Lesson 5. 「これ、それ、あれ」vs「この、その、あの」- Difference between ‘Kore Sore Are Kono Sono Ano’ in Japanese
Just like Italian and Spanish, there are three words of demonstration in Japanese:
- Object near to the speaker, rather than the listener [これ (kore), この (kono)] – corresponding to English ‘this’ or ‘these’.
- Object near to the listener, rather than the speaker [それ (sore), その (sono)] – corresponding to English ‘that’ or ‘those’.
- Object far away from both the speaker and listener [あれ (are), あの (ano)] – corresponding to English ‘that one over there’ or ‘those over there’.
The question is: “If I want to refer to an object that is close to me, which one should I use? これ (kore) or この (kono)?” “How about それ (sore), その (sono), あれ (are), and あの (ano)?”
これ (kore), それ (sore), and あれ (are) belong to the demonstrative pronouns – they identify someone or something. Therefore, the ‘-re’ group is used when we do not specify the object.
Structure: これ/それ/あれ + は
Kore wa momo desu.
This is a peach.
Sore wa nan desu ka?
What is that?
Are wa zasshi desu.
That one over there is a magazine.
Learn about ‘here’ and ‘there’ in Japanese as well.
Demonstrative adjectives: この (kono),その (sono), and あの (ano) cannot stand alone, they must be followed by a noun. In fact, この (kono), その (sono), あの (ano) are contractions of the これ (kore) + の (no), それ (sore) の (no), and あれ (are) の (no).
Structure: この/その/あの + Noun + は
Kono enpitsu wa watashi no desu.
This pencil is mine.
Sono terebi wa ikura desu ka?
How much is that TV?
Ano hito wa dare desu ka?
Who is that person?
- As a particle, は is pronounced as ‘wa’ despite being written as ‘ha’.
- These forms do not change to indicate gender, singular or even plural.
これ この + noun Close to the speaker
それ それ + noun Close to the listener
あれ あの + noun Far away from both speaker and listener
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