One of the most common English phrases used when replying to someone is “no problem.” This is quite a popular phrase in Japanese, too. There are many different ways to say “no problem” in Japanese, depending on the situation you are in.
Many of the Japanese terms in this article are commonly used to respond to colleagues’ requests in the workplace, teachers at school, or even just casually accepting a friend’s invitation to grab a bite to eat!
Polite Ways to Say “No Problem” in Japanese
The following terms are the most polite ways to say “no problem” in Japanese. These words are generally used in formal situations, especially when speaking with a superior or someone with higher social standing than yourself (like a boss, teacher, etc.).
1. いいですよ (Ii Desu Yo)
This is probably one of the most common phrases you’ll hear and use in Japanese. いい (ii) means “good” or “sufficient.” It can also mean “okay” or “no problem.” Saying いいですよ literally means “it’s good” or “it’s okay.”
You’ll hear this all the time in response to questions asking for permission. For example, if someone asks you questions like “Can I borrow your pen?” or “Is it okay to meet up at a later time?” you can answer with いいですよ. In this case, いいですよ means “sure” or “no problem.”
While this is slightly formal and could be used with co-workers in a business setting, it is too casual if speaking with your boss or business partners. If someone like your boss or business associates ask you a question or for a favor, responding with the more polite わかりました (wakarimashita), which means “understood,” would be more appropriate.
Another common expression is 了解です (ryо̄kai desu) or 了解しました (ryо̄kai shimashita), both of with mean, “Yes, understood.” You should only use this expression to coworkers with the same rank/status as you. While this is more formal than いいですよ and people do say it to their seniors or bosses, this is technically not correct.
For someone who is older, has more seniority, or has a higher rank/status than you in the workplace, the more formal and polite expressions かしこまりました (kashikomarimashita) or 承知しました (shōchi shimashita) should be used instead.
(Machiawase no basho o, eki no kitacughi ni kaetemo iidesuka?)
Can we meet at the north exit at the station, instead?
(Ii desu yo.)
2. 大丈夫 (Daijōbu)
The word 大丈夫 (daijōbu) is often used to express affirmation. When used to respond to a statement or question, it means “No problem; It’s alright; That’s okay.”
(Nokori no shigoto o kimi ni makasete ii kana.)
Is it alright if I leave you to handle the rest of the work?
(Hai, daijōbu desu.)
Yes, that’s alright.
(Data o nyuuryoku suru shigoto nara, daijōbu desu.)
I have no problem with doing data entry work.
In the examples above, 大丈夫 (daijōbu) has the nuance of saying “No problem, I can do that.”
3. 構いません (Kamaimasen)
The verb 構う (kamau) means “to mind or care about.” It is commonly used in its negative polite form as 構いません (kamaimasen) to express neutrality. When used to respond to a statement or question, it means “No problem; I don’t mind; That’s okay.”
We can also use 構いません (kamaimasen) with the particle か (ka) as a formal way to ask questions. 構いませんか？ (kamaimasen ka?) is similar to the common Japanese phrase していいですか？ (shite ii desu ka?).
The difference in nuance is that していいですか is a little like asking “May I do ~?” in English. For example, “May I use your pen?” Or “May I leave work early today?”
構いませんか is closer to the English question, “Would you mind if ~?” For example: “Would you mind if I use your pen?” Or “Would you mind if I leave work early today?”
1. 来週 、作文を提出しても構いませんか？
(Raishuu, sakubun o teishutsu shite mo kamaimasen ka?)
Do you mind if I submit my essay next week?
I don’t mind.
(Monica-senpai no kawari ni kaigi ni shusseki shitemo kamaimasen ga.)
You know, I have no problem with attending the meeting in Monica’s stead.
When used in a question, 構いません (kamaimasen) has the nuance of asking “Do you have any problems/issues with this?” As a response, 構いません (kamaimasen) or its more casual plain form 構わない (kamawanai) has the nuance of saying “Not a problem. I don’t mind.”
4. 問題はない (Mondai Wa Nai)
The phrase 問題はない (mondai wa nai) strictly means “No problem .” Similar to the Japanese word for no: いいえ (iie), 問題はない (mondai wa nai) is a very neutral term.
We can conjugate the ない (nai) into the ます (masu) form to sound more polite, or we can remove the は (ha) particle in the phrase to sound more casual.
