10 Ways to Say “Okay” in Natural Japanese

There are many ways to say “okay” in Japanese using different levels of politeness. This article will teach you how to say “okay” naturally in different situations.  

Ways to Say Okay to Confirm Things

Here are the natural ways to say “okay” in Japanese to confirm things.

1. オッケー(Okkē): Okay

This is the simplest and most casual way to say “okay” in Japanese. 

While this word comes from English, the pronunciation is a little different from English. It is usually pronounced “okkē.” (a small つ (tsu) between the オ (o) and “ケー (), and the ケー () sound is elongated.)

This is a casual way to say “okay,” so it is only used among friends and family and NOT in any business or formal situations. 

Even if you put です (desu) at the end of the sentence to make it more polite, it still is too informal to use with people with a higher social status than you (your boss, teacher, etc.).  


1. 智子: 明日10時に駅で会おうね!
Tomoko: (Ashita jūji ni eki de aō ne.)
Tomoko: Let’s meet at the station at 10 o’clock tomorrow.

    道子: オッケー!
Michiko: (Okkē!)
Michiko: Okay!

2. 健史: 公園に集合ね!
Takeshi: (Kōen ni shūgō ne!)
Takeshi: Let’s meet up at the park!

    健: オッケー!
Ken: (Okkē!)
Ken: Okay!

2. ラジャ (Raja): Roger, Okay

The word “ラジャ (raja)” is also borrowed from English. We pronounce it “ラジャ (raja)” or by extending the final “a” sound like this: “ラジャー (rajā).”

This expression is sometimes used in media like children’s cartoons. Most adults don’t often say ラジャ (raja) in their daily conversations. It is more often used in text messages with friends.  

Because this expression is very casual, you should refrain from using it in formal situations or with people of high social status. You should only use it with people you are close to, like your friends and family.  


(Ken ni ashita uchi ni koreru ka kiitara, raja to shōto messēji ga kaette kita.)
When I asked Ken if he could come to visit me tomorrow, I got a text message that said, “roger.”

3. 大丈夫 (Daijōbu): (I’m) Okay

大丈夫 (daijōbu) is another casual way to say okay. However, you can also use 大丈夫 to say, “I’m okay.” 

For example, if you slip and fall, someone may ask you:

(Daijōbu desu ka?)
Are you okay?

You can reply to this by saying, “大丈夫です。” which means “I’m okay” in this situation.  

It can also be used to confirm things. If your boss asks you, “The meeting was changed to 10 am. Is that okay?” You can reply with 大丈夫です if you are okay with the meeting being changed.  

Adding です (desu) makes this expression more polite and suitable for use in the workplace or even with people of higher social status.  


1. 花子: 明日買い物に行かれる?
Hanako: (Ashita kaimono ni ikareru?)
Hanako: Can you go shopping tomorrow?

    道子: うん。大丈夫。
Michiko: (Un. Daijōbu.)
Michiko: Yea. Okay.

2. 先生: 明日までに課題を提出できますか?
Sensei: (Ashita made ni kadai o teishutsu dekimasu ka?)
Teacher: Can you submit your assignment by tomorrow?

    生徒: 大丈夫です。
Seito: (Daijōbu desu.)
Student: Okay. (Yes, I can.)

4. 良いよ/いいよ (Ii Yo): Okay, It’s Okay

良いよ/いいよ (ii yo) is also very casual. It is probably the most common way to say okay in casual conversations.

Adding です can make it more polite: いいです/良いです (ii desu). However, いいです might still even be too casual to say to people with a higher social status than you. It can even sound cold and standoffish if said in a serious tone.  


1. 花子: 今週末、引っ越しの手伝いをしてくれない?
Hanako: (Konshū matsu hikkoshi no tetsudai o shite kurenai?)
Hanako: Can you help me move house this weekend?

    道子: うん。いいよ。
Michiko: (Un. Ii yo.)
Michiko: Yup.  Okay.

 2. 店員レシートご入り用になりますか? (At a convenience store)
Tenin: (Reshīto goiriyō ni narimasu ka?)
Store employee: Would you like a receipt?  

    健: いや、いいです
Ken: (Iya, ii desu.)  
Ken: No, that’s okay.  

5. 分かりました (Wakarimashita): Okay, Understood

This is a polite way to say “okay” or “understood” in Japanese.

You could make this expression more casual by using the plain form like this: 分かった (wakatta).

分かりました (wakarimashita) is polite enough to be used in some business settings but should be avoided in very formal situations (business meetings, with your customers, etc.) or with people of very high status (company president, guests of honor, etc.).  


