What Does “Sono Tōri” Mean in Japanese? How to Agree or Say “That’s Right” in Japanese

Posted by on September 29, 2020 – Japanese Study
sono tori japanese meaning

Have you ever heard someone say “その通りだ” in Japanese? Maybe in an interaction at work, or between classmates at school – “Sono tōri” is a rather common expression used by Japanese speakers in everyday conversation.

In this blog article, we will teach you how to understand “sono tōri” so that you can use it for yourself in Japanese!

What Does “Sono Tori” Mean?

The Japanese word “Sono toori” is made up of two words. The first: “sono” (その) meaning “that”, which can indicate something that is either physical or not physical. It is similar in use to “sore” (think これ、それ), but while “sore” means “this” as a noun, “sono” (その) means “this” as a description. For example: sono hon (that book).

The second word “tōri” is actually pronounced“toori”. This is the Japanese word 通り (tōri) meaning “passage”, “route”, or “way”. The verb form 通る, meaning to go through, is also quite common. When you put these together you get “sono toori”! A little translation would be like “that’s the way” or “that’s the right way.”

You can use “sono tori” to say “that’s right” or to indicate when you agree with something. 

Sono Tōri: Agreeing in Japanese

As indicated above, you can use “Sono toori” in Japanese conversation is to express your agreement. 

For example:

彼が言ってることはその通りだと思います!
Kare ga itteru koto wa sono toori da to omoimasu!
I agree with what he is saying!

To make a sentence like this, just follow this structure! 

Subject of agreement + は(wa) + その通りだと思う/思います (sono toori da to omou/omoimasu) 

It conveys something like “that’s the same as what I am feeling/thinking.”

By adding だと思う on the end, you make it more nuanced and less direct.

Sono Tōri: That’s Right

This one is easy! You can use it to answer or confirm questions from people. This is a great Japanese language tool for clarification. 

If someone asks you a question for clarification, you can reply with “that’s right” – その通り!

To make it polite, simply add です (desu) to the end of it!

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