Kosoado II: These & Those

第25課: Kosoado こそあど II: “These” & “Those”
これら, それら, あれら, Koitsu(ra) こいつ(ら), Soitsu(ra) そいつ(ら), Aitsu(ra) あいつ(ら)

In this lesson, we will learn about the plural forms of the Kosoado こそあど  for “this” and “that” which translate to “these” and “those” respectively in English. In doing so, we will learn more about the suffix –ra ら and about other related こそあど phrases.

The Suffix –ra ら

Although Japanese doesn’t require marking nouns for plurality, it still possesses means of making nouns plural. One such way is by using the suffix –ra ら.

  1. 僕は強い
    Boku wa tsuyoi!
    I am strong!
  2. 僕らは強い!
    Bokura wa tsuyoi!
    We are strong!
  3.  彼らは仲がいい。
    Karera wa naka ga ii.
    They get along.

    4a.  犬たちはボディランゲージで感情を表します。〇
    Inutachi wa bodi rangēji de kanjō  wo arawashimasu.
    4b. 犬らはボディランゲージで感情を表します。X
    Inura wa bodi rangēji de kanjō wo arawashimasu.
    Dogs express their emotions through body language.

The suffix –ra ら does have several restrictions. For instance, it only follows pronouns and generic nouns relating to people. Instead, it attaches itself to the aforementioned こそあど to achieve this purpose, producing korera これら, sorera それら, and arera あれら.

5. これらのカキは北海道産です。
Korera no kaki wa Hokkaidō-san desu.
These oysters are from Hokkaido.

6. それらがすべて美しい。
Sorera ga subete utsukushii.

All of that (of which) is beautiful.

7. 鑑定人があれらを評価した。
Kanteinin ga arera wo hyōka shita.
The judge evaluated those.

8a. これらのカキはどれも美味しいはずだよ。△
Korera no kaki wa dore mo oishii hazu da yo.
8b. このカキはどれも美味しいはずだよ。〇
Kono kaki wa dore mo oishii hazu da yo.
8c.このカキはどれらも美味しいはずだよ。X
Kono kaki wa dorera mo oishii hazu da yo.
Any of these oysters ought to be delicious.

Curriculum NoteDoreどれ means “which,” but we will learn more about it once we learn about questions words.

9a. 「このリンゴを下ください。」「おいくつご入り用でしょうか。」◎
“Kono ringo wo kudasai.” “O-ikutsu go-iriyō deshō ka?” 
「これらのリンゴを下ください。」「おいくつご入り用でしょうか。」△
9b. “Korera no ringo wo kudasai.” “O-ikutsu go-iriyō deshō ka?” 
“Please give me these apples.” “How many is it that you need?”

10a. このリンゴは青くて値段が高い。◎
Kono ringo wa aokute nedan ga takai.
10b. これらのリンゴは青くて値段が高い。〇・△
Korera no ringo wa aokute nedan ga takai. 
These apples are green and pricey.

Sentence Note: If the speaker is holding just one apple, then Ex. 10a could be understood as being singular. In general conversation, kore/kono これ・この,  sore/sono それ・その, and are/ano あれ・あの suffice for both the singular and plural sense because they refer collectively to things. 

Plural こそあど for Things

When talking about things, これ, それ, and あれ dominate regardless of whether there is one or more items being discussed. This is because in the Japanese mind, collective generalizations apply to everything that is present, and if differences are made important, those details are usually individually discussed in a greater context. 

Even so, plurality can and does get marked on occasion. So, the first thing to do is look at the word forms that apply to things

 こ-Series そ-Series あ-Series
StandardKorera これら Sorera それら Arera あれら △
Casual/Vulgar Koitsura こいつら Soitsura そいつら Aitsura あいつら

Next, let’s see how each of these words are used to figure out why speakers use them on occasion.

これら & それら: Individuality

The ways in which これら and それら are used are parallel to one another. When either is used, the individuality of the constituents being referenced are highlighted as opposed to grouping them altogether. 

