Question about "ね"

Hello all, just a quick question.

I was studying “ね” and on the page for it, there was a note that said “ね is much weaker than でしょう or だろう, and is sometimes said purely out of habit, without much nuance of ‘right’ at all.”

When people say ね out of habit and with not much meaning to it, is this similar to how we say “like” in English out of habit? For example, one might say “Because it’s, like, really hard to drive in that kind of weather.” Or is there more of a meaning to ね than just an English speaker throwing “like” into their sentence as a filler word for when their thinking of what to say next?

Just something I was curious about since I’ve heard ね be used in different contexts.

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You’ll hear it for a lot (much like さ) and it sometimes form a phrase (あのね / あのさ) and sometimes by itself as a filler word. I hear さ more often than ね but it also might be my part of the country. (さ、昨日さ、映画館でトムさんと会ったさ…)

It can also be a casual conversation starter to get somebody’s attention. (ね、忙しくない?)

I’m 99% sure it’s also a way to just make a sentence seem “softer” as well. I’ve found myself using it that way at times to make sure my friends know I’m not being demanding and I’m just giving directions to help finish a task or just teach something.

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You are correct, it is very similar to ‘like’ when used as a sentence filler, in that it doesn’t really have a meaning sometimes. However, the ‘habitual’ use of ね tends to appear more often at the end of sentences, while the habitual use of さ, as @Devenu mentioned, tends to appear more over the course of sentences.

When appearing ‘within’ a sentence, rather than at the end, I usually feel like ね is drawing the listeners attention to something purposely, while さ is much closer to ‘like’ in English.

For example at the beginning of a sentence:
昨日さ = I am about to talk about yesterday, and I want you to listen.
昨日ね = I am about to talk about yesterday, the same yesterday that we both experienced.

There’s just more of a feeling of connecting the listener with what you’re saying with ね.

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Thanks, this is definitely helpful :slight_smile:

Thank you, I’ll remember this!