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Character
Unicode name HIRAGANA LETTER N
Unicode block Hiragana
Codepoint U+3093

Japanese[edit]

Stroke order
ん-bw.png

Pronunciation[edit]

  • The realization of this phoneme depends on its phonetic context, as follows:

Etymology 1[edit]

Derived in the Heian period from writing the man'yōgana kanji in the cursive sōsho style. That's when it was distinguished separately from "mu".

Syllable[edit]

(Hepburn romanization n)

  1. The hiragana syllable ‎(n), whose equivalent in katakana is ‎(n). It is the forty-eighth syllable of the gojūon order.
Related terms[edit]
See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

/nu//n/, /ŋ/

An abbreviation of the negative ending ‎(nu).

Suffix[edit]

‎(romaji -n)

  1. (after the 未然形 ‎(mizenkei, incomplete form) of a verb): negative form of verbs
    • [1]
      あるといえばあるが、しかし、ほんとうのことはわから
      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 today.

Synonyms[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

/mu//n/, /ŋ/

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

Suffix[edit]

‎(romaji -n)

  1. (after the 未然形 ‎(mizenkei, incomplete form) of a verb): volitional form of verbs
    • [2]
      高級食器 (こうきゅうしょっき)美器 (びき)をつくらとするものは、美食 (びしょく) (つう)ずべし。
      Kōkyū shokki, biki o tsukuran to suru mono wa, bishoku ni tsūzu beshi.
      He who tries to make high-class tableware and beauty ware, must be familiar with epicurism.
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 or -yō volitional verb ending, derived by abbreviation of the /m/:

  • For type 1 or godan verbs: /-amu//-au//-ɔː//-oː/
  • For type 2 or 3 ichidan verbs with stems ending in /-i/: /-Cimu//-Ciu//-Cʲoː//-Cijoː/
  • For type 2 or 3 ichidan verbs with stems ending in /-e/: /-Cemu//-Ceu//-Cʲoː//-Cejoː/
/C/ above indicates the last consonant in the verb stem, such as the /m/ in /mi/, the verb stem for 見る ‎(miru, to see), or the /b/ in /tabe/, the verb stem for 食べる ‎(taberu, to eat).