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Meaning of Doushite (どうして) in Japanese

Adverb

Meaning of Doushite (どうして) in Japanese

How

・どうして(どうやって)時間をつぶそうか?
Doushite zikan wo tsubusouka?
“How do we spend our time?”

・最近彼女はどうしてるの?
Saikin kanojo ha doushiteruno?
“How’s she doing lately?”

Why

・どうしてあなたはそんなにのろまなの?
Doushite anataha sonnani noromanano?
“Why are you so lazy?”

・どうしてあなたは人の話をきかないの?
Doushite anataha hanashiwo kikanaino?
“Why don’t you listen to people?”

Just

・ドアを開こうとしたがどうしても開かない
Doa wo hirakouto shitaga doushitemo hirakanai
“I tried to open the door, but I just can’t open it.”

Synonyms

・どうやって Douyatte
・なんで Nande
・なぜ Naze

Kanji

Doushite writes in Kanji as “如何して.” However, this is often used in hiragana, both formal and informal.

What is the difference between DOUSHITE and NANDE and NAZE?

“Doushite” is an emotional way of saying it.

“Doushite” is a phrase that includes the speaker’s emotions and expresses various emotions such as dissatisfaction, surprise, regret, and wonder. Since “Doushite” contains the speaker’s feelings, there are cases where the reason doesn’t ask.

(1)どうしてあんなことを言ってしまったんだろう。
Doushite annakotowo itteshimattandarou.
“Why did you say such a thing?”

(2)お前はどうして遅刻したんだ。
Omaeha doushite chikokushitanda.
“Why were you late?”

(3)休日はどうしてこうも短いんだ。
Kyuuzitsu ha doushite koumo mizikainda.
“What a short holiday.”

“Nande” is also an emotional way, a phrase often used by young people

“Nande” is a phrase that includes the speaker’s emotions along with “Doushite,” but this is colloquial (spoken) and is often used by children and young people in everyday conversation. When used by adults, it may give a childish impression and is challenging to use on the eyes.

“NAZE” is a rational way of saying only the reason

“NAZE” is a sensible saying that does not include the speaker’s emotions and is literary. Therefore, it gives a slightly polite impression. Since “NAZE” has almost no emotional nuances, “NAZE” is always used when asking purely about the reason/cause.

(When my crush turned me down.)

A:どうして付き合えないんですか?
Doushite tsukiae naindesuka?
“Why can’t you go out with me?”

B:なんで付き合えないんですか?
Nande tsukiae naindesuka?
“Why can’t you go out with me?”

C:なぜ付き合えないんですか?
Naze tsukiae naindesuka?
“Why can’t you go out with me?”

A and B contain the emotions of the speaker. You can see the attitude of asking the reason while the dissatisfaction with not dating is coming to the fore. This case involves feelings of dissatisfaction, so you can express emotions that you have been turned down but do not want to give up yet.

C seems to want to know why he can’t get along. In this case, there are almost no complaints or disappointing feelings, so there is virtually no feeling of not wanting to give up. In other words, it can be used when you have already given up and want to know the reason.

About SAIGO

I am the president of an export company living in Tokyo. My hobbies are eating sushi and watching anime. Life is short. Time is money. YOLO! follow me on Instagram seigo34847.

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