yes or no, no or yes?

teklis

teklis

こんにちは! hi every one. Im guessing im not the only one with this problem, but how can you know when someone means yes or no to a question? I wish it was just as simple as hearing iie or hai, but ive heard both translated as the opposite. ie. someone will ask "だいじょうぶ?" and the other person will answer "いいえ" when they mean yes, they are fine. Anyone have any tips or rules to follow reguarding this?
Sayaka-Matsuura

Sayaka-Matsuura

こんにちは! :arrow: *はい* はい is the formal "yes". The key difference from English "yes" is that はい、うん、ええ (and others) confirm the previous statement. So, if they are spoken in response to a negative statement, they end up being equivalent to "no" in English. For example: Question: たべない?(Tabenai?) "You won't eat?" Answer: うん (Un) "Yes [I won't]." :arrow: *いいえ* いいえ is the formal "no". Again, there's a key difference from English "no". The principal meaning of the Japanese negative words, such as いいえ、いや、ううん is to contradict the previous statement. So, they can end up being equivalent to "yes" in English. For example: Question: たべない? (Tabenai?) "You won't eat?" Answer: ううん (Uun) "No [I will]." -Sayaka :P

Ask a question or a post a response

If you want to ask a question or post a response you need to be a member.

If you are already a member login here .
If you are not a member you can become one by taking the free Rocket Japanese trial here .