Saifu-wo otoshimashita-yo. (You dropped your wallet!)

Situation 1: Mr. Tian happens to see a woman drop her wallet on the street.

ティエン: あのう、財布を落としましたよ。

女の人: あ、ありがとうございます!

Tian: Anō, saifu-wo otoshimashita-yo.

Woman: A, arigatō-gozaimasu!

Tian: Excuse me, you dropped your wallet!

Woman: Oh, thank you very much!

Today, we will introduce よ, a particle which is added to the end of a sentence to show a speaker’s intention.

よ is not used as often as ね, but it is still important to learn. The basic use of よ is to get the attention of someone. It is attached to sentence conveying information that the hearer or another person does not know, but will be beneficial to them.

Examples: きょうは早(はや)く帰(かえ)って寝(ね)たほうがいいですよ。(You should go home early and go to bed.) このパソコンは使(つか)いやすくて値段(ねだん)もお手頃(てごろ)ですよ。(This computer is easy to use and reasonably priced.) そのポット、熱(あつ)いですよ。気(き)をつけて。(That pot is hot. Be careful!)

Overuse of よ can sound as though a speaker is reproaching or complaining and may sound too assertive; for this reason, よ should not be used to when speaking to a superior. Also, although よ can be used when speaking to a peer or subordinate, it should not be used too often.

There are differences in the way よ is used by males and females in casual speech.

Adding よ to the plain form of a noun sentence or na-adjective sentence without だ is mainly used by females, as in あしたよ (It’s tomorrow) and 便利(べんり)よ (It’s convenient).

Male speakers usually use the plain form of a noun sentence or na-adjective sentence with だ as in あしただよ (It’s tomorrow) and 便利だよ (It’s convenient).

Situation 2: Mr. Sere invites his colleague Mr. Mita to go drinking after work.

セレ: 三田くん、今晩、飲みに行こうよ。いい店を見つけたんだ。

三田: へえ、いいね。 こっちもちょうど終わったところだ。

Sere: Mita-kun, konban, nomi-ni ikō-yo. Ii mise-wo mitsuketa-n-da.

Mita: Hee, ii-ne. Kotchi-mo chōdo owatta tokoro-da.

Sere: Mita, let’s go out drinking tonight. I found a good bar.

Mita: Oh, sounds good! I just got off work, too.

よ is also used to stress an order, prohibition or invitation.

Example: 山田(やまだ)さん、もう遅刻(ちこく)しないでよ。 (Mr. Yamada, don’t be late anymore.)

よ can be used by a superior to give permission to a subordinate or younger person.

Example: この資料(しりょう)は自由(じゆう)に使(つか)っていいよ。 (You can use this data freely.)

However, this usage of よ is unsuitable for a subordinate to their superior.

Bonus dialogue: Staff are working late in their office on Christmas Eve.

三田: そろそろ終(お)わりにして、帰(かえ)ろうよ。

グレイ: そうね。疲(つか)れちゃった。

三田: 疲(つか)れると、仕事(しごと)の効率(こうりつ)も上(あ)がらないよ。遅(おそ)くなっちゃったから、食(た)べて帰(かえ)ろうか?

田町: やだ。クリスマスイブに街(まち)に行(い)ったら、カップルだらけよ。帰(かえ)ってレトルトのカレーでも食(た)べたほうがまし!

三田: 最近(さいきん)の若(わか)い子(こ)たちはそうでもないんじゃない? お腹(なか)がすいたよ。

グレイ: じゃ、会社(かいしゃ)のそばのあの店(みせ)はどう?

三田: ああ、あそこなら、ぼくたちみたいな人(ひと)ばかりだね。田町さんはやっぱりレトルトカレー?

田町: ううん。あそこなら行く。

グレイ: 来年(らいねん)は、楽(たの)しいイブになるといいね。

Mita: Let’s finish our work and go home.

Gray: Yeah, I’m tired.

Mita: If we’re tired, we won’t work efficiently. It’s late — why don’t we eat something?

Tamachi: No way! If we go downtown on Christmas Eve, we’ll see a lot of couples. I’d rather eat instant curry at home than go there.

Mita: I don’t think young people go out like that anymore. I’m very hungry.

Gray: Then, how about going to the restaurant near our office?

Mita: Yeah, there will be a lot of people like us like there. Do you still want to eat instant curry?

Tamachi: No, I’ll go if it’s that place.

Gray: It would be nice if next year’s Christmas Eve is a good one.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.