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See also: 𬼂, h, ƕ, and խ
Hiragana letter N.svg
U+3093, ん



Stroke order
1 stroke


  • The realization of this phoneme depends on its phonetic context, as follows:
  • When speakers wish to convey the consonant very clearly, for example in classical singing or when spelling things out to someone who can't hear the speaker well, [m] may be used in place of [ɴ], and potentially even in all other positions.

Etymology 1[edit]

Derived in the Heian period from writing the man'yōgana kanji in the cursive sōsho style. and were originally both used for both the n and mu sounds; was designated as n in the script reform.


(romaji n)

  1. The hiragana syllable (n). Its equivalent in katakana is (n). It is the forty-eighth syllable in the gojūon order.
See also[edit]
The Hiragana script
か゚ ら゚ わ゙
き゚ 𛀆 り゚ 𛅐ゐ゙
く゚ る゚ 𛄟
け゚ 𛀁 れ゚ 𛅑ゑ゙
こ゚ ろ゚ 𛅒を゙
Additional symbols

Etymology 2[edit]

/nu//n/, /ŋ/

An abbreviation of the negative ending (nu).



  1. (after the 未然形 (mizenkei, incomplete form) of a verb): negative form of verbs
    I don't know.
    yurusen zo
    This is unforgivable!
    • 北大路魯山人, 『味覚馬鹿』
      Aru to ieba aru ga, shikashi, hontō no koto wa wakaran.
      There is, to be sure, but, I don't know the facts.
Usage notes[edit]
  • The negative usage of (-n) is a colloquial form of (nu), and this is mainly used in western Japanese dialects.
    • Since ない is adopted as a standard form for the negative suffix in modern Japanese, gives a dialectal or very casual impression compared to ない today except that it is standard when forming the negative of ます (-masu), ません (-masen).
    • On the other hand, is common in fictional dialogue attributed to archaic or pompous characters.
  • This word is morphologically an inflectional suffix. It is classified as 助動詞 (jodōshi, auxiliary verb) in traditional Japanese grammar.
See also[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

/mu//n/, /ŋ/

An abbreviation of the intentional, volitional, and suppositional ending (mu).



  1. (non-productive, archaic) (after the 未然形 (mizenkei, incomplete form) of a verb): volitional form of verbs
    iza yukan
    Let's go.
    kami no go-kago ga aran koto o
    God bless you.
    (literally, “May God's protection be with you.”)
    • 北大路魯山人, 『味覚馬鹿』
      Kōkyū shokki, biki o tsukuran to suru mono wa, bishoku ni tsūzu beshi.
      He who tries to make high-class tableware and beautyware, must be familiar with epicurism.
    • 2004; Murakoshi, Suguru; trans. Blaustein, Jeremy, et al., quoting note on door, Silent Hill 4: The Room, Tokyo: Konami, PlayStation 2; Xbox; PC, level/area: One Truth room:
      汝、最深部へ行くには 一つの真実を倒せ
      nanji, saishinbu e iku ni wa / hitotsu no shinjitsu o taose
      sa sureba kono tobira hirakaren
      To reach the deepest part, you must / defeat the One Truth.
      Do so and this door will open.
      (literally, “Thou, in going to the deepest part, / defeat the One Truth
      If you do thusly this door would be opened
Usage notes[edit]
  • The volitional usage of (-n) is a colloquial form of (mu), and this is usually used to impart a literary style in modern Japanese.
  • In modern Japanese, this is more commonly realized as the (-u > -ō) or よう (-yō) volitional verb ending. See the etymology of suffix よう (-yō) for more.
  • This word is morphologically an inflectional suffix. It is classified as 助動詞 (jodōshi, auxiliary verb) in traditional Japanese grammar.

Etymology 4[edit]

/no//n/, /ŋ/

Regular abbreviation of the possessive or nominalizing particle (no). The result is considered informal.



  1. contraction of (no)
    Ore n chi ni konai?
    Wanna come to my place?
    Ano, kikitai koto ga aru n da kedo.
    Excuse me, I have a question that I would like to ask.
    • 甲賀三郎, 『蜘蛛』
      “Totategumo no isshu na n da yo. Shiomi-kun wa dokugumo to machigaeta n da yo”
      "It's a type of trapdoor spider. You've mistaken it for a venomous spider."

Etymology 5[edit]

/r-//r//n/, /ŋ/

Regular abbreviation of various morae preceding another mora starting with a nasalized consonant, such as /n/ or /d/. The result is considered informal.

Combining form[edit]

  1. contraction of (ra)
    (いえ)(かえ)なきゃ。 → (いえ)(かえ)なきゃ。
    Ie ni kaeranakya. → ie ni kaennakya.
    I must go home.
    (なみだ)()ない → (なみだ)()ない
    namida ga tomaranai → namida ga tomannai
    the tears won't stop
  2. contraction of (ru)
    (なに)していの? → (なに)しての? → (なに)しての?
    Nani shite iru no? → nani shiteru no? → nani shiten no?
    What are you doing? → What ya doing? → What'cha doin'?
    Fuzakeru na! → fuzaken na!
    Stop playing around!
    ()にすな → ()にす
    ki ni suru na → ki ni sun na
    Don't mind.
  3. contraction of (re)
    (しん)じらない。 → (しん)じらない。
    Shinjirarenai. → shinjirannai.
    I can't believe it.
    sore de → son de
    and so

Etymology 6[edit]

Possibly a reduced form of ちゃん.



  1. (women's speech) added to female names or parts of them to express affection
    (しおり) → しおりん, 一美(かずみ) → ずみん, (あかね) → ねん
    Shiori → Shiorin, Kazumi → Zumin, Akane → Nen
    Shiori → Shiorin, Kazumi → Zumin, Akane → Nen (nicknames)



From Proto-Ryukyuan *ni, from Proto-Japonic *ni. Cognate with Japanese (ni).


IPA(key): /n/



  1. (locative marker) in; to; for; at