Thousands of ways to say "You" in Japanese.

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I think many here know that there is more than 100 ways to say "I" in Japanese. But many are unaware that there are many ways to say "You" as well.

Japanese pronouns are not standardized, many do not use the word "you" to refer to someone else. They prefer to speak the person’s name, or some other respectful manner. So there are thousands of ways to say you in Japanese that we will see in this article.

Polite and normal

  • あなた - anata: The most common and polite way of saying you;
  • そちら - sochira: A polite way of saying you, adding 様 (さま) to make it more formal;
  • 御宅 (おたく) - otaku: Standard polite way. Its meaning has changed.
  • 君 (きみ) - kimi: Used by close people, close friends and couples;


  • お前 (おまえ): Often used among male friends. Depending on the person you can become rude;
  • オメェ: Slang from the omae version;
  • あんた: Shortened version of “あなた”. In the east it is considered an insult, in the west it is considered normal;
  • お前さん (おまえさん): Similar to あんた;
  • おまいさん: Variation in お前さん;
  • 自分 (じぶん): It can mean both you and me. Understand the meaning of jibun;
  • わい: Used in Kyushuu;

Used harshly or with enemies

  • てめぇ: Very common in anime and manga;
  • 己 (おのれ): Usually used by Yakuza in the midst of struggles;
  • おどれ, おんどれ, おどりゃ, おんどりゃ: All variations on slang おのれ;
  • 貴様 (きさま): Formerly he was educated;
  • きさん: Variation of 貴様 used in Kyushuu, but it is not offensive;
  • 我 (われ): Used in northern and western Japan, it also means Me;
  • わ: Same as 我

Professional situations

The following words are used in relation to someone representing one:

  • 貴社 (きしゃ): company
  • 御社 (おんしゃ): company
  • 貴店 (きてん): store
  • 貴局 (ききょく): Broadcasting company, post office, water agency;
  • 貴紙 (きし): newspaper company
  • 貴学 (きがく): university
  • 貴校 (きこう): school
  • 貴園 (きえん): kindergarten
  • 貴サイト (きさいと): website

Position in the company

Within any company (large or small), there are several positions that are used in place of "you":

  • 店長 (てんちょう): store owner
  • 課長 (かちょう): head of section
  • 部長 (ぶちょう): department head
  • 副社長 (ふくしゃちょう): Vice President
  • 社長 (しゃちょう): president

When you’re talking to someone from your own company, you don’t usually add the honorific -san. But if it is someone from another company, it is used.

Using the listener name

It is very common for a person to call the other person by name instead of using the pronoun “you”, there is an article that we created, talking about “How to know if a Japanese girl likes you” that talks a little about the different levels and ways of if you refer the person by name, we recommend that you read this article clicking here. The article on honorary also explains details about it.

Used in letters

  • 貴兄 (きけい): Used for men with a status equal to or greater than the person;
  • 貴姉 (きし): Used by men and women of the same age or older;
  • 貴君 (きくん): Used by men for men with equal or lower status;

Other ways

  • 汝 (なんじ): Sometimes it is considered to be similar to “you”;
  • そち, そなた, その方 (そのほう): Used by a person of higher status to a person of a minor;
  • 卿 (けい): Monarch uses it with his subjects;
  • 此方 (こなた): It also means me or him / her;
  • 先輩 - Senpai: Used in schools to refer to a veteran. (upper class)
  • 後輩 - Kouhai: Used in school to refer to a freshman. (lower class)
  • 先生 - Sensei: Used to speak with teachers, teachers, authors, doctors, lawyers and others;

People often use words like mother, father, uncle, aunt, grandmother, grandfather to refer to members of their family, or even people who are not part of the family. Example: Some young people use 爺さん (じいさん) when talking to a senior citizen. To learn more about this, read this article.


Some refer to people calling her a man 男 or a woman 女, but that can sweat a little sexist and rude.