Without much thought, you may have given a non-verbal answer, such as providing a thumbs-up or shaking your head in disapproval. You may have also given a one-word answer choose “Sure” or “Nah.”

There room several means to agree and also disagree in English. The exact same is true in Japanese.

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But if you might be fairly liberal with your tone and word choice in English, it’s not so simple in Japanese.

When speak Japanese, you must use the appropriate word in ~ the right moment, or rather you’ll hazard offending someone.

Choosing the right words or plot may show up difficult, especially in a foreign language. But that’s where I’m below to help!

In this post, you will do it learn just how to speak yes or no in any Japanese-speaking situation, whether you’re with necessary colleagues, her closest friend or anyone else.

Download: This blog article is easily accessible as a convenient and portable PDF that youcan take anywhere. Click below to acquire a copy. (Download)

Agree come Disagree: how to to speak Yes and No in Japanese
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Tips and also Tricks because that Saying No in Japanese

Learning how to to speak no is a vital skill you need in any language. In Japanese, it can be a little difficult. There space significant social differences to take into consideration when refusing who or something.

The simple Word for No: いいえ

When finding out Japanese, you’ll hear the sound “no” in both Hiragana and Katakana. In Hiragana, it appears as の and in Katakana together ノ. These personalities represent the sound “no” and also shouldn’t it is in mistaken for disagreement.

The simple word for “No” in Japanese is いいえ. This indigenous is the most straightforward means to to speak no yet is hardly ever used due to the fact that it often comes turn off as also blunt.

While there are many ways to say no in Japanese, speak いいえ is a straightforward term that pipeline out any errors in interpretation.

Why You must Say No Without in reality Saying “No”

While there’s a simple way to speak “No,” it’s additionally a large “no-no.”

Politeness and respect room important facets of Japanese culture. Bluntly telling your ceo “No” once you can’t make time because that a job is viewed as highly disrespectful and offensive. Instead, it’s far better to apologize or state the it’d be difficult, instead of speak “No.”

Saying No in official Settings

There may be times when you need to disagree through someone girlfriend respect, choose a teacher or manager. Even if you on friendly terms through a higher-up, that still necessary in Japanese culture to usage the right words and also expressions so no one feels offended. This is even an ext important in service situations, as it helps both next save confront to avoid any kind of embarrassment.

Some polite words and phrases you can use there is no coming off too solid include:

難しいです。(むずかしい です。) — the difficult. 考えておきます。(かんがえて おきます。) — I’ll think about it. 結構です。(けっこう です。) — No, thank you.

These phrases have the right to be combined with various other terms to sound more formal:

ちょっと難しいです。(ちょっと むずかしい です。) — That’s a small difficult.

If you’re having actually a drink with co-workers, however don’t want a refill, you can additionally say:

大丈夫です。(だいじょうぶ です。) — No, thanks.

While this phrases will help you in front of superiors, it’s likewise important just how you say them. that course, you never want come yell or cause a scene. Speak the phrase and also gently rolling off in ~ the finish will make the phrase sound more gentle and also less assertive.

Saying No about Friends and Family

When around friends and also family, you have the right to express yourself an ext freely without worrying about losing your job. Although いいえ may be also blunt for also the best of friends, there are an ext informal terms to use when disagreeing.

There room a couple of simple words and phrases you have the right to use to express disagreement through those who recognize you best. A few terms include:

ううん — No. いや — No! だめ — No good! 違う (ちがう) — That’s wrong. ちょっと… — Well… / That’s a little…

These space informal ways to speak no and shouldn’t be supplied in polite company.

Utilizing Apologies to decrease Offers and also Invitations

There might come a time once you’re invited to an event but can’t make it due to the fact that you have other plans. Instead of speak “No” and embarrassing her friend, you deserve to apologize.

