Grammar Info

N5 Lesson 3: 5/13

でしょう

Right?, Probably, Isn't it?

Structure

Tentative
Noun + でしょう
Verb + でしょう
Adjective + でしょう

Details

  • Part of Speech

    Auxiliary Verb

  • Word Type

    Dependent Word

  • Register

    Polite

  • 品詞

    助動詞

  • 単語の種類

    付属語

  • 使用域

    敬語

About でしょう

でしょう is a conjugated form of です, and can also be seen in the contracted form でしょ (more casual). でしょう is regularly translated to 'right?', or 'probably' in English. In a broader sense it just expresses an assertion about something (like です), that the speaker assumes the listener would probably agree with.
  • イタリア()かったでしょう
    Italy was nice, right? (Has the nuance of 'I bet!)
  • 今日(きょう)(ひる)ごはんハンバーガーでしょう
    Today's lunch is probably hamburgers, right?
In the above, we can see that, in both examples, the speaker is looking for confirmation that/affirming that the listener agrees with them.
As でしょう is a conjugation of です (the polite form of だ), it usually follows the plain form of words, rather than words using ~ます. However, in very formal situations, or older literature ~ますでしょう may be seen.
  • (かれ)(おど)でしょう
    He will probably dance too.
  • (かれ)(おど)ますでしょう
    He will probably dance too.
Caution
Despite sounding relatively low confidence, using でしょう implies that the speaker has some form of information that makes them believe that the (A) statement is true.

Examples

  • これあなた(ほん)でしょう

    This is your book, right?

  • いいでしょう

    It is probably good.

  • 今日(きょう)(あめ)でしょう

    It will probably rain today.

  • 明日(あした)(あめ)でしょう

    It will also probably rain tomorrow.

  • 明日(あした)(さむ)でしょう

    It will probably be cold tomorrow.

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でしょう – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (12 in total)

  • lohran

    lohran

    About 10 months ago

    I’m not sure of the difference between でしょう and ですね.
    Aren’t they both used for making a statement that the listener will likely agree with (esp. if the former is pronounced with a falling tone)?

  • FredKore

    FredKore

    About 9 months ago

    Here’s an exaggerated example to make a point…

    It’s noontime. It’s 110degF outside. You’re sweating buckets. You turn to a stranger and say…
    きょうは暑いですね!! – It’s [really] hot today, isn’t it?? (I know I’m hot. I’m telling you how I feel, and I’m getting confirmation about how you feel.)

    You look at another stranger who’s wearing a ski parka and say…
    あなたは暑いでしょう!! – Aren’t you hot?? lit. You must be hot!! / You’re probably hot!! (If I were in your shoes, I’d be hot, but I’m not you so I don’t know 100% for sure. I’m getting confirmation about how you feel.)

    ですね is for a statement that you’re sure of for yourself and probably for others as well.
    でしょう is for a statement you can’t be 100% sure (because it’s about someone else, the future, etc)

  • lohran

    lohran

    About 3 months ago

    I meant to thank you for this explanation way back - it was really helpful - so thank you!!

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