Tuesday, August 01, 2006

どうせ

どうせ: In any case; after all; anyway; at all.

This is an adverb that expresses the speaker's feeling that no matter what he/she does, or how he/she does it, the situation will not change.

"... どうせ is used when the speaker has already decided what the outcome will likely be, and has a negative tone. This is one thing that makes どうせ different from 結局."
-Harlequin


(1) どうせ金なんてそのうちなくなるんだよ
After all, the money you now have will be gone soon.

(2) あなたが手伝ってくれないことは分かっている。どうせあなたはそういう人だ。
I know you won't help me. That's the kind of guy you are, after all.

(3) 文句はないよ。どうせ家で掃除しなければならないし。
I'm not complaining. I had to get some cleaning done at home anyway.

(4) どうせやるからには、上手にやるようにしてください。
If do you it at all, try to do it well.

(5) どうせ漢字を勉強するなら、毎日ちゃんと勉強しなさい。
If you are going to study kanji at all, study properly everyday.

(6) どうせ英語を習うなら、熱心に学びなさい。
At any rate, if you learn English, study it enthusiastically.

(7) どうせ行くんだろうね。
Anyway, whatever I say, you are going to go、right.

*Note: I have also seen どうせ used with just a noun:

どうせ男(だ):
He's a man after all.

This is usually said when us guys do something manly (or in the eyes of women, stupid). Could that mean something similar to the sarcastic English comment above? Also, if さすが were to replace どうせ in the above example, wouldn't the nuance be similar?

The answers:

"To me, さすが sounds clearly like praise. どうせ, at least to me, sounds like quite the opposite - either the speaker is giving up on him or demeaning him by his characteristically masculine traits." -Futureal

"No, さすが is generally a positive word, どうせ a negative. However さすが can be used ironically, but the statementsどうせ男だ and さすが男だ (even when used ironically) remain very different in meaning. " -Harlequin

5 comments:

Nick said...

I really enjoy 日本語文型辞典 when I'm trying to wrap my head around these grammar points.

That said, I rarely get the chance to work どうせ in :(

Futureal said...

To me, さすが sounds clearly like praise. どうせ, at least to me, sounds like quite the opposite - either the speaker is giving up on him or demeaning him by his characteristically masculine traits.

(my gf says "exactly" to this)

harlequin said...

My question is this: How is this different from とにかく・ともかく? Is どうせ more emotive?

A: A bit surprised you are even asking this. They really have nothing to do with each other at all. I'm not even sure how to begin answering.

Anyway, どうせ is used when the speaker has already decided what the outcome will likely be, and has a negative tone. This is one thing that makes どうせ different from 結局.

Also, if さすが were to replace どうせ in the above example, wouldn't the nuance be similar?

A: No, さすが is generally a positive word, どうせ a negative. However さすが can be used ironically, but the statements

どうせ男だ
and
さすが男だ (even when used ironically)

remain very different in meaning.

jljzen88 said...

Thanks for all your comments!

Just a quick note:
「どうせ男だ
and
さすが男だ (even when used ironically)

remain very different in meaning.」

Roughly translated, wouldn't it be:

どうせ男だ: He is a man, after all. (implying that all men have aforementioned negative characteristics, etc.)

さすが男だ:Just like a man/Just what I expected from a man. (when used sarcasitcally, this too implies that the speaker thinks all men have the aforementioned negative characteristics)

Am I far off here? They seem similar to me. At least in terms of nuance.

harlequin said...

Not really the same. どうせ is pretty negative, さすが is not so much negative as taking the piss.

For example, a bloke brags about his banging 3 girls in one evening. His friends (a couple for convenience) remark:

さすが男 (from the man)
どうせ男 (from the woman

The woman is clearly not approving of such behaviour, the man on the other hand, is having a laugh. Similar to a degree, but the woman is serious! The woman could also say さすが, but it would be a much more flippant comment if she did.

So yeah, while like you said, they may both mean the speaker thinks men have the same qualities, one is looking down on them, one is making light of them.

Does that help you see the difference?