11. 仕事やお金やコロナに対する不安とか多くてこれらのことで頭がいっぱいになっている。
Shigoto ya okane ya korona ni tai-suru fuan to ōkute korera no koto de atama ga ippai ni natte iru.
Whether it be anxiety over my job, money, COVID, or what, I’ve been having a lot of worries, and these are all I’ve been thinking about.  

12. 陽子さんは雌犬を飼いだした。その数も3匹で、【これら・これ】がやがて子犬を産んだ。
Yōko-san wa mesuinu wo kaidashita. Sono kazu mo sambiki de [korera/kore] ga yagate koinu wo unda. 
Yōko-san started to raise female dogs. There were three in total, and these (dogs) eventually gave birth to puppies. 

13. 鎌倉時代に生まれたもう一方の仏教の流れは、法然・親鸞の教えとは対照的なものであった。それは「禅」である。念仏を唱えれば、阿弥陀仏によって救われるという思想に対し、「禅」は座禅などの修行によって自らを救済するという教えである。これもまた、古い仏教界からは弾圧されたが、禅の厳しい鎌倉武士に受け入れられて、全国に広まった。さらに鎌倉時代には、日本独自の神道理論が形成された。伊勢神道が生まれたのもこの頃である。これらを見ると、後の日本人の宗教観、死生観の多くが鎌倉時代に形成されたと考えることができる。
Kamakura Jidai ni umareta mō ippō no bukkyō no nagare wa, Hōnen/Shinran no oshie to wa taishōteki-na mono de-atta. Sore wa “zen” de-aru. Nembutsu wo tonaereba, Amidabutsu ni yotte sukuwareru to iu shisō ni tai-shi, “Zen” wa zazen nado no shugyō ni yotte mizukara wo kyūsai-suru to iu oshie de-aru. Kore mo mata, furui bukkyōkai kara wa dan’atsu-sareta ga, Zen no kibishii Kamakura bushi ni ukeirerarete, zenkoku ni hiromatta. Sara-ni Kamakura Jidai ni wa, Nihon dokuji no Shintō riron ga keisei-sareta. Ise Shintō ga umareta no mo kono koro de-aru. Korera wo miru to, ato no Nihonjin no shūkyōkan, shiseikan no ōku ga Kamakura Jidai ni keisei-sareta to kangaeru koto ga dekiru.
There was another school of Buddhism that was born in the Kamakura Period, which was contradictory to the teachings of Hōnen and Shinran, that being “Zen.” Contrasting with being saved by chanting Amitabha, the teaching of “Zen” allows saving oneself through discipline such as cross-legged meditation. This was also suppressed by the old Buddhist establishment, but it spread across the country by being accepted by Kamakura samurai who were strict on Zen. What’s more, it is in the Kamakura Period when Japan’s unique Shinto ideology formed and also the time period when Ise Shintoism was born. Upon viewing these things, one can conclude that most of the religious views and views on life and death that later Japanese people have were formed in the Kamakura Period.

From 日本国紀 by 百田尚樹.

14. 怪物の太い触手が四方から襲来するが、竜の放った火球がそれらを撃退する。
Kaibutsu no futoi shokushu ga shihō kara shūrai-suru ga, ryū no hanatta kakyū ga sorera wo gekitai-suru.
The monster’s thick tentacles charge from all directions, but the dragon’s fireballs repel each of them. 

15. ほかのアプリケーション画面を開いている場合、それらをすべて閉じてください。
Hoka no apurikēshon gamen wo hiraite iru ba’ai, sorera wo subete tojite kudasai.
In the case you have other application screens open, please close all of them.

16. アメリカ、フランス、ドイツ、これらの国々では大麻は違法ですか。
Amerika, Furansu, Doitsu, korera no kuniguni de wa taima wa ihō desu ka?
In America, France, Germany, and all these countries, is marijuana illegal?

