Boku-wa yappari akusesarii-ga ii-to omou-ne

I think an accessory would be good, after all

Situation 1: Mr. Sere is asking his colleague, Mr. Mita, what would be a good present to buy for his girlfriend.

セレ: 彼女へのプレゼントに、どんなものがいいと思う?

三田: そうだなあ。ぼくはやっぱりアクセサリーがいいと思うね。

Sere: Kanojo-e-no purezento-ni, donna mono-ga ii-to omou?

Mita: Sō-da-nā. Boku-wa yappari akusesarii-ga ii-to omou-ne.

Sere: What would be good for my girlfriend?

Mita Well, I think an accessory would be good, after all.

Last week, we introduced the end-of-sentence particle ね and its uses. The basic meaning of ね is to show or require agreement. In the pattern X[sentence]ね, X is a statement that both the speaker and the hearer assume to be true. But there are some other uses. Even if X is something that the hearer does not know, this pattern is used when the speaker wants to express that they have remembered something or thought of something, as in Mita’s remark. When used like this, ね is not essential but it shows the speaker’s friendliness toward the hearer. When X is a fact that the speaker knows well, such as an address or the name of a family member, ね is not used. Example: 一番(いちばん)リラックスするのは、ええと、やっぱりお風呂 (ふろ)に入(はい)っているときですね。 (The most relaxing time for me is . . . well, as usual, when I’m taking a bath, after all.) 子(こ)どものころの思い出(おもいで)というと …、そうですね、よく友(とも)だちとサッカーをしましたね。(A memory from my childhood is . . . let’s see, I often played soccer with my friends.) But, overuse of ね gives the impression of being pushy. ね is also used to emphasize a speaker’s opinion. 私(わたし)は子(こ)どもはのびのびと育(そだ)てるべきだと思(おも)いますね。(I think that we should raise our children freely.)

Situation 2: Ms. Gray leaves Osaka and says farewell to one of her acquaintances, Ms. Matsuda.

グレイ: では、これで失礼します。いろいろお世話になりました。

松田: どうかまたこちらに遊びに来てくださいね。

Gray: Dewa, kore-de shitsurei-shimasu. Iroiro o-sewa-ni narimashita.

Matsuda: Dōka mata kochira-ni asobi-ni kite-kudasai-ne.

Gray: So, I must be leaving. Thank you for everything.

Matsuda: Oh, that’s too bad. Please come and see us again.

When making a request or suggestion, ね can be used at the end of a sentence. Used in this way, ね softens the nuance and expresses a feeling of friendliness. Example: もう少(すこ)し待(ま)ってね。 (Please wait for a minute.) 静(しず)かにしましょうね。 (Please be quiet.) But, ね isn’t used in sudden commands or warnings such as あ、地震(じしん)だ! ガスの火(ひ)を消(け)して! (It’s an earthquake! Turn off the gas!)

Bonus Dialogue: Mrs. Okubo and her children are chatting about the end of the year.

まり子: ねえ、どうして12月(じゅうにがつ)はみんな忙(いそが)しいって言(い)うの?

母(はは): そうねえ。ええと…、クリスマスの準備(じゅんび)とか、大(おお)そうじとか、年賀状(ねんがじょう)を書(か)くとか、お正月(しょうがつ)の料理(りょうり)を作るとか、やらなくちゃならないことがたくさんあるからね。

まり子: ふうん。そんなにがんばらなくてもいいのに。

母: でも、クリスマスがなかったら、あなたたち、文句(もんく)を言(い)うでしょう?

たか子 : それは、ぜったいにいやね。プレゼントをもらえなくなっちゃう。

母: じゃ、ちゃんといい子(こ)にしていなさいね。それから、ちゃんと手伝(てつだ)ってね。 まり子:うん。私(わたし)、いろいろお手伝(てつだ)いをする。

たか子: じゃあ、私(わたし)はそんなにやらなくてもいいかな …。

母: たか子、あんたはおねえさんなんだから、まり子よりもっと手伝いができるね。そうしないと‥。

たか子: はいはい、わかった。やります、やります。

Mariko: Mom, why does everybody say they are busy in December?

Mother: Let’s see. Well, we have to prepare for Christmas, do housecleaning, write New Year’s cards and cook food for the new year. We have lots of things to do.

Mariko: Hmm . . . I don’t think you should keep working.

Mother: But if we have no Christmas Day you guys will complain, right?

Takako: Oh, no Christmas! We wouldn’t get presents.

Mother: Then, you should be good. And, you have to help me.

Mariko: OK. I’ll help you a lot.

Takako: Then it seems you don’t need my help, right Mom?

Mother: You’re the elder sister, and you can help me more than Mariko. Otherwise . . . .

Takako: OK, OK. I’ll do it, I’ll do it.

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