three other pluralizing suffixed (i.e. ら, どの, and がた) that can be used in different circumstances:
    • どの is formal plural suffix that is typically attached to first person pronouns to yield a formal “We“. ども can also attach to a limited set of human nouns such as おとこ [Man] and おんな [Woman]. In fact, こども [Child] originated in this way, but こども now takes the suffix たち (i.e. こどもたち [Children]).
      • E.g. わたしどもはなにじません。[We don’t know anything.]
      • E.g. おとこども [Men]
      • E.g. おんなども [Women]
    • がた (がた in kanji) is an honorific plural marker that attaches to second person pronouns as well as a limited number of human nouns.
      • E.g. かあさんがた [Mothers]
      • E.g. とうさんがた [Fathers]
      • E.g. 先生せんせいがた [Teachers]
      • E.g. あなたがたはいついらっしゃいますか。[When will you all be here?]
      • E.g. 先生方せんせいがたはいらっしゃらないそうです。[I was told that the teachers aren’t here.]
      • E.g. 方々かたがた [The honorific form of ひと]
    • ら is the least formal of the plural markers and is typically attached to personal pronouns and names. ら is not used with わたくし or あなた since these pronouns are formal. It would be incongruous to use an informal suffix with a formal pronoun.
      • E.g. ぼく [We]
      • E.g. わたし [We]
      • E.g. わしら [We]
      • E.g. きみ [You all]
      • E.g. まえ [You all]
      • E.g. あんたら [You all]
      • E.g. かれ [They (males)]
      • E.g. 彼女かのじょ [They (females)]
      • E.g. それら [Those]
      • E.g. 田中たなか [Tanaka and company]

Example Sentences:

わたしたちは日本にほんんでいます。[We live in Japan.]

山田やまださんたちはすしべた。[Tanaka-san and company ate sushi.]

こともたちはアンパンマンがきです。[Children like Anpanman.]

WILD Examples:

At :54, listen for the line: こいつたちがいる [These guys are here with me]
Listen to this line from 0:23: おれたち知識ちしき、Hakuna Matata [This is our special knowledge, Hakuna Matata]
Listen for this line at 0:16: バカものども、よく [Listen well, you pack of fools]…Also listen for this line at 0:53: おれ欲張よくばり、でもまえ褒美ほうびはとらせるぜ [I’m greedy, but I will ensure that you all are rewarded]
Listen to this line at 1:08: ほら、おとこどもきみえる位置いちにいる [Look, the men are in a position where they can see you]

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