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  5. "We are sisters."

"We are sisters."


March 10, 2018



Should わたしたちはきょうだいです be accepted?


Not for this particular question, no. きょうだい is a little complicated in that it can be read as brothers (kanji of big brother and little brother) or brother/sister (kanji of big brother and little sister or vice versa) but also be read as so when written as sister/sister (kanji of big sister and little sister). However, the kanji for sister/sister is normally read as しまい. For learners, it's best to know that しまい is for sisters and きょうだい for brothers or brothers and sisters. There is also おんなのきょうだい which means sister (girl brother, literally). Happy learning!


Helpful! All the same, in spoken Japanese, could a pair of sisters refer to themselves as kyodai and still have it be proper Japanese?


I assume the sentence you are trying to type in full Japanese is 私らいは兄弟です.

兄弟 can be "brothers" as each of the kanjis suggests. However, they can also mean "siblings". If I were you, I recommend 私らいは姊妹です.


姉妹 is read as しまい and means sisters. The first kanji (姉 read as し) means older sister and the second (妹 read as まい) means younger sister. This is exactly like how 兄弟 (きょうだい) means brothers and the first kanji (兄 read as きょう) means older brother and the second (弟 read as だい) means younger brother.


What's 私らい?


I think they meant to write 私たち which means "we". If I'm not mistaken 私らい means weak, which doesn't make any sense here.


私らい simply doesn't exist. "weak" may be 弱い or 柔らかい (among others, depending on context).




わたし -たちは しまいです

Also, the ~たち suffix is often written in kana.


Would dropping 私 and saying しまいたちです be correct?


Yes, you can drop the 私(+たちは): simply「姉妹です」is enough to say "We are sisters". (if there's some context, of course)

Because 姉妹 (しまい) already means "sisters" (it's inherently/implicitly plural), you don't need to add たち to it.


Just "姉妹です" is what I typed and it was marked as wrong.


Same, was marked wrong. Considering the Japanese avoid pronoun use, it should be correct, and I reported.


Thanks for this, I had the same question (as mine was also marked wrong). Duo accepts dropping "watashitachi" for brothers, but not sisters, so I was puzzled.


Same. Reported

Update: Duo now accepts 姉妹です


I was wondering the same thing. It seems grammatically correct absent any context, but I'm not sure if it comes off sounding unnatural in certain situations.

For example, what is being omitted in this construction? ( topic )はしまいたちです。

If it's assumed to be the same, does (私たちは)姉妹たちです sound odd to a native speaker? Or is it acceptable to move the -たち out for clarity when using an implied topic in this manner?


wow, it accepted 我々は姉妹です

(われわれ は しまい です)

not sure which anime got that stuck in my head but that's pretty funny.




Is it just me or does dualingo just sometimes throw kanji at you without explaining it??? As if Japanese wasn't already tough enough!


Just click it and listen to the sound, its usually just words you already know to start a bit early




姉妹です was not accepted - I've reported.


姉妹です is now accepted


Didn't accept mine either


Now I have "we are family" stuck in my head!!

[deactivated user]

    It's OK. There are far worse things to have stuck in your head... :)


    So "we" are several "I's" - funny!


    It seems really interesting coming from a society that is as individualistic as the US. I wonder if it creates a whole different sense of unity. When I think of "we" I think of something like "them and me" whereas watashitachi instantly made me wonder if they consider it more of an extension of oneself/a single cohesive unit on a conceptual level. It would explain a lot regarding cultural attitudes toward imposing on others/failure to contribute sufficiently to the group, etc.


    Exactly! I guess it's sort of like when you're including yourself when you say "the team" or something, but on a much bigger scale. And with an American mindset, you still kind of think of yourself as separate. It's more like "those I associate with (but do not quite define myself by and could leave if I felt like it/if it no longer matched 'me.')"


    The English word "we" just means "I and unspecified others that you have to deduce from the context".

    The Japanese word "watashitachi" just means "I and unspecified others that you have to deduce from the context".

    They are exactly the same.

    There is no grand revelation about a contrast between Japanese and American attitudes towards individualism and collectivism in these words.


    The definitions are the same, but the meanings are different. In English, "we" and "I" are completely different words, but in Japanese (and several other languages) you take 「私」(i) and「たち」(plural marker) together to create「私たち」(the plural form of I.) It goes from meaning "me and others" to "several of me"


    Kind of. "-tachi" means "and company" so not really "several of me." It (Watashitachi) more means "I and those with me."


