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Common Japanese Words

A list of the most common Japanese words ordered by their frequency of use. You can use this list to learn words efficiently, ensuring you cover the basic vocabulary of Japanese.

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     1. syllable. Hiragana syllable, romaji no
     2. part. genitive case marker
     3. part.    indicates possession: of, -'s
             私の意見 - my opinion
     4. part.    indicates identity or apposition
     1. syllable. Hiragana syllable, romaji ni
     2. part. particle for indirect objects; to
           俺に返せ。 - Give it back to me.
     3. part. particle for location; in
           学校にいる。 - I'm at/in school.
3 する
     1. v. to dosuru
           何をしていますか。 - What are you doing?
     2. v. to wear (accessories)
           ネクタイをする。 - I wear a necktie.
     3. v. (に~) to make into a certain state; to cause to become
     1. syllable. Hiragana syllable, romaji ha
     2. part. (a particle that acts as a topic marker)
           これは犬です。 - This the topic, about which we are speaking is a dog.
           今日は雨ですね。 - It seems like it is raining today.
           今日は雨が降っています。 - literally Today is rain is falling.
     1. syllable. Hiragana syllable, romaji o/wo
     2. part. An (accusative case particle: a grammatical marker following the direct object.)
           私がリンゴを食べる。 - I eat an apple.
           私をリンゴが食べる。 - An apple eats me.
           * As shown in the above two usage examples, Japanese sentences use particles to indicate subject and object, instead of using word order as in English.
     1. part. Indicates the subject of a sentence.
           猫が餌を食べた。 - The cat is the thing that ate the cat food.
           犬がいる。 - There is a dog.
           木がある。 - There is a tree.
     2. part. conjunction ("but")
     1. syllable. Hiragana syllable, romaji to
     2. part. with
           僕と行きたい? - Do you want to go with me?
           あなたと一緒に行きます。 - I will go with you.
     3. part. (when between nouns) and
     1. counter. yearsnen
     2. n. a year
           年に一度 - once a year
     3. suffix. a grade, a school year
           彼 は 中学 2年 だ。 - He's in the second grade in junior high school.
     1. part. at: indicating a location at which something happens
           ここで休みたい。 - I want to rest here (at this location).
     2. part. with, by, using: indicating the means by or with which something happens
           筆ペンで書く - to write with a brush pen
           自転車で行きましょう。 - Let's go by bicycle.
     1. v. (jodoshi) (A general auxiliary verb following parts of speech that do not inflect by themselves, including nouns, na-adjectives, adverbs and prepositional phrases. Its meaning depends on the context
           彼は無実だ。 - He is not guilty.
           汚物 は 消毒 だ。 - The filth should be disinfected.
           お代わり だ。 - (Of a second helping) one more please.
           冬休みは明日からだ。 - Winter vacation is from tomorrow. (Winter vacation starts from tomorrow.)
     1. n. the moontsuki
           日本では月にうさぎが住んでいるというお話があります。 - In Japan, there is a fairy-tale that rabbits live on the moon.
           月は地球の唯一の衛星です。 - The moon is the one and only satellite of the Earth.
     2. n. (astronomy) a natural satellite
     3. n. moonlight, moonbeam
     1. syllable. Hiragana syllable, romaji mo
     2. part. too, also, as well
           田中さんはビールを飲んでいる。スミスさんも飲んでいる。 - Tanaka is drinking beer. Smith is also drinking.
           本日もご来店くださいまして、ありがとうございます。 - Thank you for visiting our store today as well as other days.
           私にもくれた。 - She gave some to me, too.
13 から
     1. part. from, out ofkara
           東京から帰った。 - He returned from Tokyo.
           ずっと前からの話 - a conversation from way back
     2. part. after (following て-form verbs)
           終わってから、来て下さい。 - Please come by after finishing after you've finished.
     1. counter. day of a monthnichi
           2%7日 - the 27th
     2. counter. number of days
           誕生日まであと12日だ - My birthday is in twelve days.
     3. counter. Usage: Sometimes shortened to んち, , -nchi or ち, , -chi.
15 成る
     1. v. なる: becomenaru
           私は先生になります。 - I will become a teacher.
           コーヒーが冷たくなりました。 - The coffee got cold.
     2. v. Usage: * (ja-uk)
     3. v. Usage: * なる corresponds to the English verb "become". When a noun or an adjectival noun (na-adjective) precedes (lang, ja, なる) it is followed by に.
16 こと
     1. n. 事: thing, matterkoto
     2. n. 言: saying
     3. n. 琴, 筝: Japanese zither/harp
     4. n. 異, 殊: difference, exception
17 有る
     1. v. alternative spelling of あるaru
18 よる
     1. v. よる: be based on, depend on, be due to - (at most case)yoru
     2. v. 拠る: be based on, depend on
     3. v. 因る: be due to
     4. v. 寄る: drop by, stop at
     5. v. 選る: select
     1. syllable. Hiragana syllable, romaji ya
     2. part. and/or
           おとしよりや体の不自由な方は登録しませんか。 - Don’t seniors and the physically handicapped and others register?
           最近は犬や猫を飼っている人は多い - recently, many people are raising animals like dogs and/or cats
     3. part. Usage: * Used to conjoin nouns
20 など
     1. part. 等: for example, things like, such as, etc., and so onnado
           納豆や歌舞伎などは日本だけにある。 - Things like natto and kabuki are only in Japan.
     2. part. Usage: *
Dictionary entries from Wiktionary