Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 4: 19/21

さ (Filler)

Like, You know, You see, Listen, Uhh


Phrase (A) + さぁ(1) + Phrase (B)

(1) さあ、さー、さ


  • Register


  • 使用域


About さ - Filler

is a 感動詞(かんどうし) (interjection) in Japanese that has three primary uses. These are as follows:
(さそ)い、(うなが)し - To invite, incite, or draw attention to something.
(おどろ)き、当惑(とうわく)し - The express surprise, confusion, or bewilderment.
(はなし)(なが)(おさ)える - To control or keep in check the flow of a conversation.
In this lesson, we will be focusing on the second meaning (to express surprise, confusion, or bewilderment). In English, this is used in a very similar way to 'like', 'you know', 'uhh', and other short phrases that are employed when a speaker is searching for the right thing to say, and is filling the silence. This may be used in any position within a sentence, simply to create thinking time.
  • あの(わたし)さあこの(まえ)さあ、お(かね)()したじゃん?あれさあ(かえ)てくれない
    Hey, um… I, uhh, lent you, like, money before, right? You know… can you give that back to me?
  • ね~()いてよ。彼女(かのじょ)(きゅう)(わか)れたいっていって()んだけどどうすればいい
    Heyyy, listen to this. You know my girlfriend? She suddenly came to me saying that she wants to break up with me, what should I do.
The 'confusion' that this expresses is not necessarily a bad thing, and is used by many people to simply express that they have not finished talking yet.
  • 来週(らいしゅう)箱根(はこね)()んだけどどこか美味(おい)しいところ()らない
    I am going to Hakone next week, soooo… Do you know any good restaurants?
  • 夜中(よなか)(きゅう)(むすめ)から電話(でんわ)()さあ...本当(ほんとう)ビックリしたよ。
    You know, my daughter suddenly called me in the middle of the night, and… I was really worried.


  • 内緒(ないしょ)だけど(かれ)(たから)くじに()たったんだ。」

    'Between us, you see, he won the lottery.'

    • A:「(わたし)さぁ明日(あした)から5連休(れんきゅう)なんだ!」

      A: 'I have, you see, a 5 day weekend starting from tomorrow.'
      B: 'Lucky!'

      • 上司(じょうし)部下(ぶか)仕事(しごと)進捗(しんちょく)():「あのこの(まえ)(ねが)した資料(しりょう)だけど、進捗(しんちょく)どう?」

        Superior asking a subordinate about work progress: 'Listen, is there any progress with the documents I requested earlier?'

        • 今朝(けさ)さあ(かあ)さん(おこ)られた。」

          'I got scolded by mom in the morning, you know.'

          • 友達との会話:「あの(おれ)彼女(かのじょ)ができたんだ!」

            Chat between friends: 'Listen, I got myself a girlfriend!'

            • Get more example sentences!

              Premium users get access to 12 example sentences on all Grammar Points.

            Self-Study Sentences

            Study your own way!

            Add sentences and study them alongside Bunpro sentences.

            • Online

            • Offline

              • Tobira

                Page 284

              • Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Guide

                Page 202

            • Track Resources!

              Bunpro tracks all of the resources you’ve visited, and offers relevant bookmarks of physical books to help with offline tracking.

            さ - Filler – Grammar Discussion

              There's currently no discussion for さ - Filler
              Ask questions and learn together with other Bunpro users!