Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 5: 1/20


Teens, Twenties, Thirties, 1910s, 20s/30s


Decade of age + だい, Decade + 年代ねんだい


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About ~代

The suffix (だい) is used for several different things. One of the most common uses is for highlighting someone's decade of age. In the same way that English says teens, twenties, and thirties. All that is required is adding (だい) after the age (in tens), in Japanese.
  • 10(だい)(ころ)よく(おこ)られ
    I was scolded often when I was in my teens.
  • (わたし)20(だい)(ころ)沢山(たくさん)旅行(りょこう)ました
    I traveled a lot in my twenties.
  • 六十(ろくじゅう)(だい)(かた)こちら(なら)びください
    People in their sixties, please line up over here.
In addition to someone's decade of age, (だい) can be used to express a chronological decade, such as the 1960's, 70's, or 80's. In these cases, (ねん)(だい) will be used after the decade.
  • 70(ねん)(だい)音楽(おんがく)()です
    I like music from the 70s.
  • 80(ねん)(だい)ファッションかっこい
    Fashion from the 80s is cool.
Fun Fact
(だい) is also regularly seen when marking eras of time, or generations of people within a specific family/political position.
  • 新生(しんせい)(だい)哺乳類時(ほにゅうるいじ)(だい)とも()われています
    The Cenozoic era is also known as the era of mammals.
  • (だい)5(だい)将軍(しょうぐん)徳川綱吉(とくがわつなよし)とても有名(ゆうめい)将軍(しょうぐん)です
    The fifth shogun, Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, is a very famous shogun.


  • 街頭(がいとう)インタビュー、通行人(つうこうにん):「1980(ねん)(だい)ころからここ()んでいます。」

    Street interview, passerby: 'I have been living here since (around) the 1980s.'

    • 証人(しょうにん)警察官(けいさつかん)():「泥棒(どろぼう)30(だい)(なか)だったと思います。」

      A witness speaks to a policeman: 'I think that the thief was in their mid-thirties.'

      半ば is a noun meaning 'middle' or 'halfway'.

      • 新聞記事(しんぶんきじ):「Xさん昭和(しょうわ)50(ねん)(だい)()わりごろ金持(かねも)になった。」

        Newspaper article: 'Mr. X became rich toward the end of the 50s of the Showa era.'

        • 漫画(まんが)ナレーター:「イラめぐみ30(だい)前半(ぜんはん)次長(じちょう)になった。」

          Manga narrator: 'Megumi Ira became vice-director in her early thirties. '

          • 新聞記事(しんぶんきじ):「2010(ねん)(だい)()わりからハイエンドスマホ値段(ねだん)()がり(はじ)めた。」

            Newspaper article: 'High-end smartphone prices started growing since the late 2010s.'

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