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All About Japanese Particles: など (nado)

Note: Nanka is an informal equivalent, and nazo and nanzo more formal equivalents.

  1. Indicates that a series of items is non-exhaustive; often used with ya (#8, no. 1): “etc., and so forth.”

そのへんにはレストランやディスコや映画館などがあります。
Sono hen ni wa resutoran ya disuko ya eiga-kan nado ga arimasu.
There are restaurants, discos, movie theaters, and so forth around there [in that area].

私は、みかんやりんごやバナナなど、くだものなら何でも好きです。
Watashi wa, mikan ya ringo ya banana nado, kudamono nara nan de mo suki desu.
I like any kind of fruit: mandarin oranges, apples, bananas.

2. Indicates a tentative suggestion: “or something (somewhere, etc.).”

来週の旅行は箱根などどうですか。
Raishū no ryokō wa Hakone nado dō desu ka.
How about some place like Hakone for next week’s trip? / How would Hakone be for the trip next week?

プレゼントを買うなら、真珠のブローチなんかいいんじゃないですか。
Purezento o kau nara, shinju no burōchi nanka ii-n ja nai-n desu ka.
If you’re going to buy a present, wouldn’t something like a pearl brooch be all right? / If you’re going to buy a present, a pearl brooch, or something like that, might be nice.

*3. Expresses humbleness: “such as, the likes of”

など、そんなむずかしい試験にはとても合格できません。
Watashi nado, sonna muzukashii shiken ni wa totemo gōkaku deki-masen.
Someone like me could never pass a difficult examination like that. / There’s no way that I [the likes of me] could pass such a difficult test.

橋本先生のご兄弟と違って、私の兄弟なぞは、頭が悪い者ばかりです。
Hashimoto-sensei no gokyōdai to chigatte, watashi no kyōdai nazo wa, atama ga warui mono bakari desu.
Unlike Professor Hashimoto’s brother and sisters, none of my brothers and sisters, such as they are, is very bright.

*4. Used to emphasize the negative aspect of the situation, especially in a belittling manner: “anyone like, the likes of.”

田中さんなどは、とても社長にはなれない。
Tanaka-san nado wa, totemo shachō ni wa narenai.
There’s no way that anyone like Tanaka [that the likes of Tanaka] could become president of the company.

あの人なんか、選挙に出てもだめですよ。
Ano hito nanka, senkyo ni dete mo dame desu yo.
It’s no use for someone like him to run for election.

*5. Emphasizes the impossibility of the situation: “such, anything like.”

そんな高いものなぞ、いただくわけにはいきません。
Sonna takai mono nazo, itadaku wake ni wa ikimasen.
I could never accept such an expensive thing (gift).

なんか、とても買えない。
le nanka, totemo kaenai.
I could never buy anything like a house.

6. After verbs and adjectives: “something to the effect that.”

山本さんがそのコンサートがとてもよかったなどと言っていましたよ。
Yamamoto-san ga sono konsāto ga totemo yokatta nado to itte imashita yo.
Yamamoto was saying that the concert was quite good [and such things]. / Yamamoto was saying something about the concert being very good.

彼はその仕事を自分がやったなどと言っている。
Kare wa sono shigoto o jibun ga yatta nado to itte iru.
He’s saying such things as it was he that did that work. / He’s saying that he was the one who did that job.

– Source: All about particles – A handbook of Japanese function words

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