The ko-so-a-do may seem difficult to grasp, but they are very regular. Learning them early on will definitely help with your progress.

The key is to understand the three positions:

  1. Near the speaker [the "k" words]
  2. Near the listener [the "s" words]
  3. Away from both [the "a" words]

The fourth, "d" words," are the question words.



These little words are called demonstratives, words like "this" or "that." While the number of them can seem daunting, once you learn the pattern, it isn't too difficult to sort out.

These are sometimes referred to as "ko-so-a-do" due to the first hiragana in the pattern.

First, let's look at their use as pronouns.

How to Use:

Choose from three words depending on the distance from the speaker. The fourth word is a question word. This form is not attached to a noun but act as a pronoun.


This [for objects near the speaker]


That [for objects near the listener]


That over there [for objects far from both people]


Which one?


What is this?
[an object near the speaker]

Ah, that is kitsune udon.
[Uses それ because it is away from this speaker. Kitsune udon is a type of udon noodles with fried tofu.]

Well, how about that over there?
[an object far from both speakers]

Which one?
[This question word can be used for any object no matter the distance.]

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