What are some of useful sentences and phrases?


Hello all!,

I am attempting to do some sentence mining and thought I would reach out to the wonderful community for some sentences and phrases you find yourself using often. Feel free to correct any if needed

Here are a few of mine:

今日は何をしましたか?What did you do today?
しょうがない - It cannot be helped
そうなんだ?- Is that so? or Oh Really
分かる ‐ I understand
7ヶ月間日本語を勉強してます。 - I have been studying Japanese for 7 months
僕の日本語を上手じゃないです - My Japanese is not good

Feel free to add on, correct, or write some answers to some of these.

Thanks Everyone!

*EDIT: After some feedback, i’ve decided to add some specific scenarios. I attend a few Kaiwa (Conversation) clubs rather frequently and find myself on several topics rather often. Here are a few of them:

Study Habits
Japanese culture Intrest

I’m mainly looking for icebreaker/ watercooler conversation that would be helpful when you first meet someone. These are questions and responses.

Some phrases I have are:

Whats your favorite food?
Whats your favorite drink?
Whats your favorite alcohol?
What did you do today?
Where are you from?
I am from San Diego
I like ramen and okonomiyaki
I went to japan last year and I really love japan.strong text


You might want to consider narrowing the scope a bit?

For example:


Are two of the most useful phrases I know. But if you don’t live in Japan they probably won’t come up much.


Thank you for your response.

I go to a couple Kaiwa clubs which is where I use a lot of my sentences.
Yet, I’m very interested in everyone’s useful phrases.
I shop at a lot of Japanese restaurants and grocery stores, also I’m going to Japan in April so both of these phrases will be helpful :smiley:


I went to Japan recently and I used these 2 extensively:

「xxxはどこですか?」 – Where is xxx? [Asking for directions]
「xxxはありますか?」 – Is there xxx? [Usually when I’m looking for a particular item in a store. Or as I point to an image from my phone]

(Side note: Is「xxxがありますか?」more correct? The use of particle が is mentioned in the textbook I am using (Genki) for あります. However, my Japanese friend corrected me to use は instead. Rather confused and would appreciate any help!)


Which is more correct depends on the context. If you want to read through a Japanese answer I like this one. But I feel like personally が in those questions implies that you have reason to believe that it is there while は is a more general question.


I’m using Genki as well but there difference between が and は is rather simplified
(many books assuming that knowledge of this comes with time…)

Anyway if you want to know more about them I found this video very useful


Misa is super useful!


The three magic words that will get you through any conceivable social situation:



To me this sounds a little tight/serious. More commonly you’ll hear/use:
分かりました (more polite - indicating you understand the information you’re being told)
分かりますよ (slightly more casual, like “OK, I got it!”)

If you wanna level up your casual slangy response repertoire, may I recommend:

マジ(ですか)!? - omg! / no way! / are you serious? / you’re kidding me!! / REALLY?!
うそ! Lies! / it must be a joke / you’ve gotta be kidding me / No way! / really?
やばい - the ultimate multi-purpose reaction word. Meaning ranges depending on situation from extremely amazing/cool to horribly awful / no way.
無理 - impossible! / no way (used in situations where you feel you can’t do something for whatever reason)
いい(です)よ! - OK! No problem! Sure!
すごい・すげー! - WOW! / Amazing! / Wonderful! / Great! (the latter is wayyy more casual)

Other things I use all the time:
そのままでいいです - I’ll take it as it is (ex: I don’t need a shopping bag)
その時に~~ - At that time ~~ (I was ~~ing. Usually used when telling a story or recapping an event)

すみません! - Excuse me / I’m sorry
すみませんが。。。- I’m sorry to bother you, but…

どうした? - What happened? / What’s up? / What do you need?
分かった! - I’ve got it! / I have an idea! (lightbulb moments)

どうすればいいですか? - What should I do? (Used when you’re not sure what the next step should be)
もし大丈夫なら。。。 - If it’s okay…
もし時間があれば、~~。 - If there’s time, ~~. (If you have time)
もしよかったら。。。 - If you’d like…

どこ行けばいいですか?(どこ行ったらいいですか?)- Where can/should I go? (when asking for a recommendation.)

やっぱり! - I knew it / As expected…
もちろん - Of course

(すみません)ちょっと質問がありますけど。。。 - (Excuse me) I have a question

今日のえいぎょうじかんは何時までですか? - What time are you open until today?
(stores/shops re:business hours)

It would be easier if you needed phrases for a specific situation,
but that’s what I’ve got off the top of my head! :sparkles:


After moving to Japan, the very first word/phrase that I learned was 大丈夫(だいじょうぶ).

I think I use it almost every day.

Need to agree to something? 大丈夫
Need to reject something? いや、大丈夫
Need to question if something is alright? 大丈夫ですか

It’s easily my go-to phrase. I most likely overuse it and put it in places where it sounds unnatural, but it’s working for me so far!


How has よろしくお願いします not been mentioned yet? I’d never survive without it. :rofl:


These are all really awesome! Thanks a lot everyone.

@mochipochi @taoreegar @EiriMatsu @Belthazar @chrisjwelly @Syphus These are all really amazing! Thanks for all the phrases! I’ll edit for some more specifics that will be helpful also.


Aye, same here. A couple of times after saying 大丈夫, I realised that saying いいえ、結構です would probably have been better.


I find
is particularly useful at parties.


You’re a true champion for this!


吾輩は猫である :smiley:



I make no claims about the quality of my grammar.