Components

Grammar detail: っ, ッ and ー

っ, ッ and ー - emphasis and elongation
Tweet
331 words
My current mastery of this grammar point:
LOG IN to view grammar mastery data
The small kana 'tsu' symbol, either hiragana っ or katana ッ, is usually used to represent a doubled consontant, known in Japanese as a
そくおん
促音
, as in for example ハット (hat) or やっぱり (as expected) or あっさり (readily). The tsu symbol essentially causes whatever consonant begins the next kana to be doubled, so ハット is actually pronounced something like ha-t-to.
Another somewhat less common use is to add an equivalent sound within a word in order to add emphasis or exaggeration. The same mechanism exists in English - for example, you might say 'Re-a-a-lly?!' to express disbelief. In Japanese, this usage has become a standard form for many words - for example many words beginning with
(itself an emphasis word) use the form to add additional emphasis. For example,
ましろ
真白
means 'pure white', and using
しろ
simply emphasizes the fact that it really is 'pure' white. Sometimes, the mechanism can be applied in words where it is not ordinarily used, in order to achieve the same effect. For example, see:
どーすんこの
みせ
かん
ぜん
かんこどり
閑古鳥
がなっちゃってる
じゃない
What happened to this place?! It's completely dead!
This form is found in colloquial speech in
かんっぜん
完ッ全
,
ぜんっぜん
全ッ然
,
ぜっったい
絶ッ対
. The third example is especially interesting, because it already contains a doubled consonant before the extra っ!
The ー symbol, known in Japanese as
ちょうおん
聴音
(which looks like the kanji
いち
but is actually a different symbol) often performs a similar effect. Its standard use is simply to indicate a lengthening of the previous vowel sound, as in ポッキー (the Pocky snack). This typically is only need in katakana, because in hiragana it is usually only the お sound that is extended, and it is customary to use hiragana う to do that. Since katakana is used to represent words of foreign origin, almost any sound may need to be extended, and rather than using ウ etc, ー is usually used. The ー symbol can also be used to add unusual emphasis - for example, あはよー (instead of the normal おはよう) would imply an extra long final syllable.
LOG IN to view flashcard data

Kanji used in this grammar

ソク   うなが to press, to stimulate   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
オン   イン   sound   おと    ね    
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
シン   truth   ま exactly; deep   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
ハク   しろ white   しろ    しら-    
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
カン    complete   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
ゼン   まった entirely   すべ everything   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
ゼン   ネン    resemble   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
ゼツ   たえる to die out   たやす to eradicate   た to sever, to cut off   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
タイ   ツイ    vis-a-vis   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
チョウ   き to listen   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
イチ   イツ   ひと    ひと- one   
テン   みせ shop   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
カン    leisure   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
コ   ふる old   -ふる to grow old   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
チョウ   とり bird   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
Problem with this grammar? Question or comment? Please CONTACT US.
Kanshudo is your AI Japanese tutor, and your constant companion on the road to mastery of the Japanese language. To get started learning Japanese, just follow the study recommendations on your Dashboard. You can use Quick search (accessible using the icon at the top of every page) to look up any Japanese word, kanji or grammar point, as well as to find anything on Kanshudo quickly. For an overview, take the tour.
×