とっくに vs. とうに: Which is A More Natural Japanese?

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とっくに vs. とうに: Which is a more natural Japanese?

What is the difference between “とっくに and とうに”? Which is a more natural Japanese? After reading this, you would be answering this question. Let me introduce what their subtle differences are and how you correctly use them such as native speakers today!




[wp-svg-icons icon=”checkmark-circle” wrap=”i”] とっくに(tokkuni) / とうに(touni)

[wp-svg-icons icon=”arrow-right-2″ wrap=”span”] A long time ago, Already / 早就, 早就 / 벌써, 훨씬 전에 / Lâu rồi, Đã…rồi

Both “とっくに(tokkuni) and とうに” mean “A long time ago or Already” and which has been used for the meaning of “far in the past, not at all recently and before the present time”. Although “とっくに” and “とうに” are the same meaning, “とっくに” is a spoken word and “とうに” is a writing word. So, basically “とうに” isn’t used in daily conversations and business situations as a spoken word. The basic way to use it is “AはとっくにB。/とっくにAはB。(A ___ B a long time ago.) or(A already B)”, etc. For instance, “とっくに映画えいがわってる。(The movie finished a long time ago.)”, “わたしはとっくに手紙てがみっている。(I have already received the letter.)”, etc. The tips for using them are that “とっくに” is used as “A SPOKEN WORD” and “とうに” is used as “A WRITING WORD”. Everybody could use “とっくに” in daily conversations as casual such as “とっくに映画えいがわってるよ。(The movie finished a long time ago.)”. “とっくに” is used as casual, so if you would like to use it as formal, you might want to use “すでに(already)” instead of “とっくに”.

Example
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あれ?ミクは? (Oh, where’s Miku?) (咦?未来呢?) (어? 미쿠는?) (Ơ? Miku đâu?)
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とっくにかえってるよ。 (She came home a long time ago.) (早就回去了。) (진작 돌아갔어.) (Đã về từ lâu rồi!)
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Beginner

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モテてたらとっくに彼女かのじょいるよ。わら (If I were popular with girls, I’d already had a girlfriend. haha.) (如果我受欢迎早就有女朋友了。哈哈) (인기가 있었으면 진작 여자친구가 있었겠지. 하하.) (Nếu có nhiều người thích thì tớ đã có bạn gái lâu rồi! Haha)
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このくすりくなら、とっくにせてるよ。くさ (If this medicine works, I would’ve lost weight a long time ago. hehe) (如果这药有效果的话,我早就瘦下来了喔。哈哈) (이 약이 효과가 있었다면 진작에 살이 빠졌을거야. 하하.) (Nếu mà thuốc này có tác dụng thì tớ đã giảm cân lâu rồi. Haha)
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って!まないで!その牛乳ぎゅうにゅうとっくに賞味期限しょうみきげんぎてるよ。 (Wait! Stop drinking it! The milk is long past its best before date.) (等一下!别喝!那个牛奶早就过期了。) (잠깐! 마시지 마! 그 우유, 진작에 유통기한 지났었어.) (Đợi đã! Đừng uống! Sữa đó quá hạn từ lâu rồi đấy.)
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ねえ、きて!とっくに映画終えいがおわってるよ。 (Hey, wake up! The movie finished a long time ago.) (喂,快起来!电影早就完了喔。) (야, 일어나! 한참 전에 영화 끝났었어.) (Này, dậy đi! Phim hết lâu rồi đấy!)
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レイはとうに手紙てがみっているよ。 (Rei has already received the letter.) (雷早就收到信了。) (레이는 훨씬 전에 편지를 받았었어.) (Ray đã nhận được một lá thư viết tay đấy.)
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