Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 decade ago

What is "desu" (japanese word) mean in english?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    All of these answers are pretty good, but none is exactly correct. To say that "desu" is equivalent to the English verb "to be" is not really accurate. Japanese is a language of particles which often do not translate exactly into an English equivalent. "Desu" is not a verb, rather it is one of these particles that kind of acts like the verb "to be". It is a concept that we don't use in English, but is used in other languages like Korean. Maybe a better way of explaining it is to say that by using "desu" after a noun at the end of a sentence it acts like the verb "is" while at the same time adding a certain level of politeness to the sentence (a less polite way of saying "desu" is "da", while an extremely formal way is "de gozaimasu"). So technically "desu" is not the verb "to be" nor is it any kind of verb at all...it's a particle.

    And to clarify a previous answer, the negative form of "desu" is actually "dewa arimasen". "Arimasen" is the negative form of the verb "aru" which actually does mean "to be" for inanimate objects.

    Source(s): currently studying Japanese in Japan
  • 1 decade ago

    It is approximatly the word "to be". It is used to express your name, hoe you feel, where you are from, age and much more! If you want to make it negative, you say "arimasen. For example:

    I am from japan - Watashi Nihon desu.

    I am not from Japan - Watshi Nihon arimasen.

    For inanimate objects, but not places, use imasu. For places and negative desu, use arimasu.

    Also, a word on pronounciation. You prounounce any "masu" ending word like mas in spanish, with a long a. You bassically omit the "u" at the end of the word when it is a "su" ending. There are some exceptions, but just keep an ear out for them and you will be fine.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    "Desu" means "Is". For example, "Watashi-wa neko desu" means "I am a cat."

  • 1 decade ago

    It's more of a verb than anything.

    It means is or are or am.

    (noun) wa (noun/adjective) desu. = (noun) am/is/are (noun/adjective)

    For example...

    Watashi wa baka desu = I am an idiot.

    Anata wa baka desu = You are an idiot.

    Ano hito wa baka desu = That person is an idiot.

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  • 1 decade ago

    am, is, are

    unlike english, it doesn't change its form according to the subject.

    watashi wa gakusei desu - i am a student.

    watashi tachi wa tomodachi desu - we are friends

    Source(s): japanese.about.com
  • 4 years ago

    I think you got the word wrong. Datteba is not a word in Japanese.

  • Drew
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    It means "is." Note, however, that the u is not voiced.

    For example, in the phrase "basu desuka?" (meaning, "is it a bus?"), the word "desu" is pronounced "des."

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It is the equivalent of the English verb "is."

  • 1 decade ago

    will let you know in one minute

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    not a damn thing... to me. i speakee engrish

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