No in Japanese

How to say "No" in Japanese

The basic word for "No" in Japanese is いいえ (iie):

いいえ

iie

No

You will hear the word いいえ (iie) being used to make corrections, or decline help.

いいえ,けっこうです

Ie, kekkō desu.

No thank you / I'm fine

いいえ、しりません。

いいえ、知りません。

Īe, shirimasen.

No, I don't (know).

いいえ、はなせません。

いいえ、話せません。

Iie, hanasemasen.

No, I do not speak.

いいえ、ちち です。

いいえ、父です。

Iie, chichi desu.

No, he’s my father.

いいえ (iie) is commonly used in reply to "thank you", to mean "you're welcome" or "not at all". 

いいえ、とんで も ありません。

Īe, tonde mo arimasen.

No, not at all.

In Japan, it's very common to avoid saying "no" outright as it would be rude to refuse someone. So, you might hear these words instead as a polite way of refusal:

ちょっと

chotto

a little bit

むずかしい です

難しいです

Muzukashī desu

It's difficult

けっこう です

結構です

Kekkō desu

No thank you / That's okay

You might also hear いえいえ (ie ie), literally meaning "no no", as a softer form of saying "no".

いえいえ、すっかり ながい して しまいました。

いえいえ、すっかり長居してしまいました。

Ie ie, sukkari nagai shite shimaimashita.

No no, I've already imposed on your hospitality far too long.

Here are a few recommended Japanese lessons to try next!

Jā matta!

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Sayaka Matsuura
Rocket Japanese

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