How to use/spell 皆

So I just learned the kanji 皆. I knew the word beforehand (generally as みんな), but I want to know about proper usage/spelling as far as kanji/kana goes. says the following.

  • 皆 is usually spelled みんな with an alternate spelling of みな. It is usually written in kana alone.
  • 皆さん is only spelled as みなさん and makes no mention of being written in kana alone.
  • 皆様 is only spelled as みなさま (with alternate kanji/kana combinations) and makes no mention of being written in kana alone.

Now, all of this sounds fine to me out loud. For example, I do think みなさん flows better than みんなさん would. But I want to know from people with more experience speaking/listening which versions they have heard more often.

I happened to be quizzing this when my wife, a native Japanese speaker, was watching. According to her, the みんな spelling is never used.

Yes typical spelling of 皆さん is with みな…
I think when it is used casually (just みんな)then the ん is sometimes added/stressed to add to the length of the word (as opposed to the さん doing that instead).

Well, it’s a casual contraction, right? So maybe it’s used in speech only, so generally never ‘spelt’ in writing.

I should add that when I said I knew the word beforehand generally as みんな, that was from listening, not reading. So that certainly is a possibility.

Does she have any thoughts on the spoken form?

I’ll ask her again, but for what it’s worth from what I remember she basically said learning the alternate みんな form was a waste of time

Wow that comes as such a surprise to me to be honest.,.

I’ve read somewhere. It says exactly as same as the Jisho:-

皆さん is always みなさん, but when 皆 is alone, it can be either みんな or みな.

Yeah, the ‘official’ kana spelling is みな, but I hear people say みんな all the time in informal contexts. It’s like あんまり、とっても、やっぱり and other common words.(official spelling: あまり、とても、やはり)

1 Like

So, I clarified with my wife. It wasn’t 皆 being spoken/“spelt” with the extra ん that was the issue. It was the alternative ‘spelling’ for 皆さん as みんなさん that WK provides that she was so adamant was never used.

That makes more sense. みんなさん just sounds weird.

Yeah, that should be changed. Send an email to

Oh good, I was really confused there for a while since I was sure みんな was being used. This is just one example, the Game Boy Advance Game “Minna no Oujisama”:

And as other’s have said, みなさん even sounds more natural, so it would be difficult to forget the correct ‘spelling’ :slight_smile:

1 Like