 1. 先生: 明日は遠足に行くので、皆さんお弁当を忘れずに持ってきてください。
Sensei: (Ashita wa ensoku ni iku node minasan obentō o wasurezu ni mottekite kudasai.)
Teacher: Everyone, we are going on a school trip tomorrow, so don’t forget to bring your lunch.

    生徒: 分かりました。
Seito: (Wakarimashita.)
Students: Okay. / Understood.

2. お母さん: 明日は遠足に行くんでしょ?早く寝ないとだめよ。
Okāsan: (Ashita wa ensoku ni ikun desho? Hayaku nenai to dame yo.)
Mother: You are going on a school trip tomorrow, right? You have to go to bed soon.

    子供: うん、分かった。おやすみなさい, お母さん。
Kodomo: (Un wakatta. Oyasuminasai okāsan.)
Child:  Okay. Good night, mom.

6. 了解しました (Ryōkai Shimashita): Understood

了解しました (ryōkai shimashita) is a more formal way to say “okay.” We often use it in business settings. However, you should note that this expression is used for colleagues, but NOT for your boss or business partners. If you want to be casual, you can just say “了解 (ryōkai).”


1. 健史: お客様にプレゼントを買って来てくれるかな?
Takeshi: (Okyakusama ni purezento o katte kite kureru kana?)
Takeshi: Could you buy a present for our client?

    花子: 了解しました。
Hanako: (Ryōkai shimashita.)
Hanako: (Okay) Understood.

2. お母さん: 今日は花子の誕生日だからケーキを買って来て。
Okāsan: (Kyō wa Hanako no tanjōbi dakara kēki o katte kite.)
Mother: Today is Hanako’s birthday, so please buy a cake for her.

    お父さん: 了解!
Otōsan: (Ryōkai.)
Father: Okay. / Got it.

7. 承知 しました (Shōchi Shimashita)

This is the most polite/formal way to say “okay” or “understood” that is still commonly used. This would be the most suitable expression to use in business settings.


1. 上司: 明日までに会議の書類を作っておいてください。
Jōshi: (Ashita made ni kaigi no shorui o tsukutte oite kudasai.)
Boss: Please prepare the documents for our meeting by tomorrow. 

    健: 承知しました。
Ken: (Shōchi shimashita.)
Ken: Understood.

2. 上司: 銀行へ行って入金を済ませて来てください。
Jōshi: (Ginkō e itte nyūkin o sumasetekite kudasai.)
Boss: Please go to the bank and make a deposit.

    花子: 承知しました。
Hanako: (Shōchi shimashita.)
Hanako: Okay.

That’s Okay:  Using Okay to Say Something is Fine

Here are expressions that mean “okay” with the nuance of “that’s okay” or “that’s fine.)

8. 構いません (Kamaimasen)       

構いません (kamaimasen) is a polite way to say “It’s fine.” “I don’t mind.” or “It’s okay (for me).”  


1. 花子: 明日の会議は10時からで良いですか?
Hanako: (Ashita no kaigi wa jūji kara de ii desu ka?)
Hanako: Can we have a meeting at 10 o’clock?

    隆史: 構いませんよ。
Takeshi: (Kamaimasen yo.)
Takeshi: Okay. / That’s fine. I don’t mind.  

2. 花子: 次回までにサンプルを準備してもらえますか?
Hanako: (Jikai made ni sanpuru o junbi shite moraemasu ka?)
Hanako: Would you be able to prepare some samples by next time?

    健史: 構いませんよ。
Takeshi: (Kamaimasen yo.)
Takeshi: Okay. / No problem.

9. 結構です (Kekkō Desu): That’s Okay, That’s Fine

結構です (kekkō desu) has the same meaning as 構いません (kamaimasen), but 結構です (kekkō desu) is also used to decline something you can tell them 結構です as a polite way to refuse.  

*Note: In Japan, you’ll see people handing out flyers or small packets of tissues on busy streets, in front of stores, or at train stations. Flyers or packets of tissues are used for advertising a business. Sometimes, if you take their flier or tissue, they will try to talk to you (about the business or try to promote something). If you rather not deal with that, just tell them 結構です and don’t take anything from them. Or you can simply give them a slight head bow and walk past them.  


1. 花子: 明日の会議は10時からで良いですか?
Hanako: (Ashita no kaigi wa jūji kara de ii desu ka?)
Hanako: Can we have a meeting at 10 o’clock?

    隆史: はい。結構です。
Takeshi: (Hai. Kekkō desu.)
Takeshi: That’s fine. / It’s not a problem.  

2. 店員: レジ袋は入りますか?
Ten-in: (Reji bukuro wa irimasu ka?)
Store employee: Do you need a plastic bag?

