The small ‘tsu’ in Japanese

The small ‘tsu’ or short silent pause indicates that the following consonants will be doubled. The size of the ‘tsu’ is much smaller than the normal ‘tsu’. Sometimes small ‘tsu’ is used at the end of a sentence to indicate anger, sense of abruptness or surprise.


Hiragana small ‘tsu’:

Katakana small ‘tsu’:

Let’s compare the normal ‘tsu’ to a small ‘tsu’:










           (gakkou) à School

           (kippu) à Ticket

           ください (tattekudasai)à Please stand up

           (massugu) à Straight

           (yottsu) à Four


           (baggu) à Bag

           (hottodoggu) à Hotdog

           クラシ (kurashikku) à Classic

           (kicchin) à Kitchen

           クローゼ (kuro-zetto) à Closet

That's all for today. Practice sheets will be coming soon. 

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Latest Update March 29, 2024