16. トランプ大統領は、テロ対策強化の一環であることを強調していますが、なぜこれらの7か国が対象となったのか、具体的な根拠は示していません。
Torampu-daitōryō wa, tero taisaku kyōka no ikkan de aru koto wo kyōchō shite imasu ga, naze korera no nanakakoku ga taishō to natta no ka, gutaiteki na konkyo wa shimeshite imasen.
President Trump emphasizes that it is linked to strengthening measures against terrorism, but he hasn’t provided concrete evidence as to why these seven countries became targeted.

17. これらの緊急情報は、はじめに「ミサイル発射情報」が伝えられ、ミサイルが日本の領土・領海に落下する可能性があると判断された場合、「屋内避難の呼びかけ」という情報が流れることになっています。
Korera no kinkyū jōhō wa, hajime ni “misairu hassha jōhō” ga tsutaerare, misairu ga Nihon no ryōdo/ryōkai ni rakka suru kanōsei ga aru to handan sareta ba’ai, “okunai hinan no yobikake” to iu jōhō ga nagareru koto ni natte imasu.
As for these (means of) emergency information, at first “missile launch information” will be transmitted, and in the event that it’s concluded there exists the possibility a missile could come down on Japanese territory/waters, information calling for “indoor evacuation” will play.

18. 名前も過去も履歴も、それらすべてを手放した。
Namae mo kako mo rireki mo, sorera subete wo tebanashita.
My name, my past, my background, I let go of all those things.

Phrase NoteKorera これら and sorera  それら are frequently followed by subete すべて. In this situation, you can’t drop the /ra/.

19. 決まりに疑問があれば、それも改正提案を申請できる。
Kimari ni gimon ga areba, sore mo kaisei teian wo shinsei dekiru.
If you have any questions about the rules, you can submit them in a reform proposal.

Sentence NoteSore それ is used because there is no context that implies individuality to potential problems with the rule(s) in question.

20. 町も、海も、空も、山も、満月も、季節も、電車も、公園も、遊園地も、動物も、スーパーマーケットも、おもちゃ屋も、私はこの子からそれらをすべて奪ってきたんだ。
Machi mo, umi mo, sora mo, yama mo, mangetsu mo, kisetsu mo, densha mo, kōen mo, yūnchi mo, sūpāmāketto mo, omochaya mo, watashi wa kono ko kara sorera wo subete ubatte kita n da.
Towns, the sea, the sky, mountains, the full moon, the seasons, trains, parks, amusement parks, animals, supermarkets, toy stores, I’ve stolen all those things from this child.

21. 将来のこととか不安が多いよ。これらのことで頭が一杯で、恋愛について考える余裕は無い。
Shōrai no koto toka fuan ga ōi yo. Korera no koto de atama ga ippai de, ren’ai ni tsuite kangaeru yoyū wa nai.
I have a lot of anxiety about the future and all. My mind has been full of these things, and I don’t have time to think about love.

22. この机にたくさんの鉛筆があるけど、これらの中から一つだけ持っていっていいよ。
Kono tsukue ni takusan no empitsu ga aru kedo, korera no naka kara hitotsu dake motte itte ii yo.
There are many pencils in this desk, but it is okay for you to take only one out of these with you.

Sentence Note: This first kono この can’t be interpreted in the plural sense in context. Although korera no naka これらの中 could be rewritten by using kono この instead, the individuality of the pencils the listener could choose from would not be emphasized.

23. これらの5人のうち、サッカー世界選手権で一位となった人は誰でしょう。
Korera no gonin no uchi, sakkā sekai senshuken de ichii to natta hito wa dare deshō.
Of these five individuals, who will become number one in the soccer championship?

24. トランクが五つあって、それらはさらに大きなカバンに詰められて一つになった。
Toranku ga itsutsu atte, sorera wa sara ni ōkina kaban ni tsumerarete hitotsu ni natta.
There were five trunks, and these trunks become one by being crammed into a much larger briefcase.

25. 身体の欠損が見られる闘志はざらで、 改造を施された者も多くいる。 互いのトラウマに触れないよう、 それらは禁忌のように扱われた。
Karada no kesson ga mirareru tōshi wa zara-de, kaizō wo hodokosareta mono mo ōku iru. Tagai-no torauma ni furenai yō, sorera wa kinki no yō-ni atsukawareta.
It is commonplace for gladiators to have body parts missing, and there are also many who have been re-engineered. It had become taboo for them to speak of these things so as not to touch on each other’s traumatic experiences.

これら and それら are most naturally used when the referents are specifically mentioned in context, and even if they aren’t, they are still visually obvious. Overall, you will see それら more frequently as it is more common for people to talk about abstract concepts or things only experienced by one side of a discussion.

The Use of あれら

Although it is not fair to say that あれら is always unnatural, it is indicative of translated Japanese from other languages, notably English, in which capturing the meaning of “those (over there)” may be more pertinent. 

Unlike これら and それら, あれら doesn’t particularly point out the individuality of its referents. This is possibly due to it being far more unlikely that two people (or more) – the speaker and the listener(s) – are specifically aware of more than one interrelated thing, and the recognition of that shared understanding may be even harder to come by. If there is such common ground, あれ already suffices.

Nonetheless, examples of あれら can still be found if mutual recognition between the speaker and listener(s) can be met. Also, because あれら is used in translated works, that does mean that a native speaker had to think it was appropriate to use it. In one’s own storytelling, though, it is much easier to have everyone on the same page because everyone’s thoughts are controlled by the writer.

26.  中華やタイ料理をはじめとするエスニック料理のことですね。【 あれらの・あの】料理で喉が渇くのは、化学調味料が過剰に使われているせいです。
Chūka ya tai ryōri wo hajime to suru esunikku ryōri no koto desu ne. [Arera no/ano] ryōri de nodo ga kawaku no wa, kagaku chōmiryō ga kajō-ni tsukawarete iru sei desu.
You’re talking about ethnic foods including Chinese and Thai cuisine, right? Why those cuisines make your throat dry is because of how chemical flavorings are used excessively.

27a. あれらも果物ではない。△
Arera mo kudamono de-wa-nai
27b. あれも果物ではない。◎
Are mo kudamono de-wa-nai.
Those aren’t fruits either.

28. {あちら ◎・あれら △}の山は高いですね。
[Achira/arera] no yama wa takai desu ne.
The mountain(s) over there are tall.

Sentence Note: As arera あれら doesn’t really exist outside translated works, achira あちら would be far more natural in Ex. 28. 

Crude Forms of これ, それ, あれ & Their Plural Forms:
こいつ,(ら), そいつ(ら), & あいつ(ら)

In earlier forms of Japanese, これ, それ, and あれ could be used as personal pronouns just as often as they referred to physical things. Their use in this way is not so common anymore, but the ability to refer to people lives on in their casual forms as seen in the chart below. 

Singular (単数形)Plural (複数形) 
Koitsu こいつ (this thing/this guy) Koitsura こいつら (these guys)
 Soitsu そいつ (that thing/that guy) Soitsura そいつら (those guys)
 Aitsu あいつ (that thing/that guy) Aitsura あいつら (those guys)

These crude/vulgar forms come from the word yatsu 奴, which in its literal meaning refers to people in a crude manner but can also casually refer to both physical and abstract things, contracting with こそあど to  refer to either people or things, but they are still very casual in nature, and if used angrily, your tone is certainly matched by using them.

29. なんて奴だ。
Nante yatsu da!
What a guy! (Sarcastic)

30. こいつはまずい。
Koitsu wa mazui.
This ain’t good.

31. なんてことはないんだ、あいつらはバカだから。
Nante koto wa nai n da. Aitsura wa baka da kara. 
It’s nothing ’cause they’re a bunch of idiots. 

32. あいつを取ってくれ。
Aitsu wo totte kure.
Take that over there.

33. そいつが悪いんだろう?
Soitsu ga warui n darō?
Isn’t that guy the one at fault?

34. そいつはありがたい。
Soitsu wa arigatai.
I appreciate that. 

35. こいつらはお前たちの敵う相手じゃない!
Koitsura wa omaetachi no kanau aite ja nai!
You guys are no matches for the likes of them!