花子: いいえ、結構です。
Hanako: (Iie, kekkō desu.)
Hanako: No thank you.

10. 大丈夫(です) (Daijōbu Desu): It’s Okay, That’s Okay

This is a very common expression. Japanese often say “大丈夫(です) (daijyōbu desu)” because this is an easy way to express that something is “okay” or “not a problem.”

However, it is a casual expression, so you should avoid using it with people of high status (the president of a company, distinguished guests, etc.) or in formal situations.  


1. 道子: 週末、映画を観に行ける?
Michiko: (Shūmatsu eiga o mi ni ikeru?)
Michiko: Can you go to see a movie this weekend?

    花子: 大丈夫!
Hanako: (Daijōbu!)
Hanako: Okay!

3. 花子: 来週は出張に行かれますか?
Hanako: (Raishū wa shucchō ni ikaremasu ka?)
Hanako: Can you go on a business trip next week?

    健史: 大丈夫です。
Takeshi: (Daijōbu desu.)
Takeshi: No problem.

大丈夫? (Daijōbu?) / 大丈夫ですか?(Daijōbu Desu Ka?): Are You Okay?

大丈夫 (daijōbu) can also be used to ask someone if they are okay. If you want to be polite, you can say 大丈夫ですか (Daijōbu desu ka?)

To reply to this question, you can just say 大丈夫 (daijōbu) or 大丈夫です (daijōbu desu). 


1. 道子: 具合が悪そうだけど、大丈夫
Michiko: (Guai ga warusō dakedo daijōbu?)
Michiko: You don’t look so good.  Are you okay?

    智子: うん、大丈夫。ありがとう。
Tomoko: (Un daijōbu. Arigatō.)
Tomoko: Yes, I’m okay. Thank you.

Ways to Ask Permission For Something: “Is It Okay To 〜?” 

There are 3 simple ways to ask if something is okay. These patterns all mean, “Is it okay to ~?” However, their level of politeness is different. Let’s look at these 3 patterns in order from casual to polite.  

1. Casual: (〜しても)大丈夫ですか?(〜Shite Mo Daijōbu Desu Ka?) 

When you talk to people who you are close with (family and friends), you can say “大丈夫 (daijōbu)?”


1a. 帰っても大丈夫ですか
(Kaette mo daijōbu desu ka?)
Is it okay if I go home?

1b.  帰っても大丈夫? (Casual/Informal Version)
(Kaette mo daijōbu ?)
Can I go home?

2a.  これ食べても大丈夫ですか**
(Kore tabete mo daijōbu desu ka?)
Is it okay if I eat this?

2b.  これ食べても大丈夫** (Casual/Informal Version)
(Kore tabete mo daijōbu?)
Can I eat this? 

**Note:  Just as in English, this sentence can have two meanings. It can either mean, “Is it safe to eat it (even though it’s passed the expiration date)?” or it can be asking for permission to eat it.

 2. Polite: 〜いいですか?(〜Ii Desu Ka?) 

Using いい (ii) instead of 大丈夫 (daijōbu) makes this expression slightly more polite.  

You can also make this pattern more casual by dropping the ですか and just saying 〜いい (ii), as in example 3 below:


During a class at school: 

1. 先生、トイレに行ってもいいですか? 
(Sensei, toire ni itte mo ii desu ka?)
Teacher, may I go to the bathroom?

2. 花子: 何かお飲みになりますか?
Hanako: (Nanika onomi ni narimasu ka?)
Hanako: Would you like to drink something?

    道子: コーヒーをいただいてもいいですか
Michiko: (Kōhī o itadaite mo ii desu ka?)
Michiko:  Could I have some coffee?

3. 花子: 何か飲む?
Hanako: (Nanika nomu?)
Hanako: Do you want to drink something?

    道子: コーヒーもらっていい
Michiko: (Kōhī moratte ii?)
Michiko: Can I have some coffee?

3. Very Polite: 宜しいですか?(Yoroshii Desu Ka?) 

This expression is more polite than いいですか (ii desu ka).  

You can use this expression in business situations and with people with a higher social status.  

You can make this expression a little more polite and formal by changing the です (desu) to でしょう (deshō), as shown in example 2 below:


1. ペンをお借りしても宜しいですか
(Pen o okari shitemo yoroshii desu ka?) 
May I use your pen?

2. 部屋に入っても宜しいでしょうか
(Heya ni haitte mo yoroshii deshō ka?)
Would it be okay if I came in?

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Yumi Nakata

Yumi is a native speaker of Japanese. She is living in Kanagawa, Japan, raising her three kids. She studied English as an exchange student in Washington state for a year. The days she spent with her American friends are some of the greatest memories of her life.

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