Etymology 1Edit

Derived in the Heian period from writing the 万葉仮名 ‎(man'yōgana) kanji in the cursive 草書 ‎(sōsho) style.


(Hepburn romanization na)

  1. The hiragana syllable ‎(na), whose equivalent in katakana is ‎(na). It is the twenty-first syllable of the gojūon order, and its position in gojūon tables is (NA-gyō, A-dan; “row NA, section A”).
Related termsEdit
See alsoEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Probably derived from mild emphatic interjection and sentence-final particle , itself from Old Japanese, indicating a general sense of admiration or consideration, or hope that the preceding statement comes to pass.


‎(romaji na)

  1. (masculine, informal, mild emphatic) Used to get someone's attention. Carries generally neutral or slightly positive connotations.
    Na, kiita kai.
    Hey, did you hear?


‎(romaji na)

  1. (informal, mild emphatic) Indicates emotion or mild emphasis. Sentence-final.
    sō ka na.
    Huh, is that so.
Usage notesEdit
It is often used when you speak to yourself, and can be considered less formal than the agreement-asking particle .

Etymology 3Edit

/ni aru//naru//na/

From Old Japanese. Originally an abbreviation of ‎(ni, particle) + ある ‎(ari, the attributive form of classical あり ari, “to be”).[1]


‎(romaji na)

  1. The copula particle used after 形容動詞 ‎(keiyōdōshi, literally “adjective verb”, often referred to in English teaching texts as -na adjective) to make them function as adjectives.
     (へん) (ひと)
    hen na hito
    a strange person
Usage notesEdit

The older なる ‎(naru) form is still used to impart a more formal, archaic, or poetic sense.

 (しず)なる田園 (でんえん)
shizuka naru den'en
the quiet countryside

Etymology 4Edit

From Old Japanese. Probably the root na of the negative adjective ない ‎(nai). An alternate theory is that this is the imperfective conjugation of negative auxiliary verb ‎(zu).


‎(romaji -na)

  1. (masculine, informal, added after the dictionary form of a verb) Used to indicate prohibition: don't.
    Don't go!
    無断 (むだん)引用 (いんよう)する
    Mudan de in'yō suruna.
    Don't quote it without permission.
Usage notesEdit

Considered very informal and potentially brusque depending on tone of voice. This would never be used in polite conversation, where the construction ~ないで下さい ‎(~naide kudasai) would be used instead, appended to the imperfective stem of the verb in question. Examples:

  • Addressing close friends, children, or possibly subordinates:
    Don't do that.
  • Addressing anyone else:
    shinaide kudasai.
    (Please) Don't do that.

Etymology 5Edit

Abbreviation of polite imperative auxiliary verb form なさい ‎(nasai).


‎(romaji -na)

  1. (informal, added after the stem form of a verb) An imperative or command: do.
    あっちへ ()、ぼうや。
    atchi e ikina, bōya.
    Go over there, boy → Get out of the way, boy!
    suwarina yo.
    SitHave a seat.
Usage notesEdit

A casual way of issuing commands. Not as rough as the imperative conjugation of a verb. Usage restricted to addressing friends, children, or subordinates.


Roughly in order of politeness:

Etymology 6Edit

The hiragana rendering of various other words.


‎(romaji na)

  1. : A name.
  2. : Fish as a food, particularly as a side dish.
  3. : Greens as a food, particularly as a side dish.
  4. : A side dish, be it meat or fish or greens.
  5. : A lack of something.
  6. : Driving away the gods of disease.


‎(romaji na)

  1. : (obsolete) Seven.


‎(romaji na)

  1. , : (obsolete) The first-person personal pronoun: I, me; the second-person personal pronoun: you.


  1. ^ 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
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