How to use/spell 皆


#1

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.

jisho.org 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.


#2

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.


#3

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).


#4

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


#5

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.


#6

Does she have any thoughts on the spoken form?


#7

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


#8

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


#9

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.


#10

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)


#11

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.


#12

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


#13

Yeah, that should be changed. Send an email to hello@wanikani.com


#14

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: