Skip to main content

100 Most Frequently Used Japanese Words

Ready to understand about half of all Japanese words?

Yes, you read that right. With only about 100 words under your belt, you can understand about 50% of all Japanese you hear or read — if you choose the right words!

  • これ / この (Kore / Kono) – “This” or “This _ (thing/person)”
  • それ / その (Sore / Sono) – “That / It” or “That _ (thing/person)”
  • あれ / あの (Are / Ano) – “That over there” or “That _ (thing/person) over there”
  • 私 / 僕 (Watashi / Boku) – “I” (私 is gender neutral, while 僕 is masculine.)
  • 彼 (Kare) – “He”
  • 彼女 (Kanojo) – “She”
  • 私たち (Watashitachi) – “We”
  • 彼ら (Karera) – “They”
  • 年 (Toshi or Nen) – “Year”
  • 月 (Getsu or Tsuki) – “Month” and “Moon”
  • 日 (Nichi or Hi) – “Day” and “Sun”
  • 週 (Shuu) – “Week”
  • 今日 (Kyou) – “Today”
  • 明日 (Ashita) – “Tomorrow”
  • 昨日 (Kinou) – “Yesterday”
  • 時間 (Jikan) – “Time” (As in, a time frame.)
  • 分 (Fun or Bun) – “Minute”
  • 時 (Ji or Toki) – “Hour” or “Time”
  • こと (Koto) – “About (this thing)”
  • 日本 (Nihon) – “Japan”
  • ため (Tame) – “For” or “In regards to”
  • 人 (Hito or Nin) – “Person”
  • 物 (Mono) – “Thing”
  • 国 (Kuni or Koku) – “Country”
  • 大学 (Daigaku) – “College”
  • 今 (Ima) – “Now”
  • 前 (Mae) – “Before”
  • 後 (Ato) – “After”
  • 駅 (Eki) – “(Train) Station”
  • 線 (Sen) – “Line”
  • 電車 (Densha) – “Train”
  • 車 (Kuruma) – “Car”
  • 部屋 (Heya) – “Room”
  • 名前 (Namae) – “Name”
  • 所 / 場所 (Tokoro / Basho) – “Place”
  • 地下鉄 (Chikatetsu) – “Subway”
  • 中 (Naka or Chuu) – “Middle,” “Inside,” or “During”
  • 外 (Soto or Gai) – “Outside”
  • 学校 (Gakkou) – “School”
  • 語 (Go) – “Language” (Combine it with other words like: 言語 (gengo, “language”), 単語 (tango, “words”), 日本語 (Nihongo, “Japanese”), 英語 (Eigo, “English”), スペイン語 (Supeingo, “Spanish”).)
  • 水 (Mizu) – “Water”
  • 映画 (Eiga) – “Movie”
  • テレビ (Terebi) – “TV”
  • 家族 (Kazoku) – “Family”
  • 町 (Machi) – “Town”
  • 他の (Hoka no) – “Other”
  • 出身 (Shusshin) – “Hometown”
  • トイレ / お手洗い (Toire / Otearai) – “Bathroom”
  • 家 (Uchi or Ie) – “Home” or “House”
  • 店 (Mise or Ya) – “Shop”
  • する (Suru) – “To do”
  • です (Desu) – “To be” or “it is”
  • なる (Naru) – “To become”
  • ある (Aru) – “There is” for inanimate objects and plants.
  • いる (Iru) – “There is” for living things, like humans and animals.
  • 言う (Iu) – “To say”
  • 行く (Iku) – “To go”
  • 出来る (Dekiru) – “To be able to do” or “can do”
  • 見る (Miru) – “To see”
  • 送る (Okuru) – “To send”
  • 持つ (Motsu) – “To have” or “to hold”
  • 待つ (Matsu) – “To wait”
  • 会う (Au) – “To meet”
  • 呼ぶ (Yobu) – “To call”
  • 置く (Oku) – “To put”
  • 受ける (Ukeru) – “To receive”
  • 作る (Tsukuru) – “To make”
  • 着く (Tsuku) – “To arrive”
  • 使う (Tsukau) – “To use”
  • 学ぶ (Manabu) – “To learn”
  • 食べる (Taberu) – “To eat”
  • 飲む (Nomu) – “To drink”
  • 帰る (Kaeru) – “To return home”
  • 多い (Ooi) – “Many”
  • たくさん (Takusan) – “Lots of”
  • 少し (Sukoshi) – “Few”
  • 遠い (Tooi) – “Far”
  • 近い (Chikai) – “Near”
  • 小さい (Chiisai) – “Small”
  • 大きい (Ookii) – “Big”
  • 良い (Yoi) – “Good”
  • 悪い (Warui) – “Bad”
  • きれいな (Kirei na) – “Clean” and “Pretty”
  • 醜い (Minikui) – “Ugly”
  • 難しい (Muzukashii) – “Difficult”
  • 簡単な (Kantan na) – “Easy”
  • うまい (Umai) – “Nice”
  • 美味しい (Oishii) – “Delicious”
  • まずい (Mazui) – “Disgusting”
  • 大丈夫 (Daijoubu) – “All right”
  • すごい (Sugoi) – “Amazing”
  • 楽しい (Tanoshii) – “Enjoyable” or “Pleasant”
  • とても (Totemo) – “Very”
  • しかし (Shikashi) – “However”
  • また (Mata) – “Also”
  • その後 (Sono ato) – “After that”
  • その時 (Sono toki) – “At that time”
  • 場合は (Baai wa) – “If you” or “If this happens”
  • 例えば (Tatoeba) – “For example”
  • それから (Sorekara) – “Then”
  • だから (Dakara) – “So”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: