Grammar

DAROU AND DESHOU (だろう / でしょう)


DAROU (だろう) and DESHOU (でしょう) are used to express an uncertain assumption about an action, whose speaker is usually not the author. In this meaning, だろう and でしょう are placed after the plain form of a verb (also called the dictionary form), an adjective or a noun.

DAROU (だろう) and DESHOU (でしょう) are mainly used in professional contexts (weather forecast, etc.) だろう is rather used by men in informal speech, while でしょう is mixed and rather used in a more formal speech.

雄介(ゆうすけ)(くん)学校(がっこう)()でしょう
Yuusuke kun wa gakkou ni iku deshou.
Yuusuke should go to school.

シドニー(いま)ごろ(あつ)でしょう
Shidonii wa imagoro atsui deshou.
At this moment, I assume it’s hot in Sydney.

龍二(りゅうじ)さん時計(とけい)でしょう
Ryuuji san no tokei deshou.
I assume it’s Ryuuji’s watch.

In another case, だろう and でしょう express, on the contrary, a high probability. The intonation changes at the end of the sentence: it’s rising. They are sometimes shortened to DARO (だろ) and DESHO (でしょ) when they are used orally. This usage of DAROU and DESHOU can be used to ask a question, or request consent from our interlocutor in a less direct way.

シドニー(いま)ごろ(あつ)でしょ(う)
Shidonii wa imagoro atsui desho(u)?
At this moment, it’s hot in Sydney, right?

龍二(りゅうじ)さん時計(とけい)だろ(う)
Ryuuji san no tokei daro(u)?
It’s Ryuuji’s watch, right?

思う (OMOU, to think) can also be used instead of だろう to express a thought or an opinion. In this meaning, と思う is more common than だろう / でしょう. It’s also possible to use both at the same time だろうと思う.

(かれ)病気(びょうき)(おも)います
Kare wa byouki da to omoimasu.
I think he must be ill.

Lastly, DESHOU (でしょう) can replace the copula DESU (です) to give a more polite tone to the statement (often when asking a question).

ここ電話(でんわ)していいでしょう
Koko de denwa shite mo ii deshou ka.
May I phone here?

いくらでしょう
Ikura deshou ka.
How much does it cost, please?


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