How to say "you" in Japanese (without starting an argument!) (2023)

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The first thing you need to know is how to say "you".

' in Japanese this is... You probably shouldn't say it!

Counter(She) is the direct translation of


', but native speakers rarely use it and it sounds offensive if not used correctly.

When you really have to say, the unspoken rule ofHow do you say "you" in Japanese?, he mustSay the person's name + one of manyJapanese honors.

Most other ways of saying "you" in Japanese walk a fine line between rude and affectionate...confusing, right?

That is why we have prepared a list of words with terms of use and a courtesy score, 5 being the most polite, to help you.

Go ahead now and choose wisely!


  1. name and honor
  2. don't say "you"
  3. to receive
  4. Ant
  5. sochira
  6. for him
  7. o mae
  8. Shout out
  9. temee

name and honor

Name + - etc

  • Courtesy:5/5
  • Conditions:You know the person's name and you want to be respectful.

The most acceptable way to say "you" (especially in the workplace and with people you've just met) is to take the person's name and add an honorific suffix, e.g.-san.If you don't know what an honorific is or how to use it, keep reading this article.Japanese honors.

Example 1: At work
I ask my colleagueyuko nakamura,if she has plans for summer vacation:

Nakamura-sanwa natsu yasumi no yotei ga arimasu ka?

Mr NakamuraDo you have plans for the summer holidays?

Mr Nakamurado you have summer vacation?

literally: to doNakamura-sanDo you already have plans for the summer holidays?
meaning: to doOfDo you already have plans for the summer holidays?

She answers:

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Natsu yasumi no yotei wa mada nani mo kimete naindesu…Francesca-you know who?

I still haven't decided anything about my summer vacation. . .What about Francesca?

I still haven't decided anything about my summer vacation. . .Francescawhat is sir

Literally: I haven't decided on summer vacation yet...and Francesca-san?

What does that mean?And you?

Example 2: With a close friend
your friend's name isMiuand you lost your keys:

miyu-channi kagi wo watashita nein?

miyu-chanyou gave the key

miyu-chanyou gave me the key

Literally: ofmiyu-chanlike keys?

Meaning: sayOflike keys?

Remember to use a person's title if you have one.-sanWould you use an honorific like-sensei(Teacher),- hole(Manager/Bucho),-Schachou(President / Schachou) etc.

don't say "you"

don't say 'you'

  • Courtesy:3/5
  • Conditions:Friends/Family where the person is directly in front of you

In casual situations, you don't always need to use the personal pronouns "you" and "I" to be polite and understandable in Japanese.

times forMiuChanand the keys from Example 2 above, the sentence works perfectly without saying "you":

Kagi wo watashita nein?

Did you hand over the key?

you gave me the key

Did I give you the keys?

here you say no"Ich" (watashi) you pour' (Miyu-chan)but the meaning is implied becauseMiuand with you.

This is not suitable for work environments or when talking to older people or people you don't know. So when in doubt, use your + honor.

to receive


  • Courtesy:3/5
  • Conditions:Are you married/a stranger/an advertisement or a computer?

Counteris the most common translation of "you", but is considered somewhat robotic with few exceptions.

One is between spouses where the wives useto receiveimportance to their husbandsCariño, cariño or cariño.

How to say "you" in Japanese (without starting an argument!) (1)

It is also used to address strangers directly:

Sumimasen, South Koreato receivekein kasa desu ka?sorry that's itOfUmbrella?

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sorry that's itOfthe umbrella?

sorry that's allareUmbrella / belongs to this umbrellaOf?

Other situations whereto receiveused in announcements, computer-generated questions, and when people need you to fill out forms because they don't know your name but still want to address you in a personal and polite way:

Counterno nenrei wa o ikutsu desu ka?

OfHow old are you?

OfHow old are you?

What isareAge / how old are youOf?

Otherwise, useto receiveit's like pointing a finger at someone and showing them that you're distant or even suspicious of them. It is derogatory when used of someone older than you or in a superior position and should be avoided whenever possible.

A great video on how to use receivethis is from



  • Courtesy:2/5
  • Conditions:family friends

Antis a shorter and less polite version ofto receive.Although less common, it is sometimes used with younger family members in an affectionate way by older family members as "love."

kyouwaAntnein tabeta mono ni shiyou.

Today isOfWe eat what we want to eat.

HoyOfDo something you want to eat.

today I do anythingOfyou want to eat, dear.

between friends,AntIt can be a casual way of saying "you," but it can also sound like you're talking down to someone, so use it carefully.



  • Courtesy:5/5
  • Conditions:Talk to customers in a business environment.

sochirameans "this" or "this way", but it is also a polite way of saying "you", often used in business calls:

Kashiko Mari Mashita.sochirani denwa itashimasu.Understood. so fridayLeavesI will call

I understood. so yesterdayLeavesI will call you.

