Don't say だろ?as an interjection - say でしょ?

I was recently told this.
“Don’t say だろ?It’s not classy”
“I don’t like it”
“Nobody uses this except in anime - and some wrestler guy (that reference was lost on me)”

Does anyone have experience with native speakers saying this in actual conversation?

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As with anything, it depends on the situation… It’s impossible to make universal statement on the appropriateness of だろ. If you’re talking to your best friend… Why not?

Out of curiosity, what was the relationship between you and the person who told you this? A teacher? A study partner? A random person on the street who heard you say だろ?

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Hey Leebo - thanks for the comment. This was a native speaker who is close to me. Female and roughly 30 y/o and a speaking partner. I am a guy.

I have a few other native friends I can ask on this topic but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to see if someone on the forum has direct experience with this.

As for contextual information, this was (a) not a charged conversation (b) I was saying だろ?in an excited voice in an attempt to agree with the topic being spoken about at an appropriate time. What followed was something akin to “I noticed this before too” so the feedback is heartfelt but I was wondering if it was simply a pet peeve of this person or if her comment (in OP about how nobody uses it) was accurate.

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It’s definitely the case that people like to say “no one says that” when they mean “I don’t say that.”

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I agree with your friend that I haven’t really heard だろう? as an interjection. When you’re aiming to say „Right???“, I would use でしょ? every time, and I don’t think I have heard a guy say だろ? before. Maybe そうだろ? would work, but even in very casual conversations 「だろう?」 as a complete sentence feels unnatural and very rough to me.

However in a full sentence (not as あいづち) I would prefer だろう over でしょう, for example 〜〜だろうと思うけど. Here it would feel oddly formal to use でしょう.
I agree that there’s lots of things people will tell you „no one uses“, but in this case it matches with my experience so far.

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I hear やろ by itself in Kansai all the time (which would be the Kansai-ben version of だろ), so I imagine people in other parts say だろ. It doesn’t seem strange to me, but maybe I’m just imagining having heard it.

There’s no question it sounds rougher than other options, but I feel like that’s just one aspect of the question. “It’s not classy” is probably true. “I don’t like it” is, well, no one can argue that person should have to like it. But “Nobody uses this except in anime” I feel like is one of those exaggerations that natives love to do. “Nobody uses this” also doesn’t really seem to make sense with “It’s not classy.” Like, if it really was something only said in anime, I don’t think they’d have as much of a visceral reaction to it. I’m guessing they have heard people use it and judged those people.

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Withdrew because I read another one of your comments that said almost the same thing I wrote haha. So, just a genearl summary to what I replied. I agree with you. Probably is seen as less classy especially if its outside 関西 as the way we speak out here is already seen as “not classy” by 関東 (if theyre from that area) and I havent heard やろ often but have definitely heard it (Hear it more with そう) so, agree on that point too.

Even shorter summary: Agree, Agree, Agree.

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My JLT in an elementary school uses 何だろ (or is it 何だろう) all the time with the kids

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I’ll second this in that I’ve never really heard だろ as an interjection in Kanto while でしょ I hear all the time.

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People say that men who learn Japanese from their girlfriends tend to speak in strange ways because Japanese men don’t speak like Japanese women. I’m not sure if we’re seeing something similar here, especially since I’m not really sure what register you normally converse in with a speaking partner… What I do think is that women generally don’t say だろ or even だろう in conversation. However… the only extended conversation I’ve ever had with a native speaker lasted at most five minutes, and we really didn’t talk about much, so I don’t have enough experience to be sure. In anime though, like I said, you only hear it coming from guys, and perhaps from girls who act like guys. I also second what’s been said on this thread about Kansai usage: I have a friend studying in Kansai who’s been picking up local usage after learning standard Japanese in school, and I get a lot of せやろ(=そうだろう)when I talk to him in Japanese. (You can deduce from what I said earlier that he isn’t a native speaker either, because we talk quite a bit.) だろう probably comes across as ‘rough’ in conversation – though it can turn up in essays/articles written in the dictionary form – so it’s definitely ‘not classy’. Whether or not it’s ‘anime-only’… no idea. 大辞林 does mention that 貴様(きさま)is used for swearing at people, whereas no such special mention is made for だろ.

