Adding deshou to the end of a sentence in Japanese turns the sentence from a statement of fact to a statement of probability. For example, here’s the difference between a sentence that states a fact versus the same sentence that states a probability:
Mr. Yamada’s pet is a dog. = Yamada-sensei no petto wa inu desu.
Mr. Yamada’s pet is probably a dog. = Yamada-sensei no petto wa inu deshou.
Depending on the context, you can also translate deshou as “I guess” or “I predict.”
Using deshou with a noun is pretty straight-forward. Simply use deshou in place of desu or da, usually at the end of the sentence and after the noun. You can also use it directly after the short form of the negative (ja nai) if necessary.
The exchange student is probably Chinese. = Ryuugakusei wa chuugokujin deshou.
The exchange student is probably not Chinese. = Ryuugakusei wa chuugokujin ja nai deshou.
The rules for using deshou after –na adjectives are the same. Put the word directly after the adjective or the short form of the negative, without the na.
Your older sister is probably pretty. = Oneesan wa kirei deshou.
Your older sister is probably not pretty. = Oneesan wa kirei ja nai deshou.
When discussing –i adjectives, you need to keep the –i on in the affirmative and turn to the short form of the negative when you want to speak in the negative. (The adjective stem + –ku nai.)
My teacher is probably young. = Sensei wa wakai deshou.
My teacher is probably not young. = Sensei wa wakaku nai deshou.
When using deshou with verbs, use the Plain, basic forms of the verb in both affirmative and negative.
I will probably go tomorrow. = Ashita iku deshou.
I will probably not go tomorrow. = Ashita ikanai deshou.
Practice using deshou in sentences with different verbs, nouns, and adjectives.
No related posts.
Tags: deshou, japan, japanese language, nouns, verb conjugation