Certainly. Well then I'll callOfon Friday.

for him

You you

  • Courtesy:3/5
  • Conditions:Men talk to inferiors / Men talk to a lover

For himis an informal and masculine way of saying


' used to indicate authority or affection. It is not often used in everyday conversation and should never be used with an elderly person or someone of higher rank.

Oh kanji-kun parafor himis the same as the honorific suffix-Se, but with its Japanese reading (kunyomi) is pronouncedfor him.

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At work,for himsometimes used by bosses for employees (male or female), implying their position in the hierarchy:

For himwa kore ni kinyuushite kudasai.

OfFill it up, please.

Ofplease contact me for that.

He canOfPlease fill out?

The other known use offor himit's in the songshaicai(Japanese poetry), manga, anime and dramas. It is used by both men and women (but especially children) with someone with whom they have a romantic relationship.

There are numerous Japanese works that begin withfor him:

  • Kimi ni todokeClick Download to save From Me To You - Kimi Ni Todoke mp3 youtube com
  • Kimi nein na waYour Name (love/fantasy film directed by Makoto Shinkai)
  • Kimi ni sekai(Kimi ni Sekai) This world for you (Song of Eva)

o mae

You you

  • courtesy: 2/5
  • Conditions:Older men to younger men / Between men of the same age / Men when they are angry

O-maehalf 'the one in front of meand it's a casual, slightly rude way of saying "you" commonly used by men in relation to younger/lower status.

Interesting,o maeoriginally it was a polite word for nobles, so it starts with the Japanese honorific prefix-Ö.However, the polite undertone completely disappeared over time.

When I was teaching at an all-boys school in Tokyo, all the teachers used to wearo maewith students, especially if he scolds them. Be more aggressive they would saymi(Hola).

Nani Yattenda,miVon?

What are you doingWelcomeTeeth?

What are you doing,WelcomeTeeth?

What (the hell) are theyOfagain?

O-maewa nande shukudai yara nain darou?

OfWhy do not you make your homework?

OfWhy do not you do it?

Why notOfDo your homework?

However, asKimi, o-Maeit can simply show that you are above someone in rank/age without being condescending.

situations whereo maeis not necessarily impolite:

  • Teachers approach students
  • parents of children (children)
  • Between men of the same age or condition

It is common for boys and men to wear it.o maewith your friends, especially jokingly.

O-mae, you don't have mine!

Of,You're an Idiot!

You're an Idiot!

You're an Idiot! / Silly!

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and everyone can useo maefor a pet:

¡Kawaii na, o-mae wa!

You're so sweet!

How cute you are!

You're cute, aren't you!

O-maeit is typically masculine, but is popular with school-age girls to appeal to boys of the same age.

How to say "you" in Japanese (without starting an argument!) (2)

Shout out

You you

  • Courtesy:1/5
  • Conditions:for your worst enemy

Shout outis a very condescending way of saying "you" found mostly in manga and anime.

In Dragon Ball Z, Vegeta (the bad guy) often calls Goku (the good guy),Shout out.It could be read more like "Hello, YOU."(insert swear word)!'

Kisama wa futari ni senzu wo kuwasete yare!

You two should be eating senzu beans!

Please let them both have sex!

You @!#%, give these two the senzu bean!

Aso mae,Shout outit was not always impolite and was originally used by people of high social status in Japan to properly refer to those below them, hence the use of the honorific suffix-The same thing(I am alone).


front / front

  • Courtesy:0/5
  • Disease:you want to start a fight

Themesis the most offensive way of saying "you" on our list. It basically means that you are about to start an argument with someone.

Not as,o mae, temeeIt only has a pejorative meaning. He goes in the direction ofBastard!

How to say "you" in Japanese (without starting an argument!) (3)

It appears in Japanese dramas and anime and you will hear it when someone makes fun of someone.

We recommend that you do not use it.temeealways, but it's good to be careful!

how do you say you in japanese

Now you know different ways to say you in Japanese. Yes, it seems confusing to have more than one word, but remember to use the person's name when in doubt!

Related Posts:

  • How to say "I" in Japanese
  • 9 Ways to Say Friend in Japanese: From Acquaintance to Best Friend
  • Bad Japanese Words Your Teacher Won't Tell You

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Francesca Rex-Horoi

Francesca is a freelance writer and teacher who moved to Tokyo from New Zealand at the age of 24. Majoring in linguistics and ESL, she taught at a boys' school for three years. Now that she lives in France, she remains a self-confessed Japanese lover who loves kanji, cooking, cats, and the outdoors.


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