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plural suffix in japanese 2012/9/4 23:36
hello i wonder something. again while i was reading my japanese children's book, i realized that "たち" is used a lot. but i had learnt that japanese has no plural suffix. then i wonder if any word can be pluralized by adding たち as it is normal to say ひとたち、こどもたち、すずめたち。
thanks for any help :)
by savas cetin  

Re: plural suffix in japanese 2012/9/5 10:23
No, it can not be added to just any word. This "-tachi" is used with some words to refer to "a group of/a number of..." in a somewhat friendly way. So it might appear a lot in children's books, but is not necessarily simply a plural suffix that can be adde to any word.

Words where this is used (that come to mind immediately) are:
suzume-tachi or doubutsu-tachi (referring to a group of animals/birds in a friendly, personified way)

It is used with some pronouns:
anata-tachi, kimi-tachi ("you" as when a teacher is talking to a group of his/her students)
watashi-tachi ("we")
boku-tachi ("we" boys/young guys referring to themselves as a group)

For "people/persons," I would say the more common way is "hito-bito," another way to refer to "a group of/a number of..." in a matter-of-fact way, without any friendly tone.
"Hito-tachi" is not really likely to be used alone - probably it was used in something like "ano hito-tachi" = those people = they, wasn't it?
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: plural suffix in japanese 2012/9/5 14:25
Again AK again a help :) thank you very much really. as i never saw a "plural nouns" sections in any JP grammar books, i thought there wasn't plural suffix too. but i couldn't be sure because of 'tachi'. now i understand. ほんとうにどうもありがとうございます。
by savas cetin rate this post as useful

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