Question about pronouns

  1. whats the difference between じぶんたち and わたしたち

  2. Is it appropriate to use ぼく as a subject pronoun? If so, when would it be appropriate? (I feel like I only hear little boys use this)

This is a really long article but if you scroll through it theres a part on Jibun and watashi.
I’m not sure how helpful it will be for you! Sorry!

I think I know the answer to #1 but I’ll let someone more certain weigh in just in case.

Regarding #2, if I’m understanding subject pronoun right, yes, you can refer to yourself as ぼく. It’s not necessarily little boys, but softer-spoken males in general. It depends what media you’re looking at too - I feel like anime and manga males use おれ far more than seems common in normal speech. I’ve even seen a few instances of females using ぼく, but it still seems pretty unusual.

  1. The same difference between じぶん and わたし but extended to plural. Myself vs. I, Ourselves vs. We. I’ve never heard or seen it used, but I can’t imagine it would be different from that if it was used.
  2. Sure, if you want to. Some people use it all the way into adulthood. But I personally find it odd to use anything other than わたし
1 Like

I hear a few Japanese coworkers continue to use ぼく in their adulthood, but it’s far more common to go with either おれ or わたし for men, depending on the formality of the situation and your relationship to the listener.

I used to think おれ was only common in the realm of gruff anime/manga characters as well, but it’s probably the least exaggerated thing about those characters’ mannerisms. It’s incredibly common in casual male speech, to the point that わたし can sound odd if you’re among friends or just people who aren’t strangers or superiors in general. Might be more true for young people than for older ones. Choose between that and ぼく depending on your comfort, but don’t fear the おれ. It gets batted around the teacher’s room all the time.

Now, for genuine gruff-manga-character-only expressions, you will never ever hear the true command form used in real life, but it shows up in melodramatic fiction constantly.


This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.