Meaning of Doushite (どうして) in Japanese


Meaning of Doushite (どうして) in Japanese


Doushite zikan wo tsubusouka?
“How do we spend our time?”

Saikin kanojo ha doushiteruno?
“How’s she doing lately?”


Doushite anataha sonnani noromanano?
“Why are you so lazy?”

Doushite anataha hanashiwo kikanaino?
“Why don’t you listen to people?”


Doa wo hirakouto shitaga doushitemo hirakanai
“I tried to open the door, but I just can’t open it.”


・どうやって Douyatte
・なんで Nande
・なぜ Naze


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.

Doushite annakotowo itteshimattandarou.
“Why did you say such a thing?”

Omaeha doushite chikokushitanda.
“Why were you late?”

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.)

Doushite tsukiae naindesuka?
“Why can’t you go out with me?”

Nande tsukiae naindesuka?
“Why can’t you go out with me?”

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.


I am writing articles with the intention of conveying the idea of "Good old Japan" from the perspective of Japanese people.

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