~ようかなー (Bonus Unit D)

We already saw that the plain volitional form can be used when saying "let's VERB," as in this sentence:

全部食べよう! 
ぜんぶ たべよう!
Let's eat all of it!
Literally: "everything / all + let's eat!"



And we saw how it can also be used to talk about one's own decision to do something, as in this (identical) sentence (in a different context):

全部食べよう!
ぜんぶ たべよう!
I'm gonna eat all of it!
Literally: "everything / all + let's eat!"



When we add かな to the end of our volitional verb phrase, it gives it the nuance that the speaker has not fully decided whether or not to do the action in question.

全部食べようかな。
ぜんぶ たべよう かな。
Hmm… maybe I'll eat all of it…
Literally: "all / everything + let's eat + かな."



We can also elongate the final な sound of かな, writing it かなー (=ka naa). This has a stronger nuance of the speaker being undecided than with just かな.

For example, maybe all of your friends are talking about their upcoming trip to Osaka. You said that you couldn't join because you had work, but it sounds so fun that you're starting to consider going anyway. You might think to yourself or say…

行こうかなー。
いこう かなー。
Hmm… maybe I'll go…
Literally: "let's go + かなー."



I said "think to yourself or say" above because ~ようかなー can actually be used in either case. Even when it is said out loud, the nuance is that you are speaking to yourself — making it known that you're considering doing something — and others are free to chime in if they wish.

But we'll talk about nuances and whatnot more in future lessons. For now, let's just practice our conjugations:






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