:Home/Japanese Grammar/Deshou and Darou means “is probably” (でしょう and だろう)

Deshou and Darou means “is probably” (でしょう and だろう)

deshou and darou

Using deshou (でしょう) or darou (だろう) at the end of a sentence means that something will probably happen or that it seems like it will happen.  In formal Japanese, でしょう (deshou) replaces です (desu).   In casual Japanese conversation, だろう (darou) replaces だ (da).  

  “is” “is probably”
Polite: です (desu) でしょう (deshou)
Casual: だ (da) だろう (darou)
We will also look at alternatives that we can use to express probability.  These include かな (kana), かしら (kashira) and かもしれない (kamoshirenai).  First, we will look at some examples using our main grammar points – でしょう (deshou) and だろう (darou).

Examples of deshou and darou (でしょう, だろう)

でしょう (deshou) and だろう (darou) are commonly used when we talk about the weather in Japanese:
 
  ame ga furu deshou

あめが降るでしょう

ame ga furu deshou.

(it will probably rain)

 

ame ga furu deshou

 
       
  Ashita wa hareru darou

明日あしたれるだろう

Ashita wa hareru darou.

It will probably be sunny tomorrow.

 

Ashita wa hareru darou

 
       
  When でしょう (deshou) and だろう (darou) are used to guess or predict something, it can take on the form of a question because it naturally seeks confirmation to something with a bit of uncertainty:  
     
 

今日きょう木曜日もくようびだろう

kyo wa mokuyoubi darou.

Today is Thursday, isn’t it!

 

kyo wa mokuyoubi darou

 
       
 

ねむでしょう

nemui deshou.

(You’re sleepy, aren’t you?)

 

nemui deshou

 
nemui deshou

       
 

Alternative Expressions: かな (kana), かしら (kashira) and かもしれない (kamoshirenai)

かしら (kashira) means “I wonder” or “I guess” and is considered to be extremely feminine.  For that reason, it is only used by women and may even be too girly for some!

かな also means “I wonder” or “I guess” and is used by men and women.  It’s very suitable for casual Japanese conversation.

かもしれない is a grammar function used to express that something “might” happen and so it is less likely than でしょう (deshou) and だろう (darou).  かもしれません (kamoshiremasen) is the formal version.

These alternatives I have mentioned above all express probability in one form or another.  Let’s explore them more with some examples…

 
 

これ美味おいしいかしら

Kore oishii kashira.

(I wonder if it’s delicious.)

もうようかな

Mou neyou kana.

(I guess I will go to bed now.)

 
Kore oishii kashira. Mou neyou kana.
       
alternative to deshou and darou
 

かれ日本語にほんごはなせるかもしれない

Kare wa nihongo ga hanaseru kamoshirenai.

(He might be able to speak Japanese.)

東京とうきょう今日きょうさむかもしれません

toukyou wa kyou samui kamoshiremasen.

(It might be cold in Tokyo today.)

 
  Kare wa nihongo ga hanaseru kamoshirenai. toukyou wa kyou samui kamoshiremasen.  
 
 
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