よ Japanese Grammar Lesson

Grammar Type: Particle

Essential Meaning: I’m telling you (expresses conviction)

Construction: Sentence + よ

Notes:

  • よ is a sentence-final particle that conveys conviction. It is used to express information that is assumed to NOT be known by the hearer. , on the other hand, is used to seek confirmation about some information that is assumed to be known by the hearer.
    • E.g. おいしいですよ。[This cake is delicious.] This sentence assumes that the hearer hasn’t tried the cake yet. In other words, the knowledge of the deliciousness of the cake is (presumably) not shared between speaker and hearer.
    • E.g. おいしいですね。[This cake is delicious, isn’t it?] This sentence assumes that the hearer HAS tried the cake. In other words, the knowledge of the deliciousness of the cake IS (presumably) shared between speaker and hearer.
  • The sentence that precedes よ can be any type of sentence other than a question, because it is contradictory to use a particle that indicates certainty when seeking information.
    • E.g. *みますかよ。[Are you reading, you know?] よ is incompatible with interrogative sentences.
  • よ can follow an imperative sentence in order to make the request more forceful.
    • E.g. みなさいよ。[Read it.]
    • E.g. んでくださいよ。[Read it, please.]
    • E.g. めよ。[Read it.]
  • can follow よ to express the idea of “I assert X. Don’t you agree?“. In other words, can be used to soften the forceful connotation of よ.
    • E.g. このほん面白おもしろいですよね。[This book is interesting, don’t you think?]
    • E.g. アメリカまで十時間じゅうじかんはかかりますよね。[It takes 10 hours to get to America, don’t you agree?]
  • よね can also be used to seek confirmation of some fact from some third party when speaking to a second party. (i.e. “Hello Person 1, I assert X. Isn’t that right, person 2?“)
    • E.g. 加藤かとうさんはロシアができますよね。[Kato-san can speak Russian. Isn’t that right, Kato-san?]
  • There are some subtle differences between the sexes when using sentence-final particles in informal speech. Namely:
    • (1) Males tends to say Predicate + よ, while females may insert わ between the predicate and よ to feminize the sentence (e.g. だわよ).
      • E.g. Masculine: しずかだよ。[It’s quiet, you know.]
      • E.g. Feminine: しずかだわよ。[It’s quiet, you know.]
      • E.g. Masculine: はなすよ。[I will speak, you know.]
      • E.g. Feminine: はなすわよ。[I will speak, you know.]
    • (2) With のだ, males tend to say んだよ, while females tend to say のよ.
      • E.g. Masculine: はなすんだよ。[I’m speaking, you know.]
      • E.g. Feminine: はなすのよ。[I’m speaking, you know.]
      • E.g. Masculine: しずかなんだよ。[It’s quiet, you know.]
      • E.g. Feminine: しずかなのよ。[It’s quiet, you know.]

Example Sentences:

さかもとさんはタバコをわないよ。[Sakamoto-san doesn’t smoke tobacco, you know.]

とてもおもしろいですよ。[It’s very interesting, you know.]

A: あのひとはそんなほんわないでしょう。B: いいえ、いますよ。[A: That person probably won’t buy that book, will he? B: No, he will buy it.]

WILD Examples:

At 0:15, listen for this line: ピカチュウじゃない。ミミッキュだ[I’m not Pikachu, you know. I’m Mimikyu!]
At 0:32, listen for this line: 人間にんげんになりたい [I want to become a human, you know!]
The first line of this song goes as follows: Hey look! ここにいる、いつでも [Hey look! I’m always here, any time]

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