Grammar

【Japanese Vocabulary】difference between お姉ちゃん (oneechan) and お姉さん (oneesan)

Grammar
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さん and ちゃん

おねえさん and おねえちゃん both mean ‘older sister’. The main difference is おねえさん sounds more formal than おねえちゃん.

せんせい
せんせい

さん sounds more polite than ちゃん.

お姉さん (o ne e sa n)

Meaning: older sister
  • お姉さん is a pretty formal word so people do not usually use it in their family.
  • Some people use お姉さん in their family if they have strict parents.
  • You should use お姉さん when you refer to somebody else’s older sister.

お姉ちゃん (o ne e cha n)

Meaning: older sister
  • おねえちゃん is often used when you call your own older sister as you don’t have to be polite or formal in your own family.

お兄さん and お兄ちゃん

The rule is applies to お兄さん (oniisan) and お兄ちゃん (oniichan) which mean ‘older brother’.

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