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

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

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But if you might be rather liberal through your tone and word selection in English, it’s no so simple in Japanese.

When speaking Japanese, you need to use the ideal word in ~ the ideal moment, or else you’ll risk offending someone.

Choosing the best words or action may appear difficult, specifically in a international language. However that’s where I’m here to help!

In this post, you’ll learn exactly how to to speak yes or no in any kind of Japanese-speaking situation, whether you’re with necessary colleagues, her closest friends or anyone else.

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

Learning exactly how to to speak no is a critical skill you need in any kind of language. In Japanese, it deserve to be a bit difficult. There room significant social differences to consider when refusing who or something.

The simple Word for No: いいえ

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

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

While over there are countless ways come say no in Japanese, speak いいえis a an easy term that leaves out any type of errors in interpretation.

Why You have to Say No Without actually Saying “No”

While there’s a simple means to to speak “No,” it’s likewise a big “no-no.”

Politeness and respect room important aspects of Japanese culture. Bluntly telling your ceo “No” when you can’t make time for a project is seen as highly disrespectful and offensive. Instead, it’s better to apples or state that it’d be difficult, rather of saying “No.”

Saying No in officially Settings

There might be times once you need to disagree with someone you respect, choose a teacher or manager. Even if you’re on friendly terms with a higher-up, it’s still crucial in Japanese society to use the appropriate words and expressions so nobody feels offended. This is even much more important in business situations, together it help both parties save face 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。) — It’s 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, say thanks to you.

These phrases deserve to be combined with various other terms to sound an ext formal:

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

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

大丈夫です。(だいじょうぶ です。)— No, thanks.

While this phrases will assist you in front of superiors, it’s also important how you speak them. that course, you never want to yell or cause a scene. Speak the phrase and gently rolling off in ~ the end will make the phrase sound an ext gentle and less assertive.

Saying No around Friends and Family

When roughly friends and also family, you deserve to express yourself an ext freely without worrying around losing her job. Although いいえmay be too blunt for even the best of friends, there are an ext informal state to use when disagreeing.

There space a couple of simple words and also phrases you deserve to use come express disagreement with 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 are informal ways to say no and shouldn’t be supplied in polite company.

Utilizing Apologies to decrease Offers and also Invitations

There may come a time once you’re invited to an event but can’t do it because you have actually other plans. Instead of saying “No” and embarrassing your friend, you can apologize.

One simple phrase the can dual as “No” and “I’m Sorry” is すみません (I’m sorry). Girlfriend can incorporate すみません v ちょっと for an also softer apology:

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

Refusing by Vaguely speak No

Another inoffensive way to refuse an offer is come 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?) — 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 say ちょっとis crucial here. You’ll have to trail off at the finish of the word ちょっとso the doesn’t sound as well harsh. This will certainly let the listener understand you’re refusing while likewise saving them part embarrassment.

Using the Negative kind of a Verb come Say No

Another method to speak no without speak “No” is by utilizing the negative kind of a verb.

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

This method of speak no isn’t because that everyone due to the fact that it’s much more than memorizing a straightforward phrase. Conjugating verbs right into their an adverse forms will take some practice because there space a selection of rules to consider.

Speaking through Actions come Say No

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

Often offered in the workplace, sucking or hissing v the teeth or rubbing the ago of the neck usually means no. Also a lengthy pause and a sigh have the right to mean no. These aren’t intended to be rude gestures, yet rather, are non-verbal methods of disagreeing.

Tips and Tricks for Saying correct in Japanese

Similar to speak no in Japanese, there are numerous ways come say yes. Correctly is much less tricky than no, since you run less risk that offending someone. However, there space still a couple of phrases that should be used in casual, quite than formal, settings.

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