How to say “How are you?” in Japanese?|Native speaker explains good expressions

Hello,I’m Kuma.

Today,I explain how to say “How are you?” in Japanese.

I don’t know how to say “How are you in Japanese words, so I want to know that!”
I can teach you how to say that in Japanese.

I explain the phrases which mean  “How are you”. These expressions are used by  many Japanese and they are useful.

Who writes this article?

My name is Kuma, which means bear in Japanese. I’m 25 years old Japanese who like traveling and communicating with people. I visited 14 countries. I have experience in teaching Japanese to foreign friends.

“How are you” is used when people see, and there are mainly two expressions in Japanese. I explain that in order

No.1 Genki(げんき?)、Ogenkidesuka?(おげんきですか?)

The first phrase is “Genki?(げんき?)”. Original meaning of “Genki” are “health” and “energy”. This time, “Genki” means “How are you” or “Are you fine”.

Ogenkidesuka(お元気ですか?)” is more polite expression of “Genki”

Japanese tip!

When you add “お(O)” in top of the word or sentence, it includes polite meaning.


① おげんきですか?(Ogenkidesuka?)→ meaning : How are you?

② おすし(Osushi)→ more polite way to say "sushi"

The end of “desu” and “masu” also add polite meaning to the sentence.

By the way, I like Osushi!
Everyone does

How to distinguish between Genki and Ogenkidesuka

Which is the better for you to use Genki and Genkidesuka? It depends on situation. When you talk with the people who is older than you, you should use “Odenkidesuka?” compared with “Genki”.

On the other hand, when you use among friends, it's natural to say Genki(げんき)? It’s simple!

No.2 Choushi dou?(ちょうしどう?)

ちょうしどう?(Choushi dou?)

※Saikou means super good.

The second phrase is “ちょうしどう?”,which we pronounce "Choushi dou?” This meaning is also “How are you?”. Compared with “Genki”, this is more casual way. Also,this is usually used among friends.

Which is better “Genki” or “Choushi dou”

In my opinion,”Genki” is better.

This is because it is short phrase and you can use that easily,haha. It’s just kidding. Genki is more casual expression and I prefer using this. However, both of them are fine.

How to answer these phrases?

Next, I explain how to answer that phrases.

1, How to answer “Genki(げんき?)” 

When the answer is yes, you say “Genkidesu(げんきです)” or “Un(うん)”

When the answer is no, you say“Genkijanaidesu(げんきじゃない)” or “Uun(ううん)”


Japanese useful information

うん(Un)” means “Yes” in English

ううん(Uun)” means “No” in English

It’s also OK to use "hai"(はい),which means yes

and "iie"(いいえ)which means no.

Un and UUn are more casual expressions,

Japanese useful information

In Japanese, subject tend to be omitted. If you translate “I’m fine” in Japanesey

I’m fine = Watashiha genkidesu(わたしは元気です)。

However, in this time, the subject is omitted so わたしは(Watashiha)disappears.

2,How to answer ”Choushidou?(ちょうしどう?)”

ちょうしどう?(Choushi dou?)

When you want to say Yes, you say ”Genkidesu(元気です)" in the same way to answer “Genki?”.

When you want to say No, you say ”Genkijanaidesu(元気じゃないです)"or”Yokunai(よくない)”,

How to write these phrases in kanji?

Next,I explain these phrases in kanji.



It’s difficult to write that, it’s OK at first to use hiragana.

At last

That’s it. If you have questions, please comment!

See you next time!


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