It certainly won’t hurt, but I think your native friends probably have more ‘direct experience’ than any of us here. If you know some Japanese men, you should probably ask them, just in case it’s a case of gendered usage. It’s true that a lot of things in anime and light novels aren’t really said ‘as is’ in everyday life, but I find it hard to believe that the speech patterns of LN characters who are supposed to be high school students or university-aged are super rude/unrelatable words that no one would ever say in Japan today, even in their heads. A lot of the people reading the novels are probably around that age anyway!

I hear だろ several times a day, basically every day.

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Could I ask where in Japan you hear it? And in what sort of context? I definitely use だろ/だろう when talking to my friend for practice, but he’s a foreign student at a Japanese university, so… it isn’t quite the same thing.

I live in Kurume and work in Saga (Kyushu). なんだろう is the most common context … (folks talking to themselves… especially when trying to think of how to say something in English)

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Sure but this なんだろう (voice going down) is very different from what the OP is talking about, the interjection だろう ! with voice going high and excited, to approve something someone just say like “right !!?”
I also mostly hear people use でしょう ! for that, but it’s hard to say…

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I would argue that’s a different use case than the one the OP is talking about. なんだろう and そうだろう are definitely used, but in my experience (I also mainly lived in Fukuoka), when using it as an interjection/あいづち, you would use でしょ over だろう, even in casual speech.

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Cool, thanks for the clarification. :slight_smile:

I had a similar experience with my colleague/friend who’s response was “高校生か?:joy:” when I used だろう instead of でしょう once. We are both men above 25.

Admittedly, the one major example I can come up with of a guy who uses だろう in an anime/LN… does have a bit of a need to ‘be the man’. Maybe it does have that sort of feel? Still, according to this page for Japanese learning (http://www.edewakaru.com/archives/10123073.html):

「〜でしょ?」「〜だろ?」はとてもよく使いますので、しっかりと復習をして会話で使ってみてくださいね😉

I mean, OK, it’s not exactly the same だろ as what we’re discussing here, because it’s not isolated, but the reason the isolated version works in the first place is that it’s being tacked on to whatever’s just been said. In many cases, I think it can even been seen as a shortened 「ええ、そうだろ?」My point is though, if one were so much rarer than the other, I think this site wouldn’t haven’t listed them side by side and said ‘[People] use expressions A and B very often, so study [them] well and try using [them] in conversation, ok?’

Thinking out loud a little, I wonder if there’s more of a gender angle involved here than has been mentioned already?

In my experience living in Tokyo, 「だろう?!」in the way it’s used here is most exclusively used among younger guys, or otherwise all-male environments. Since gender divisions are much more strictly enforced in Asia compared to the West, OP’s conversation partner maybe objected (gently) to being considered ‘one of the guys’.

Some girls are probably completely fine with that, but I would say girls/woman maintaining ‘the traditional’, slightly distancing attitude/behaviour between genders is probably still the status quo.
I’m struggling to think of an English language analogue…perhaps it would be similar to how most guys talk about farts and gross stuff pretty freely among themselves, but keep it back when talking to girly-girls and such like? Bad example maybe!

Anyway, interested to see what others think!

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I read a funny stack exchange this morning and だろう/でしょ were mentionned (here) A bit different that the interjection of OP though.

The situation : person B has made spinach to person A and A wants to say “I don’t eat spinach, do I?” or “You know I don’t eat spinach don’t you?”. So it’s a rhetorical question with the intention of making B feel guilty/apologetic.

In the answer, a native speaker suggested:
ほうれん草は食べられないって知ってるでしょ!
Good old でしょ. this usage is familiar to me, especially the collocation 知ってるでしょ to carry a “You should have know!” feeling

But more interestingly, one of the proposition oh the original poster was:
ほうれん草を食べないだろう!
The native speaker commented on it: This sounds to me like A is jokingly playing a role of a prophet, “Oh A shall not eat spinach!”

And wow, I didn’t expected that. :rofl: I didn’t know だろう could ever have such connation. Does anybody know why they interpreted it this way ?