How to not be Genki?

I’m entering my third month of formal Japanese classes outside WaniKani and other resources. My Japanese teacher asks whenever I enter the classroom “ogenki desuka? and since I only know how to respond with “genki desu” I’ve ended up repeating that every time I see her.

What are two or three other expression you can defer to outside of just “genki desu”? I wanna try and bring a bit more variety to that ritual instead of always replying that I’m well.


It’s just a greeting, not an actual question. It’s actually a little surprising to me that your teacher says it every time though, because typically Japanese people only use that if they haven’t seen someone for an extended time. If you had actually been away for a while, then a more in depth discussion of your recent events could be appropriate.

But basically, you wouldn’t fret about needing multiple responses to こんにちは or おはよう, right? So don’t worry about it and just say げんきです, is my advice anyway.


Just say whatever you like, the purpose is to practice right? E.g. “the weather is great, so I am happy”
“Tomorrow I am going to the movies so I am happy”
" I had headache so I am not so genki."


work lots, never rest, lack of sleep… there goes your 元気 :stuck_out_tongue:


As others said above, if you’re looking for set phrases, there’s not much outside of 元気です as it’s just a polite greeting.

If you want to actually practice Japanese, you need to be formulating sentences from your patchwork of grammar knowledge instead of relying on parroting.

So you could use something like __から です which allows to to explain a reason to a feeling

Because I am here, I am happy.

Or alternatively learn some other adjectives.

寒い です
I am cold

でも and けど are also great to use if you know how.

I am sleepy. But I am looking forward to today’s lesson.


1 Like

Thanks for all the responses and suggestions!

1 Like

お元気ですか is like “How are you” in English (when two people who don’t know each other very well are talking). It’s not actually a question, it’s just something you say. In (American) English, the answer is “I’m doing great thanks”. In Japanese the answer is 元気です.

If you want, you could use お陰様で、元気です。Literally means, because (I’ve been walking in) your shadow, I am doing well.

1 Like

胡麻を擂るですね。XD It’s a wonderfully worded phrase though

1 Like

How are you putting です right after the verb?

Also, I’ve never heard this expression, but what is the feeling being conveyed?

It means something like ‘I will mash the sesame seeds’?

EDIT: just read your post in the other thread on this

Presumably just a mistake.

I’m not sure on the correct usage, as my Japanese level is still fairly low. However, as Rikakun treats it as an expression, I assumed it was acceptable to use ですね to convery the feeling of “One is being an asskisser right?” but I didn’t realize it was already using a verb する xD

when people ask me, i answer 絶好調です
even if it’s not true, it’s a positive answer.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.