Can ん Start A Japanese Sentence?

Can N Start A Japanese Sentence -1I’ll keep you out of the intense suspense. The answer is yes. But wait! You learned that ん (n) is a word ender, not a word beginner. It has such a strong reputation as a word ender that if you use it in the thrilling Japanese word game shiritori (the game where you have to start a new word with the first character of the last word’s character you heard), you lose. You lose!! No!

But you know Japanese, c’mon. You think rules let Japanese stop its kamehameha-like projectile. Slang is beautiful, and slang knows, where rules be, rules be broken.

Don’t believe me? Let ん speak for itself!

4. んなばかな! or んなわけねぇだろう!

Slang for: そんなばかな!or そんなわけねぇだろう

Meaning: strong emphasis on “no way, it can’t be like that!”

3. んやろう

Slang for: このやろう

Meaning: bastard, jerk, this (insert other expletive)

2. んと・・・

Meaning: umm…

1. んだと?!

Slang for: なんだと?!

Meaning: what the hell did you just say?!

And now you’ll never lose at a game of shiritori again!

What? Slang doesn’t count? んなばかな! You’re playing shiritori with the wrong crowd.

Can you think of any other examples where ん starts a word or sentence? Always gotta up your shiritori play skill.

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Founder of Jalup. Spends most of his time absorbing and spreading thrilling information about learning Japanese.


Can ん Start A Japanese Sentence? — 4 Comments

  1. One of the things that took my メール to the next level was typing ん~ for “hmm” when you’re thinking.

  2. 「んだ。」- a slang word used in Sodegahama, Iwate prefecture – from the 連続テレビ小説 Amachan.

    • I actually really like that one. I feel like it possesses a bit of country charm (the intonation does it for me).

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