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No in Japanese

How to say "No" in Japanese

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

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


Ie, kekkō desu.

No thank you / I'm fine



Īe, shirimasen.

No, I don't (know).



Iie, hanasemasen.

No, I do not speak.


いいえ、ちち 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:



a little bit


むずかしい です

Muzukashī desu

It's difficult


けっこう 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。

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!

Sayaka Matsuura: Rocket Japanese

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