How to Say “Are You Okay?” in Japanese

By Risa

The simplest way to ask “are you okay?” in Japanese is 大丈夫ですか? (daijōbu desu ka?)

Although you can use this phrase in most cases, there are a few other ways to ask if someone is okay. This article will look at different ways to say “are you okay?” in Japanese. 

How to Say “Are You Okay?” In Natural Japanese

大丈夫ですか? (daijōbu desu ka?) is probably the most natural way to ask, “are you okay?” in Japanese.

大丈夫 (daijōbu) means “okay.” Adding “ですか?” (desu ka?) to turn it into a question to ask if someone is okay.

You could use this phrase in most situations, including to strangers and people you don’t know well. Since this is a standard way to say it, it has a very neutral nuance. If you’re ever in doubt about what to say, you can always use this phrase.


頭から血が出ていますよ! 大丈夫ですか?
(Atama kara chi ga dete imasu yo! Daijōbu desu ka?)
You’re bleeding from your head! Are you okay?

大丈夫?(Daijōbu?): “Are You Okay?” in Casual Japanese

A casual way of asking someone if they are okay is to just say 大丈夫? (daijōbu?) with a raising intonation to turn it into a question. The English equivalent would be something like, “you okay?”. Compared to 大丈夫ですか? (daijōbu desu ka?), it has less formal nuance, so you would use this with friends, children, and co-workers, but usually not with people who have a higher social status than you or with people you don’t know well.


1. 転んだの? 大丈夫?|
(Koronda no? Daijōbu?)
You fell? Are you okay?

2. 時間、大丈夫?
(Jikan, daijōbu?)|
Are you okay timewise?

大丈夫でしたか?(Daijōbu Deshita Ka?): A Tricky Usage

大丈夫でしたか? (daijōbu deshita ka?) is, simply put, the past tense of the standard form, 大丈夫ですか? (daijōbu desu ka?). This is tricky because in English, you would probably translate this as, “how were you?” That is probably a question that is hardly ever heard being asked. However, in Japanese, this can be a very natural expression.  

You would use this phrase when something has already happened, and you’re wondering if someone was okay. Another situation in which you can use this is when you’re wondering if someone is okay immediately after something has happened. 


1. 5年前の事故では大丈夫でしたか?
(Gonen mae no jiko dewa daijōbu deshita ka?)
Were you okay in the accident 5 years ago?

2. 今の地震、大丈夫でしたか?
(Ima no jishin, daijōbu deshita ka?)
Were you okay in the earthquake just now?

As you can see, it’s pretty simple to say “are you okay?” in Japanese. The only thing you have to be careful about is the formality and past tense – but they’re not so complicated either! I hope this article was helpful. 

As always, thank you for reading until the end!

Photo of author


Though originally from Yokohama, Risa spent half of her life in the Netherlands. She recently came back to Japan to pursue her variety of interests, from environmental justice to the field of arts, while also enjoying herself with the food and the culture of the country. Her favorite Japanese food is umeboshi.

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