Main Page
Beginner's Course

Press this button if you have spotted any mistakes.

Hiragana Lesson 5: な に ぬ ね の

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player


Illustration and voice by Shou Yukiya
Voice by Yukiha Saki
Bookmark and Share

Subscribe to our newsletter now.
Hiragana Romaji Mnemonics


A naive boy putting out his tongue. The right eye is covered by his hair.


Your knee. Or A boy sitting on his knees. Anyone, knee is the keyword.


Noodles. The central part is a pair of chopsticks.


A man catches fish with a net. The lower right corner of this Hiragana looks like a fish. And the other part looks like someone fishing.


A "no entry" sign. But remember, never pronounce it as English 'no'.

All of them are important particles!

Besides being used to "spell" Japanese words, なにぬねの, when used alone, serve as important particles in the Japanese language. (Of course, there are other particles.)

な-It is put after the basic form of a verb to mean "Don't". For example, たべる(taberu, or eat)+たべる (taberuna, or "Don't eat"). This form is to give orders and thus must be used carefully.

に-This extremely important particle can be translated into English "in", "to", "from" or other prepositions, depending on the context.

ぬ-It is put after the negative form of a verb to mean "not...", mainly used in writing.

ね-Used at the end of a sentence to get people's attention, ask for agreement, etc. The Japanese language has a lot of "at-the-end" particles that simply do not exist in English.

の-It means "'s" or "of" as in English "the dog's tail".

Learn your first Japanese verb - しぬ(shinu, or die)

The basic form of all Japanese verbs ends with "u", such as い (iku, or go), はな (hanasu, or speak), あ (au, or meet). And the only verb that ends with ぬ is しぬ. So I want to take this opportunity to introduce it to you.

The onyomi (Chinese style pronunciation of Japanese words) of the number 4 is "shi". Many Asian languages also have similar pronuciations for this number. There is a widespread superstitious fear of the number 4 in Japan, China, Korea and many other Asian countries, as the number 4 is associated with "death" because of their pronunciations, e.g. "shi" vs "shinu".

This is something you must know if you want to spend your life in an Asian culture. For instance, when you are planning to buy an apartment, you must know that the price of the 4th floor (or the 14th, 24th, 34th) is significantly lower than other floors. And you should not have a business phone number with a lot of 4's.

How to write:

hiragana na

hiragana ni

hiragana nu

hiragana ne

hiragana no

The stroke order illustrations are made by D.328, used under CCSA3.0.