Desu Meaning | How To Use It?

Hi guys!

I’m new to Japanese and am just getting to grips with the basics and have just learned to introduce myself (watashi no namae wa Hannah desu!) and I was curious about the function of です/desu :thinking:

I’m wondering how necessary it is in Japanese conversation, e.g. could I just say ‘watashi no namae wa Hannah’, or would that be grammatically wrong? And if I were introducing two people, would I add です at the end of each of their names, or at the end of the sentence?

Thanks in advance :yum:

I don’t know the in-dept linguistic explanation of です/desu, but in a conversation in Japanese, I’d say です/desu is necessary and you should include it in the end of your sentences. In fact, in your example of introducing your name ‘watashi no namae wa Hannah desu’「私の名前はHannahです」, you can omit the beginning subject and reduce it to just 「Hannahです」 . For introducing other people, it’s the same way, you should add desu at the end of their name (which is usually the end of the sentence too).

Japanese has a lot of ending copula like desu, but it’s not function the same way as copulas in English. One way to remember their importance is that they also signify attitude and politeness, not just grammatical function. Desu is neutral, safe choice for a beginner. But for example, if you say 「Hannahだ」, da, it feels very very casual like you’re talking to a friend, family, or a friendly first-name-basis type of acquaintance. It also gives the expression that you’re being masculine and a bit tough, sometimes too casual, at least from my impression of the word usage. On the other hand, there’s another formal copula like 「Hannahであります」, dearimasu, which should reserve for talking to people of your higher status and seniority, like your boss or someone you meet for the first time in a formal, business meeting. A bit of “fun extra fact” :joy:

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Amazing, thank you Holly! :heart_eyes: That helps a lot

Also I didn’t realise だ and であります existed too :eyes: so much left to learn!!

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Ganbatte! 頑張って、ハンナさん!ദ്ദി ˉ͈̀꒳ˉ͈́ )✧

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Japanese is such a beautiful and fun language to learn.

If I had a year to do a “language holiday” I’d spend 3 months in Tokyo, 3 months in Kyoto, 3 months in Osaka and 3 months in Sapporo going full out to learn Japanese. :heart_eyes:


now THAT is the dream

I am loving your Japanese reels Holly - any chance of covering the meaning of desu in one?

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