“I like” in Japanese: Expressing hobbies and finding new friends

A great way to make a new friend is to share about your interests and things you enjoy. Being able to say ” I like” in Japanese will get you started and warm-up your encounters!

(私は)音楽が好きです。((I) like music.)

  • が: particle, subject marker, marking a relationship with the verb.
  • 好き: to like
  • です: copula linking the subject with the predicate

Once again, it will sounds more natural for Japanese to omit the first-person pronoun and topic marker, 私は (I). The particle が marks a relationship with the verb and is called a subject marker.

Here “to like” is expressed with the adjective 好き. The copula です can be dropped in casual context.

(私は)音楽が好きです。((I) like music.)
でも、カラオケは好きではありません。(But, (I) don’t like karaoke.)

  • は: topic marker
  • でも: but
  • ではありません: negative form of the copula desu

To say you ‘don’t like’ something, you will end the sentence with the negative form of です: the polite ではありません or to sound more natural, じゃありません.

To soften your tone, you can also add the adverb あまり, which translates into “not very much, not really”.

カラオケはあまり好きではありません。((I) don’t really like karaoke.)
To ask if someone likes karaoke, you end the sentence with the particle か.
カラオケが好きですか。(Do (you) like karaoke?)

  1. Yes: はい、好きです。
  2. No: いいえ、好きではありません。


  • 音楽: music
  • 映画: movie
  • カラオケ: karaoke
  • ビデオゲーム: video game
  • 旅行: travels
  • サッカー: soccer
  • 寿司: sushi
  • ビール: beer
  • 中国料理: Chinese food

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