Vocab and Grammar

Punctuation marks in Japanese

  • Full stop: 句点(くてん)“Kuten” in Japanese is represented by a small circle.

これはほんです。(“Kore wa hon desu” meaning “This is a book” with a Kuten at the end).

  • Question mark: There is no formal punctuation mark in Japanese for questions. Questions too are followed by the full stop mark.

これもほんですか。(“Kore mo hon desu ka” meaning “Is this also a book?” with a Kuten at the end).

  • Comma: 読点(とうてん)”Touten” in Japanese is represented by a small line slanting towards left.

ペン、鉛筆、消しゴムなどが要ります。(“Pen, empitsu, keshigomu nado ga irimasu” meaning “pen, pencil , eraser etc are required”).

  • Exclamatory mark: There is no formal  punctuation mark for this too. Although it is normal to find people using “!” in casual messages.
  • Quotation mark: かぎ括弧(かぎかっこ)“Kagikakko” in Japanese is represented by what look like square brackets.

先生は「明日テストがあるよ」と言いました。(Sensei wa “ashita testo ga aruyo” to iimashita meaning “Teacher said “There is a test tomorrow””)

  • Besides the above there is one more that is very commonly used called 波線 (はせん)”Hasen” represented by a small wavy line. This is used in the following ways:

~さん (~san) meaning Mr or Ms ABC

9時~(kuji~) meaning 9 o’clock onward.

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