18 ways to say yes in Japanese

In the Japanese language, as in many other languages, there is more than one way to say the same thing, thinking about it, we decided to show the most common ways in the Japanese language to confirm something that was said, to declare as true what had then been said.

Many students at the most basic level know only “hai” [はい], which also means, yes, but it is a very limited term and sometimes it will not always make sense to use it, so if you want to not seem too repetitive in your conversations in the Japanese language, in this article we will present you not only 1, but 17 ways to say yes

うん (Un)

If you're in more casual conversations with Japanese, you'll notice that they use うん (Un) a lot, and it really conveys this idea of: Yeah, Mm-hmm, yes, that.

When you want to express to the Japanese that you agree with what was said or that it really is what was asked before.

To be clearer, let's see this word embedded within a sentence.

The sentence is: Yes, I don't care.

うん、かまわないよ
Un, kamawanai yo

However, be careful with the intonation, when someone says this word depending on the context it works as a question or uncertainty about something, that is, when someone says (un?) it must be understood that she is uncertain about what she heard before.

For example: What?

うん ?
Un ?

ええ (Ee)

As in the previous example, it has the sense of: Yeah, that, um rum, is correct.
To be clearer let's see this interjection being used in a sentence.

The sentence is: Yes, I saw it.

ええ、見ました。
Ee, mimashita

As we mentioned in the previous example, this ええ EE, can carry a sense of doubt about something depending on the context that is seen, like a:” Anh? ”

はい (Hai)

The famous Hai, a very polite way of saying yes, a way of saying yes without seeming sometimes disrespectful to the person you talk to.

And its main meanings are: Yes, this is it, correct, I understand, ok, it is correct.

As we can see in the previous examples, these words of confirmation sometimes have the sense of questioning or doubt, that is, it can also have the sense of:
Pardon? What was it? Could you say it again?

And in this sense it is important to notice during speech that he has an increasing intonation ( Ha/i ?)

But to reinforce the idea that, yes, what we're learning in this article, let's look at an example sentence.

The sentence is: Whoever is in favor of the new legislation, answer yes.

新しい法規に賛成の人は『はい』と答えてください。
Atarashii houuki ni sansei no hito wa hai to kotaetekudasai 

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左様 (Sayou)

Another interesting interjection to learn is the さよう Sayou.

Although the title is written in Kanji, when さよう Sayou has the meaning of: Yes, that's it, exactly, it's correct.

In this sense it is generally used in Kana which are those more rounded letters without many dashes.

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オッケー / オーケー (Okkee/ookee)

The オッケー (Okkee) in Katakana has the meaning of: Okay.
And here it has the same meaning as Ok in English.

The sentence is: Could I borrow the pen?
Clear.

ペン, 貸してもらえる?
オーケー
Pen, kashitemoraeru ?}
Ookee

もちろん (Mochiron)

もちろん is an Adverb usually written in Kana, and the idea it conveys is a more robust confirmation of a fact, for example: Of course, naturally, certainly.

To be clearer, let's look inside a sentence.

The phrase is: Can I borrow your eraser?
Sure! / Yea!

消しゴム借りてもいい?
もちろん!

Keshigomu karitemoii
Mochiron

いいですよ (Iidesu)

When you want to allow someone to do something or demonstrate that you don't care about their action or that fact, you usually use いいです Iidesu, which has this idea of: Okay, nice.

The phrase is: Oh, sure. Go ahead!

あ、いいですよ。どうぞ
a, ii desuyo. Douzo

ぜひ (Zehi)

When you need to be sure of your speech about something, and express without a shadow of doubt, you can use ぜひ Zehi, that is: Certainly, without fail, without error, of course.


The sentence is: Can I bring my friends?
Of course / Without a doubt.

友達を誘ってもいいですか?
ぜひ!

Tomodachi o sasotte mo īdesu ka?
Zehi !

当然 (Touzen)

Touzen carries the idea of: Naturally, of course, without a doubt, for sure.
To reinforce its meaning, let's look at it in one sentence.

The sentence is: Are you going to the party today?
Sure!

今日パーティーに行ってもいい?
当然さ!

Kyō pātī ni itte mo ī?
Tōzen sa!

そう (Sou)

Sou has the idea of: This way, something like this. Also used to express agreement with what was said earlier, in addition to expressing some doubt about what was said before.

The phrases are:

And even?
This this.
IT IS?! (Rhetorically)

 そう ?
sou?

そう、そう
sou, sou
 
そうか
Souka

それな (Sorena)

A very colloquial expression used among the Japanese, but not often taught is それな (Sorena).

When you want to say like a: That's right, that's true, that's the way it is, that's exactly the way it is.

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そうです (Soudesu)

We learned そう Sou before, but it is important to emphasize that it is a somewhat informal way, in more polite language そうです (Soudesu) is used, let's see an example.

That's right!

そうですよ
Soudesuyo

そんな感じ (Son’na Kanji)

Another form not taught is そんな感じ Son'na Kanji, despite being found more in informal language, it conveys the sense of: like this, in this vibe, in this style. That is, you use it to corroborate for the person who said something before that it is: like that he is in the right line of reasoning.

わたしが、やります。( Watashi ga , yarimasu)

Leaving this line of statements a little, let's see the confirmation of actions, that is, when you want to say: I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it.

The sentence is: I will do.

わたしが、やります。

りょうかいです ( Ryoukai desu )

A very formal and serious way of stating something in Japanese, so much so that it is often used by the army to confirm as true what was heard before, like one: written down!

So you can understand Ryoukai desu as: Okay, understood, affirmative, consented, noted.

かしこまりました (Kashikomarimashita)

The Kashikomarimashita is a super polite way of saying: understood, ok, noted, or right.
Often used to reassure superiors that the message has been picked up and understood.

いいよ (iiyo)

We previously learned the いいですよ which conveys the idea of: Ok, I allow it, calm down, yes you can.
In this context of Iiyo, be careful not to be misunderstood when extending the ( ii ) and putting a very strong intonation when saying it, because it can sound like a: I don't need it!

それでも構いません (Soredemo Kaimasen)

Soredemo kaimasen, can be interpreted as: by me it's ok, despite that it's ok, anyway ok.

It is important to point out that Kaimasen often appears alone, and in this sense he means: no problem, ok for me, I don't care.

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