でしょう vs. ね

Hi everyone,

I am finally doing some grammar and came across conflicting information.

Bunpro says: “でしょう is softer and less direct than ね”

Taekim says: "「ね」 is used for what the speaker believes to be generally agreeable, 「でしょう」 can be more assertive and opinionated. "

What are the opinions of the WK community? Who is right?

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Depends on how you say it.

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Taekim made it sound clear to me.

If you took a hard math test you might use ね when asking a classmate if the test was hard because they would most likely agree.

でしょう from my understanding is used when you aren’t certain their response will be the same opinion necessarily… if that makes sense lol its one of those things thats easier to use in context for me then explaining

BUT I ALSO am very beginner and am just going off how ive seen others use these two grammar points.

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でしょう has more uses aside from its overlapping meaning with ね。 でしょう can also mean like “perhaps” in conjecture statements and is used in weather forecasts for example. It can also be used to make questions more polite and indirect in teineigo or keigo (polite language), but in casual speech it tends to be more forceful than ね。

Compare casual speech:
今日は暑いね “It’s warm today huh?” (seeking agreement)
今日は暑いでしょう? “Don’t you think it’s hot? (What do you mean it’s not hot?)” (assertive)

Versus teineigo:
明日は大丈夫でしょうか? “Would tomorrow be okay, perhaps?” (seeking agreement)
明日は晴れるでしょう。“It should be a clear day tomorrow.” (conjecture)

Perhaps another way to look at it is that でしょう is a more feminine or polite version of だろう, whereas ね is a more simple agreement-seeking particle.

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I feel like this is something I’ll get used to with exposure aye. Thanks for giving examples. The weather report example Ive seen elsewhere but it’s particularly good.

And I guess also that in context I would know if someone was speaking casually or not.

As an alternative to だろう it makes sense. I’ve heard this in なんだろう。。。before. Would でしょう be an alternative in this phrase or no?

And people say でしょうか, would people also say でしょうね?or is that just repetitive?

All good if this is too many questions! :sweat_smile:

I like this explanation, it helped (I think!).

Like, if it’s definitely hot and I’m empathizing it’s ね

And if someone is wearing a pullover and it’s hot, I use でしょう?

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Yeah you can say なんでしょう in much the same way! You can often tell if people are speaking casually or not based on the grammar, since です・ます typically indicates polite language (teineigo). I’m not sure if you’ve heard about sonkeigo which is more advanced polite speech, but don’t worry too much about that for now.

You can say でしょうね, it’s a bit hard to explain it in one English phrase.
グラスを壊した人は、この子でしょうね。 “This kid is the one who broke the glass, isn’t he/she?”
From what I’ve seen it’s sort of used when you’re making a guess but you strongly suspect you’re right and are looking for the person you’re speaking to to agree or admit that you’re right.

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Thanks @phyro that’s super helpful :grin:

amen amen this is the best explanation in this thread imo

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I was confused by the Bunpro explanation as well, maybe this explanation by Misa helps.

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In practice, is it hard to hear the difference between someone saying でしょう and ですよ?It just struck me that these are very similar and I’m liable to confuse them when doing listening comprehension.

I don’t think those two are super hard to tell apart, although I remember when I was first starting out it was easy for sounds to run together and sound muddy to me. Pay attention to the vowel length - でしょう has a long vowel so it will “hang in the air” for a while (de-shou-ou), whereas ですよ has three short syllables so it’s very fast (de-su-yo). The meanings are considerably different as well so it’s good to pay attention for it if it’s sounding same-y to you right now.

It would be like someone messing up saying “fasho” and saying “faso” instead. You’ll hear the “h” sound missing.

^Also this big time. Japanese is very rhythmic. If you’re into music at all, でしょう has the しょ on the 2, where as ですよ would have よ on the 3.

This does exist:
高いですね? It’s expensive - right?
まぁ、高いでしょうねぇ I guess it probably is expensive, isn’t it.
Compared to
えぇ、そうですね (Yeah, that’s right, isn’t it?).

From my limited experience, desyoo in this use is more tentative than ne, and marks a shift to a lack of certainty.

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でしょうか(だろうか) seems to be commonly used in writing to ask rhetorical questions or introduce a topic, i.e when the writer (and sometimes the reader) knows the answer.

For example, when wrting an essay about Vtubers I wrote and intro paragraph about Vtubers becoming popular recently and then in the next paragraph I started explaining what Vtubers actually are, since not everyone will know. I started the explanation from a question?

Vtuberとは何でしょうか?

Here ね wouldn’t work at all.

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Thanks that’s really interesting! I’ll keep an eye out for that usage also :slight_smile: