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10 minute-a-day Japanese Lesson -5 Posted by on Mar 13, 2017 in Culture, Grammar

Do you know how to say No in Japanese?


Photo from Martha de Jong-Lantink on flickr.com

Hi everyone, hope you are doing great, and your learning is going well.

Today’s topic is all about saying No in Japanese.  I don’t normally like to say, No just because I feel bad about telling someone I can’t, sometimes. But we all know that sometimes you can’t avoid saying it and just have to simply say, No…

When someone wants to have lunch with you, or asks you to go somewhere with him/her, or perhaps offers you a help, but you don’t feel like you want to go along or accept it…  how would you say, “No, thank you” in Japanese? You can simply say, “Kekko desu (結構です、けっこうです。)” But, this could sound not too nice sometimes.  Here are some quick lessons on how to say No in Japanese.. nicely… 🙂


1. Osasoi wa ureshi kedo konkaiwa yametokimasu.

==>I appreciate for the invite, but I have to pass this time.

おさそいは うれしいけれど こんかいは やめときます。

お誘いは 嬉しいけれど 今回は やめときます。



2. Sassotte kurete arigatou. Demo kondoni shimasu.

==>Thank you for asking. but I will go next time.

さそってくれて ありがとう。でも こんどに します。

誘ってくれて ありがとう。でも 今度に します。



3. Sekkaku dakedo konkaiwa okotowari shimasu.

==>Unfortunately, I have to say no this time .

せっかく だけど こんかいは おことわり します。

せっかく だけど 今回は お断り します。



4. Taihen moushi wake naino desuga konkaiwa gomennasai.

==>I am really sorry, but I can’t this time.

たいへん もうしわけ ないの ですが こんかいは ごめんなさい。

大変 申し訳 ないの ですが 今回は ごめんなさい。



5. Taihen moushi wake arimasen. Tsugini shite itadaitemo yoroshii deshoka.

==>I am so sorry, but can I ask you next time?

たいへん もうしわけ ないのですが、つぎに して いただいても よろしいでしょうか。

大変 申し訳 ないのですが、 次に していただいても よろしいでしょうか。



6. Konkai wa okotowari sasete itadakimasu.

==>This time, I apologize I have to say no.

こんかいは おことわり させて いただきます。

今回は お断り させて いただきます。



7. Kyo wa chotto muri soudesu.

==>It doesn’t look like I can today.

きょうは ちょっと むり そうです。

今日は ちょっと 無理 そうです。




Vocabulary Lesson

Osasoi: invite  (お誘い、 おさそい)

Kekkou desu: No thank you(結構です、けっこうです。)

Ureshii: to appreciate (ありがたい)

Sasou: to ask (誘う、さそう)

Kondo: next time (今度、こんど)

Time time:konkai (今回、こんかい)

Gomennasai: sorry (ごめんなさい)

Kyo: Today(今日、きょう)


How was it? These weren’t too bad, were they?

There are always nicer ways of saying things rather than just saying No..  Add these expressions to your Japanese vocabulary after mastering them! 🙂

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About the Author:keiko

Born and raised in Japan. She currently lives in U.S. with her husband and two kids.


  1. Ulises Hernandez:

    Very good phrases. Thank you very much!

  2. Miguel:

    Great lesson on saying no nicely. Keep it up! I really appreciate it,