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particle ending "no"

English translation: look at context, grammar and honorific terms

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Japanese term or phrase:particle ending "no"
English translation:look at context, grammar and honorific terms
Entered by: Luciano Eduardo de Oliveira
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01:04 Feb 22, 2008
Japanese to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary - Linguistics / general usage
Japanese term or phrase: particle ending "no"
When Japanese sentences end with "no", sometimes the particle is used in place of a "?" to make the sententence interrogative.
However, at other times it is used to soften a statement, and no question is being asked.

Is there any trick to distinguishing between the two in the absense of any other punctuation?
faith
look at context, grammar and honorific terms
Explanation:
You have to look at the context and the use of honorific terms. If you have Kaisha, hontou ni yameru no?, it makes no sense for it to be a statement about yourself because of the use of hontou ni, so this no is a colloquial question. Whereas when you say Doyoubi wa konsaato ni ikitai to omotte iru no, because there's a -tai to omotte iru, it can only be about the speaker, so it softens the statements (and it's usually used by women, by the way).

Remember that there's also the no you use to indicate a mild command, but you're not asking about this one.
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Luciano Eduardo de Oliveira
Brazil
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4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +2look at context, grammar and honorific termsLuciano Eduardo de Oliveira


  

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6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
look at context, grammar and honorific terms


Explanation:
You have to look at the context and the use of honorific terms. If you have Kaisha, hontou ni yameru no?, it makes no sense for it to be a statement about yourself because of the use of hontou ni, so this no is a colloquial question. Whereas when you say Doyoubi wa konsaato ni ikitai to omotte iru no, because there's a -tai to omotte iru, it can only be about the speaker, so it softens the statements (and it's usually used by women, by the way).

Remember that there's also the no you use to indicate a mild command, but you're not asking about this one.

Luciano Eduardo de Oliveira
Brazil
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  festinalente: My one vote for your excellent explanation!
1 hr

agree  Timothy Miller: Yup, I second this explanation of the two uses. If spoken, then intonation can also be used to distinguish them. But if you are referring to the written language, you have to extrapolate the meaning from the context.
4 hrs
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Changes made by editors
Mar 7, 2008 - Changes made by Luciano Eduardo de Oliveira:
Created KOG entryKudoZ term » KOG term
Feb 22, 2008 - Changes made by Katalin Horváth McClure:
Field (specific)Food & Drink » Linguistics


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