    This sentence should be accepted without the pronoun


    Update: Duo just mailed me saying this is now accepted


    Would わたしら be accepted instead of わたしたち ?


    There's an english language discussion of -ら vs -たち that you might be interested in here: https://www.reddit.com/r/LearnJapanese/comments/vd7kh/pluralizing_%E3%82%89_vs_%E3%81%9F%E3%81%A1/

    I also did a general google search and came across some japanese language discussions saying more or less the same things.

    The tl;dr is basically that -ら is more informal and is generally not used with 私 (わたし), but is more common with the more casual personal pronouns such as 俺(おれ) and 僕(ぼく). It was also pointed out multiple places that it's always 彼ら(かれら) and never 彼たち(かれたち) when pluralizing "he/him". There also seems to be some regional bias as far as what is more acceptable/sounds natural as is common for things like this.


    This article explains it really well.


    it gives you the kanji when you go to double check your words/spelling but then doesn't accept them, what the heck?


    shouldn't 姉妹です be allowed

    or am i just dreaming


    Just got an update mail from Duo saying that my suggestion, 姉妹です is now accepted. Turns out reporting actually works!


    I love the fact that the male voice is reading it


    Is "we" in Japanese just "me" but plural?


    It's more like "me and those with me."


    Yes, very logical, isn't it? :D I love this word.


    Can you omit 'わたし' ?


    Not without 'たちは' (tachi wa). In other words: you can omit 'わたしたちは' (watashi-tachi wa).


    Writing 姉妹 in Kana in this case is like writing "sees tars" for sisters : it's really hard to recognize as one word.

    し could be part of the last syllable to make はし(橋/箸/端) and まい could be まい. Not to mention that しまい as a whole seems to have another spelling which is: 終い

    I really wish Duolingo's Japanese lessons had Kanji with Furigana on them. If that's even possible on a Duolingo course...


    i am haveing diffficulties of lnowing when to use wa and when to use no


    I think "no" is only to show possession, like if you want to say "my" or "his". "Wa" is mostly being used for denoting what the subject of the sentence is.


    "Wa" = topic, actually. In English, the topic and the subject of a sentence are the same, but this is not always the case in Japanese. "Watashi no" means "my" and "Watashi wa" means "As for me/on the topic of 'me.' "

    You are correct that "[noun] no" usually denotes ownership, but "no" can have other meanings, too. You'll see more of that as you progress through the cirriculum, though, so for now, just think of it as " 's" (Jon no = John's) or "of" (Kanada no Mari = Marie of Canada.)


    Cant you just say 姉妹たちです because japanese people usually assume with context?


    「姉妹です」is accepted as an answer


    This sentence made me feel like i am watching anime. Lmao


    It's "ware" around word for we?


    I have typed inお姉さんwhy am I wrong


    Did you type in just "お姉さん" ?

    The answer is "姉妹です" or "私たちは姉妹です", i.e. "We are sisters."

    Just "お姉さん" means "older sister"


    Is there a reason I can't use が here?


    It would be grammatically correct to use 「私たちが...」but if it's not the topic of the sentence, you'd usually omit pronouns, since it's implied by context. i.e. "WE are sisters" after being asked "who in this large group are sisters?" bould use 「は」but "we are SISTERS" after being asked "what is your relationship with this woman?" would either omit 「私たち」altogether or use 「が」


    Shouldn't あたし work?


    Why did it count this answer as wrong?



    could you also say "Shimai tachi desu"?


    I don't think so. "-tachi" means "and company" so you'd be saying "It is sister(s) and company," which really, really sounds like you're describing someone else.


    Why isn't there any particle to make 姉妹 an adjective? or maybe 姉妹 is already an adjective? In this case, what particle will be used to modify 姉妹 and make it a noun instrad of an adjective


    Lol google translated this to "we are dead"


    probably because you used the wrong Kanji


    okay this has been going on for too long. Duo is always making the other two shorter in length answers meaningless or way off. I'm no longer bothering in learning when I have to pick an option out of 3 sentences, I just go for the longer one and am always right.


    Yeah, cheat yourself! Go ahead and show that sil.ly Duo! Make him suffer!


    姉妹 can be also read as きょうだい. So it should be accepted!


    姉妹 is only read as しまい

    兄弟 is read as きょうだい, which means brothers (and also siblings).

    But 姉妹 and 兄弟 are not the same word, nor are they read the same way.

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