One an easy phrase the can twin as “No” and “I’m Sorry” is すみません (I’m sorry). Friend can combine すみません v ちょっと because that an even softer apology:

すみませんが、ちょっと… — i’m sorry, yet that’s a little…

Refusing through Vaguely speak No

Another inoffensive way to refuse an offer is to repeat the main subject and include ちょっと:

仮面ライダーを見ませんか? (かめんらいだーを みませんか?) — do you desire to clock Kamen Rider? 仮面ライダーはちょっと… (かめんらいだーは ちょっと…) — Kamen Rider? Well…

The method you say ちょっと is an important here. You’ll have to trail turn off at the end of the word ちょっと so it doesn’t sound too harsh. This will let the listener know you’re refusing while additionally saving them part embarrassment.

Using the Negative type of a Verb come Say No

Another way to speak no without saying “No” is by making use of the negative type of a verb.

テレビを見ますか? (てれびを みますか?) — do you clock TV? テレビを見ません。(てれびを みません。) — I perform not clock TV.

This means of saying no isn’t because that everyone because it’s an ext than memorizing a basic phrase. Conjugating verbs right into their an unfavorable forms will certainly take part practice because there room a variety of rules to consider.

Speaking through Actions to Say No

In casual settings, a gesture might be all you need to say no. Crossing your arms into an “X” is one example.

Often offered in the workplace, suck or hissing through the teeth or rubbing the earlier of the neck usually method no. Also a long pause and also a sigh can mean no. These aren’t supposed to it is in rude gestures, but rather, are non-verbal means of disagreeing.

Tips and also Tricks because that Saying correct in Japanese

Similar to saying no in Japanese, over there are plenty of ways to say yes. Correct is less tricky than no, because you run much less risk of offending someone. However, there room still a couple of phrases that have to be provided in casual, quite than formal, settings.

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The an easy Word because that Yes: はい

One of the first Japanese words you may have learned is はい. This term is the many basic way to to speak “Yes” in Japanese.

Other times, はい doesn’t translate to a an easy “Yes.” In many cases, はい is offered as a confirmation, prefer saying “Correct.” This will count on the context of the situation.

The Japanese language has terms that deserve to be construed in a range of ways with assorted levels the politeness. If you’re unsure if you must say はい or another term, it’s finest to store it simple.

The indigenous はい can be used in any kind of context, either with friends or colleagues. So, when in doubt, simply use はい.

Saying Yes about Friends and Family

While you can use はい with anyone and also still sound polite, you deserve to relax around friends and also family.

There space multiple words you have the right to use come say yes:

そう — Yeah. うん — Yes. ああ — Yeah.

One term to watch out for is ええ. Although ええ means yes, it’s used much more by ladies than through men.

Emphasizing agreement with brief Phrases

If a single word isn’t sufficient to express your agreement, there space a variety of paragraph that have the right to be supplied to express agreement in Japanese.

そうです。— That’s right. うん、もちろんです。— Yes, the course. いいですよ。— Okay.

When Yes method No

If learning the right methods to to speak “Yes” and “No” no confusing enough, periodically “Yes” deserve to mean “No,” relying on the context.

In this example, the one-word affirmative solution can be understood as “Yes, there is soda” or “No, there is no soda.”

ソーダがありませんか?— Isn’t there any type of soda? はい。— Yes.

Adding extr information will certainly make her answer clearer:

はい、ソーダがあります。— Yes, over there is soda. いいえ、ソーダがありません。— No, over there is no soda.

Knowing how to say yes and no are necessary parts of finding out Japanese. With this basic guide, you’ll be able to know once to nod in covenant or just how to politely decrease an aer invitation while remaining respectful and not hurting anyone’s feelings.

While it might seem confusing at first, exercise makes perfect. Yet don’t feel afraid to usage a straightforward はい or いいえ when you need to plainly express “Yes” or “No.”


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Lisa Nguyen is an illustrator, comic creator and also freelance writer. She writes about video clip games, Japanese entertainment, and also tokusatsu. Follow her on Twitter
siroria.

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