Etymology 1Edit

Alternative spelling

⟨so2 no2 → */sənə//sono/

From Old Japanese , distal demonstrative root, with (no) added to form the ordinary adnominal form 'that', as in 'that word', as opposed to the pronoun それ (sore).



その (sono

  1. (deictically) that ... near you (near the addressee)
    Watashi ga yomitai no wa, sono hon desu.
    What I want to read is that book.
  2. (anaphorically) the ... we are talking about.
  3. ...of it; its; their
    sono onēsan
    her elder sister
  4. used in a title and before a number to indicate that number of part, chapter, volume, episode, or installment; compare suffixes (-hen), (-wa), (-kan), (-shū), (-shō), (), (chū) and (ge)
    Nihon Eigaron Sono San
    Japanese Films: Part 3
Usage notesEdit
  • Sono is anaphorically used to refer to things and experiences that either the speaker or the listener knows about, but not both. Compare the two following sentences:
    Sono hon wa yasui desu ka.
    Is that book (which we are talking about) cheap? (anaphorically)
    Is that book (I'm pointing to/near you/of yours) cheap? (deictically)
    Ano hon wa yasui desu ka.
    Is the book (which we both know) cheap? (anaphorically)
    Is that book (over there, which you and I can see) cheap? (deictically)
  • The hiragana spelling その is preferred to the kanji spelling 其の, which is rarely used.
Derived termsEdit
See alsoEdit


その (sono

  1. (used as filler during conversation) uh, umm, er
    Synonyms: あのう, ええっと

Etymology 2Edit

For pronunciation and definitions of その – see the following entry.
[noun] an orchard, plantation
[noun] a garden, park (especially one with trees)
[noun] a place, location
[proper noun] a female given name
[proper noun] a surname
Alternative spelling
(This term, その, is an alternative spelling of the above term.
For a list of all kanji read as その, not just those used in Japanese terms, see Category:Japanese kanji read as その.)


  1. ^ 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN