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Watashi, Boku, and Ore


I know watashi is used in formal situations, usually at work, by both males and females. I also know that ore is used by males in informal situations. What about boku? As a male, when do you use boku as compared to watashi and ore? Which one is considered the "safe" pronoun?

For learning: Japanese
Base language: Japanese
Category: Language



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    Best Answer - Chosen by the Asker
    For a foreigner who has not yet completely mastered Japanese (and that includes me), watashi is always safe in formal situations but a little "effeminate" in non-formal situations for men.

    "Boku" is the safest, particularly if you are on the "quiet, polite" side, when used among friends until you are about 60 or so. After that, older Japanese men sometimes say "washi" :)

    If you are the "gangster" type or a tough guy, you might get away with using "ore" but that is a pretty tough term to use naturally as a foreigner unless you have the right personality, and the rest of your speech pattern is also tough/macho/a little less than refined to make using "ore" come off as natural to a native Japanese speaker.

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