Without much thought, you might have offered a non-verbal answer, together as giving a thumbs-up or shaking her head in disapproval. You may have even given a one-word answer like “Sure” or “Nah.”

There room several ways to agree and disagree in English. The very same is true in Japanese.

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But if you may be fairly liberal v your tone and word an option in English, it’s not so an easy in Japanese.

When speaking Japanese, you must use the ideal word at the right moment, or else you’ll hazard offending someone.

Choosing the ideal words or actions may show up difficult, especially in a international language. However that’s wherein I’m here to help!

In this post, you will do it learn how to say yes or no in any type of Japanese-speaking situation, even if it is you’re with important colleagues, your closest girlfriend or anyone else.

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Agree come Disagree: just how to to speak Yes and No in Japanese

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Tips and Tricks for Saying No in Japanese

Learning just how to say no is a an essential skill you need in any type of language. In Japanese, it have the right to be a little difficult. There room significant social differences to think about when refusing who or something.

The basic Word for No: いいえ

When learning Japanese, you will do it hear the sound “no” in both Hiragana and Katakana. In Hiragana, it shows up as の and in Katakana as ノ. These characters represent the sound “no” and also shouldn’t it is in mistaken because that disagreement.

The simple word for “No” in Japanese is いいえ. This native is the many straightforward means to to speak no however is hardly ever used since it regularly comes turn off as also blunt.

While over there are many ways come say no in Japanese, saying いいえ is a straightforward term that pipeline out any kind of errors in interpretation.

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

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

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

Saying No in official Settings

There may be times once you need to disagree v someone you respect, favor a teacher or manager. Even if you on trusted terms v a higher-up, it’s still essential in Japanese society to use the appropriate words and also expressions so nobody feels offended. This is even more important in organization situations, as it helps both next save challenge to avoid any embarrassment.

Some polite words and also phrases you can use without coming turn off too strong 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 around it. 結構です。(けっこう です。) — No, give thanks to you.

These phrases can be linked with 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 tiny difficult.

If you’re having actually a drink through co-workers, yet don’t want a refill, friend can likewise say:

大丈夫です。(だいじょうぶ です。) — No, thanks.

While these phrases will aid you in prior of superiors, it’s also important how you to speak them. that course, you never want to yell or cause a scene. Speak the phrase and gently trailing off at the finish will do the phrase sound an ext gentle and also less assertive.

Saying No about Friends and also Family

When around friends and family, you can express yourself more freely without worrying about losing your job. Return いいえ may be also blunt for also the ideal of friends, there are much more informal state to use when disagreeing.

There room a few simple words and phrases you deserve to use to express disagreement v those who recognize you best. A couple of 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 room informal ways to speak no and shouldn’t be offered in polite company.

Utilizing Apologies to decline Offers and also Invitations

There might come a time once you’re invited to an occasion but can’t make it because you have actually other plans. Instead of speak “No” and also embarrassing your friend, you have the right to apologize.

One straightforward phrase the can twin as “No” and also “I’m Sorry” is すみません (I’m sorry). You can integrate すみません with ちょっと for an even softer apology:

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

Refusing by Vaguely speak No

Another inoffensive method to refuse an offer is come repeat the main subject and add 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?) — execute you desire to watch 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 way you to speak ちょっと is an important here. You’ll need to trail turn off at the end of the word ちょっと so it doesn’t sound as well harsh. This will certainly let the listener know you’re refusing while likewise saving them some embarrassment.

Using the Negative form of a Verb come Say No

Another method to say no without speak “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?) — perform you clock TV? テレビを見ません。(てれびを みません。) — I do not watch TV.

This way of saying no isn’t for everyone due to the fact that it’s much more than memorizing a straightforward phrase. Conjugating verbs into their negative forms will take part practice since there room a selection of rules to consider.

Speaking through Actions to Say No

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

Often offered in the workplace, suck or hissing with the teeth or rubbing the earlier of the neck usually method no. Also a long pause and also a sigh have the right to mean no. These aren’t intended to it is in rude gestures, yet rather, space non-verbal methods of disagreeing.

Tips and also Tricks for Saying correctly in Japanese

Similar to saying no in Japanese, over there are many ways to say yes. Correct is less tricky 보다 no, due to the fact that you run less risk that offending someone. However, there room still a couple of phrases that need to be used in casual, quite than formal, settings.

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The simple Word for Yes: はい

One of the first Japanese words friend may have actually learned is はい. This hatchet is the many basic method to speak “Yes” in Japanese.

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

The Japanese language has actually terms that deserve to be taken in a selection of means with various levels that politeness. If she unsure if you have to say はい or another term, it’s ideal to keep it simple.

The native はい can be supplied in any type of context, either v friends or colleagues. So, as soon as in doubt, just use はい.

Saying Yes about Friends and also Family

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

There room multiple indigenous you deserve to use to say yes:

そう — Yeah. うん — Yes. ああ — Yeah.

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

Emphasizing commitment with brief Phrases

If a solitary word isn’t sufficient to express your agreement, there are a selection of paragraph that deserve 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 means No

If discovering the right means to to speak “Yes” and also “No” wasn’t confusing enough, periodically “Yes” have the right to mean “No,” depending on the context.

In this example, the one-word affirmative response can be construed as “Yes, there is soda” or “No, over 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 additional information will 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, there is no soda.

Knowing exactly how to say yes and no are vital parts of discovering Japanese. V this straightforward guide, you’ll be able to know once to nod in agreement or how to politely decrease an azer invitation while staying respectful and also not hurting anyone’s feelings.

While it might seem confusing in ~ first, exercise makes perfect. Yet don’t feeling afraid to usage a simple はい or いいえ when you need to clearly express “Yes” or “No.”

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Lisa Nguyen is one illustrator, comic creator and also freelance writer. She writes about video games, Japanese entertainment, and tokusatsu. Follow she on Twitter

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