Is だ needed in every sentence?

From my understanding the だ conjugation is used to express state of being for both nouns and
な-adjectives. Is it necessary to put だ in every sentence?

For example,
2. 私は学生


No, it is not always necessary! This might help you:

1 Like

Better to use です。in this situation. I think this sounds like some yakuza speaking. But it does depend on the context so sometimes だ sounds fine especially with だよ. Maybe just not in introductions.


Ahh I see. So only when I want to declare somethings I use it, but informally towards friends it can be dropped?

1 Like

Thank you for your help.

You’d sound really intense if you used だ with friends at the end of most sentences.


No. In fact, as you correctly surmised, there are instances in which you cannot use 「だ」. 「だ」 can never be used after i-adjectives, for example.

「だ」 is nothing more than the plain form of the copula 「です」. In casual speech, the so-called state-of-being is implied by whatever noun or adjective being used, so a copula is not strictly speaking necessary. However, 「だ」 is used to make the state-of-being explicit, which may be desirable to make yourself sound more masculine or forceful. 「だ」 is also grammatically necessary in lots of different grammar to explicitly state the state-of-being. For example:

  • 学生。 – I’m a student. --> 「だ」 is not necessary.
  • 学生けど、勉強するのは嫌い。 – I’m a student but I hate studying. --> 「だ」 is necessary.

だ does not sound like yakuza speech lol

if you use です among friends people will think you’re weird.


I was talking about that specific phrase which is most likely used when introducing yourself. It would sound weird.


Ah, sorry my mistake! I’ve seen people say that だ is “anime speak” and not used in real life. Thought you were saying something similar :slight_smile:

1 Like

No problem, I didn’t really express myself clearly enough :stuck_out_tongue:

I actually just listened a podcast about where a native talks about using too much だ and how it’s weird, so jumped the gun a bit.


I had no idea?! Why the crap is Duolingo teaching me that だ is the casual/informal of the formal です!


It sort of is. But here’s the difference between Japanese and other languages when it comes to casual vs informal imo: In other languages like English, French, etc., casual forms are shortened forms of the base form. In Japanese, however, the casual form is the base form, and you achieve the polite forms by adding “stuff” to that base. So rather than think of 「だ」 as the casual form of 「です」, perhaps it is more helpful to think of 「です」 as the polite form of 「だ」. Just like there are instances in which you have to use the verb in its plain form rather than the polite 「〜ます」 form, there are instances in which you have to use 「だ」.


Misa actually spoke to this point on a recent video… relevant part starting at 7:15

1 Like

That’s really interesting. What times would you HAVE to use だ?Duolingo has it at the end of a sentence that sounds pretty normal but it has だ instead of です?

Tae Kim does a good job at explaining why だ is not simply interchangable with です
だ is not the same as です (link is a little slow)

I also remember cure dolly making a point that all nouns take the copula, and that な as in な-adjectives, is actually a form of copula because な-adjectives are really “adjectival-NOUNS”, meaning they too require a copula. My memory is a little fuzzy on this but that is the gist of it.
And for some reason い-adjectives have a copula built into them and therefore do not require a copula.

Remember that a complete sentence can only really
end with either a verb, copula or an い-adjective (excluding ending particles) for it to be a complete grammatical sentence.


WOW! That makes so much sense! Thank you for the link!!! But it still is going to be awkward answering Duolingo’s sentences in all of these declarative! statements.

Actually, now that I think about it, it wasn’t Duolingo that was pushing the だ, but it was Bunpro!

Looks like your question already got a bunch of great answers so I can’t help there, but welcome to the community @yasu1 !

1 Like