How to say yes in Japanese – Saying Yes in Japanese

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“Yes” and “No” can be the first few words you learn when learning Japanese.

If you are a beginner in learning Japanese, you must have already learned that “はい” (hai) refers to “yes” and “いいえ”(iie) refers to “no”.

Like any other language – “yes” and “no” can be said in many ways in Japanese.

In this Blog, we will learn some of the most common Japanese expressions for saying yes in Japanese.





はい is interchangeable with the English word “yes”.  It shows a positive agreement to the question asked.

For example:


Satou san wa sensei desuka

Is Mr. Sato a teacher?


はい, 佐藤さんは先生です。

Hai, Satou san wa sensei desu

Yes. Mr. Satou is a teacher





ええ is a relatively less formal way of expressing agreement compared to “はい”.  It can be used to show agreement.  It is also used for giving a short response to the speaker to make a conversation smooth.

For example,


ii saifu desune

Such a nice wallet


ええ, 兄が買ってくれたのです

Ee, ani ga kattekuretanodesu

yes, my brother bought for me.




うん is a casual expression, it is the most casual way of saying yes. It is mostly used when talking to close friends or someone younger than you.

This expression can only be used when talking to someone you are close to. Use はい when talking to strangers or someone who outranks you.

For example:


Mou ohiru tabeta?

have you had lunch already?


うん, 食べたよ

Un, Tabetayo.

yeah, I have.





そうですね is often used when you agree with a statement. Its literal meaning is “so it is, isn’t it?” or “that’s how it is, I think”.

For example,


Kinou wa samukatta desune

Yesterday was really cold, wasn’t it?




yes, it was really cold.


そうですねsometime can also be used when you are thinking about the answer to the person whom you are talking to. In this case, it has no literal meaning but buys you time to think about what you are going to say next.

For example,


Atarashii gengou ni tsuite douomoimasuka

How do you think of the new era name?


そうですね, とてもいいと思います

Totemo ii to omoimasu

I think it is great.


These are some of the most common ways of saying yes in Japanese, do use them in suitable situations. You can also read other interesting articles written by us.

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