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Category: Phrases

Pop Quiz #1!

POP QUIZ TIME! Get out two #2 pencils and a sheet of paper. Just kidding. Take this quiz below based on everything we’ve learned so far. Good luck! がんばって! (gan-bat-te; “Do your best!”, “Good luck!”)


JapaneseLingo.com PopQuiz#1


1) "How are you?"

2) "That (over there) ~ "

3) "Here"

4) "Yes" (formal)

5) "That (over there)"

6) "That~"

7) "This"

8) "Where"

9) "I'm not fine."

10) "That"

11) "I am ___"

12) "I'm fine."

13) "Nice to meet you"

14) "And you?"

15) "No" (informal)

16) "This~"

17) "Which (one)?"

18) "Yes" (informal)

19) "There"

20) "Which~"

21) "No" (formal)

22) "Over there"

That's it! Let's see how you did...

If you are human, leave this field blank or you will be considered spam:



Hai – はい pt.2

はい(“ha-i”; “Yes”)

Continuing from yesterday’s post, there is one more usage for はい(ha-i) that you should be aware of- the inquisitive version. This means you add a question mark to the end. You have to say it with a rising tone, just like when asking a question in English.


This means “Excuse me?”, “I’m sorry?”, or “Come again?”. It can be used in situations where the listener could not hear exactly what the speaker was saying, or the listener is baffled or in disbelief at what the speaker said. For example:


(“wa-ta-shi no na-ma-e wa pu-ru-chi-gu-gu-chi-gu-gu de-su”; “My name is Puruchiguguchigugu.”)



(“ha-i?”; essentially saying: “Huh? Your name is what?”)


PRACTICE: Use はい (ha-i) as a question in response to something someone says.

Hai – はい

はい(“ha-i”; “Yes”)

Going way back to basics, let’s focus on a simple, yet flexible, word in Japanese:


When used in response to a yes/no question, this means “yes”. However, in Japanese, it is more polite (and natural) to also respond with the positive statement. For example:


(“a-na-ta wa John de-su ka?”; “Are you John?”)



(“ha-i, John de-su.”; “Yes, I’m John.”)

はい(ha-i) can also be used as a response while someone is telling you commands or instructions, as a way to say “Yes, I understand.” You can use it in the breaks between their speech as a way to let the speaker know that you are understanding the conversation (there will be a lesson on this concept of あいづち(a-i-dzu-chi) in the future).


(“ko-no mi-chi wo mas-su-gu it-te,”; “Go straight down this road,”)



(“ha-i”; “Got it”)



(“tsu-gi no ko-u-sa-ten de hi-da-ri,”; “At the next intersection, go left”)



(“ha-i”; “Got it”)

PRACTICE: Use はい (ha-i) in the ways described above

Maamaa – まあまあ

まあまあ (“ma-a-ma-a”; “so-so”)


If we don’t feel well, not well, or sick, we must feel, well, somewhere in between.

Back to our question: お元気[げんき]ですか?(“o-gen-ki de-su ka?”; “How are you?”)


私[わたし]はまあまあです。(“wa-ta-shi wa ma-a-ma-a de-su.”; “I am so-so.”)

This can be used to mean “so-so” for anything (if someone asks your opinion on something, for example, you can reply 「まあまあです。」if you think it’s just average.

PRACTICE: Use 「私はまあまあです。」 as a response to 「お元気ですか?」.

Nemui – 眠い[ねむい]

眠い[ねむい] (“ne-mu-i”; “tired”)


Another possible response to our previous question: お元気[げんき]ですか?(“o-gen-ki de-su ka?”; “How are you?”)


私[わたし]は眠い[ねむい]です。(“wa-ta-shi wa ne-mu-i de-su.”; “I am tired.”)

Then let out a big yawn (あくび), and they’ll really get the message!

PRACTICE: Use 「私は眠いです。」 as a response to 「お元気ですか?」.

Byouki – 病気[びょうき]

病気[びょうき] (“byo-u-ki”; “sick”)


Let’s take this word and use it to describe how we feel.

Here is a possible response to the previous question: お元気[げんき]ですか?(“o-gen-ki de-su ka?”; “How are you?”)


私[わたし]は病気[びょうき]です。(“wa-ta-shi wa byo-u-ki de-su.”; “I am sick.”)

While there are certainly more specific ways to describe what type of sickness you are suffering from, this is a good “all purpose” phrase to learn that will be well understood by native speakers. We’ll have more possible responses this week!

PRACTICE: Use 「私は病気です。」 as a response to 「お元気ですか?」.

Genki de wa arimasen. -元気[げんき]ではありません。

元気[げんき]ではありません。(“gen-ki de-wa-a-ri-ma-sen.”; “I’m not fine”)

As promised, this is the opposite of the previous post’s response to the question: お元気[げんき]ですか?(“o-gen-ki de-su ka?”; “How are you?”)

~です(de-su), as mentioned previously, is the standard polite way to end a sentence affirmatively (like a period you speak aloud).

~ではありません(de-wa-a-ri-ma-sen) is the standard polite way to make a sentence negative.

*NOTE* if you can read hiragana, you will notice that the second character は is pronounced as “wa” this time instead of “ha”, as mentioned in a previous post. We are using the は character as the particle indicating “is/are”, and for now, think of ありません(a-ri-ma-sen) as meaning “is not”.

An example:


(“wa-ta-shi wa John de-su”; “I am John.”)


(“wa-ta-shi wa John de-wa-a-ri-ma-sen”; “I am not John.”)

PRACTICE: Use ではありません。(de-wa-a-ri-ma-sen) as well as です。(de-su) to make positive and negative statements!

Genki desu. – 元気[げんき]です。

元気[げんき]です。(“gen-ki de-su.”; “I’m fine”)

This is a phrase you can use in response to being asked yesterday’s phrase: お元気[げんき]ですか?(“o-gen-ki de-su ka?”; “How are you?”)

Tomorrow, we’ll learn how to say the opposite of today’s post!

PRACTICE: Add 元気[げんき]です。(gen-ki de-su) into your conversation for this week in the comments below!

O-genki desu ka? – お元気[げんき]ですか?

お元気ですか?(“o-gen-ki de-su ka?”; “How are you?”)

This phrase is next in our sample conversation. Let’s break it down:

お(o) – This is used in front of certain words in Japanese to make them more polite.

元気[げんき](gen-ki) – Health, wellness.

ですか(de-su-ka) – If you remember previously, we said that です(de-su) is like a period in an english statement that you say aloud. Well, ですか(de-su-ka) is a question mark that you must say aloud.

PRACTICE: Add お元気[げんき]ですか?(o-gen-ki de-su ka?) into your conversation for this week in the comments below!

Douzo yoroshiku – どうぞよろしく

どうぞよろしく!(“do-u-zo yo-ro-shi-ku”; “Nice to meet you!”)

Here’s the next piece in this week’s conversation.

どうぞよろしく!(do-u-zo yo-ro-shi-ku!; “Nice to meet you!”)

After introducing yourself, it would be polite (and politeness is key in Japanese culture!) to say this phrase.

PRACTICE: Add どうぞよろしく(do-u-zo yo-ro-shi-ku) into your conversation from yesterday in the comments below!

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