(Mondai wa arimasen)
There are no problems
(Mondai wa nai)
There are no problems
(Project wa dō natte imasu ka?)
How is the project coming along?
(Mondai wa nai desu.)
There’s no problems.
(Hayaku ie o detara koutsuu ni mondai wa nai to omoimasu.)
I think we won’t have any problems with traffic so long as we leave the house early.
In example #1 above, 問題はない (mondai wa nai) has the nuance of saying “No problem, it’s going smoothly.”
5. 無事に (Buji Ni)
This term is an adverb mainly used to describe actions or people in the third person. The word is made up of the kanji for nothing: 無 (mu) and the kanji for occurrences: 事 (koto). In an atypical Japanese sentence, 無事に (buji ni) will mean “Without problems; Safely; Smoothly.”
(Sora-san kara renraku ga arimashita ka?)
Have you heard from Sora?
(Hai, denwa de buji ni nihon ni tōchaku shita to shirasete kuremashita.)
Yes, she called me to let me know she arrived in Japan safely.
In example #1 above, 無事に (buji ni) has the nuance of saying, “This occurred without any problems/issues.”
(Shiken o buji ni oemasu you ni.)
I pray I can get through my exams without any problems.
Using the です (Desu)/ます (Masu) Forms to Sound Polite
As we can see from the examples above, nouns should generally be paired with the polite です (desu), and verbs should be conjugated in ます (masu) form when used in formal situations. For more casual situations, we can use a term like 大丈夫 (daijōbu) with the casual particle だ (da), and we can leave verbs such as 構う (kamau) conjugated in their dictionary form instead.
Casual Ways to Say “No Problem” in Japanese
The following terms are casual ways to say “no problem” in Japanese. These words should only be used in informal situations and have no polite variations. These terms are great to use as responses in natural conversation with friends and people close to you.
1. いいよ (Ii Yo)
This is the informal version of いいですよ (ii desu yo) explained above in the “Polite Words” section. This is very, very commonly used by both men and women in casual conversations. Since this is a casual expression, you’ll only use this with people you know well (friends, family, coworkers you’re close to, etc.).
It’s commonly used in response to questions asking for permission or confirmation. In this case, it means “sure” or “no problem.”
(Gomen! Chotto okureru kamo.)
Sorry! I might be a little bit late.
(Ii yo. Yukkuri oidene.)
No problem. No need to rush.
2. いいとも (Iitomo)
Much like 大丈夫 (daijōbu), いいとも (iitomo) is mainly used to express positive affirmation. However, this term is strictly casual – that means you won’t ever see it paired with です (desu) or used in formal situations. As a response, it means “No problem; Sounds good.” However, it is not very commonly used by native Japanese speakers. The most common expression used in casual conversations is いいよ (ii yo) explained above.
(Konshuumatsu boku to asobanai?)
How about hanging out with me this weekend?
In the example above, いいとも (iitomo) has the nuance of saying “I have no problems with that!”
3. ドンマイ (Donmai)
ドンマイ (donmai) is commonly used as slang among friends. This katakana word originates from the English phrase: “Don’t mind .”As a response, it means, “No problem; Don’t worry about it; I don’t mind.”
(Gomen, Jerry! Kashite kureta enpitsu o nakushita mitai.)
Sorry, Jerry! It seems like I lost the pencil you lent me.
(Donmai! Tada no enpitsu da shi.)
Don’t worry about it! It was just a pencil, after all.
In this conversation example, ドンマイ (donmai) has the nuance of saying “It’s not a problem.”
4. オッケー (Okkē)
オッケー (okkē) is another casual way to say no problem in Japanese. This katakana word originates from the English word: “Okay.” You may often see this term stylized in English capital letters as “OK” instead of in katakana.
(Nihongo de OK desu.)
I’m okay with Japanese.
In the above example, オッケー (okkē) has the nuance of saying “I have no problems with this” or “I don’t mind this.”
While there are numerous ways to say “no problem” in Japanese, there’s no need to memorize them all at once! You can start with first focusing on learning the most basic terms such as 大丈夫 (daijōbu) and 問題はない (mondai wa nai), as they can be used in both formal and casual situations as conversational responses, and in regular sentences. Just remember to use polite language such as です (desu) and ます (masu) conjugations when using these terms formally!
Interested in learning more useful Japanese phrases? Check out our other language guides here!