Interjections and incidental words

Jan 17, 2011  

The following are a list of words, usually at the start of a sentence, that are used as incidental words or interjections to start expressing something.  Often what’s used indicates something of the mood, attidude or reaction of the person saying it.

Wow! Oh! Ah!

  • Ara (あら) – Oh! Gosh! (mostly a feminine sound)
  • Ara^ (あらあ) – Oh my! (expression of sympathy or chagrin disappointment)
  • Kawaii (かわいい) - Cute! (sometimes the last vowel sound can be extended for effect)
  • Sugoi (すごい) - Amazing! Wow!
  • Yokatta ne! (よかった ね) - Great!  Good for you!
  • Kirei (きれい) – Pretty! (usually “Kirei ne”)
  • A^! (あー) - Oh! Ah!
  • Otto (おっと) – Oh! Oops!
  • Kya^ (きゃあ) - Ooh!
  • Taihen da! (大変) - That's terrible! Damn! Oh my god!
  • Ma^ (まっ) – Oh my!
  • Oya (おや) – Gosh!
  • Wa^ (わあ) - Gosh!
  • He^ (へえ) - Wow! Gosh!
  • So^ ka! (そうか!) - I get it! (if posed as a question, it means “is that right?)
Oy! Hey! Say...
  • O^i! / Oi! (おおい / おい) - Hey / Oy!
  • Chotto (ちょっと) - (means little, but is also used as an interjection) Say / hey / listen here!
  • Ja^ (じゃあ) - (contraction of dewa / では) – Now then... In that case...
  • Ne^ (ねえ) – Say...
Huh? What?
  • E^? (えつ) - Huh? What?
  • Are? (あれ) – If said as a question, this can indicate mild surprise, like “what!” or “really!?”, if something is not expected.
  • Ha? (は?) - Huh? Pardon? (often said when something hasn't been heard right, or in surprise at something)
Erm... Hmm...
  • Ano (あの) – Umm... Erm... Excuse me...
  • E^to (えーと) – Erm... let me see... well...
  • Sate / Sate to (さてと) – Let's see... Well then... (used before doing something)
  • Iya^ (いやあ) – An elongated form of the informal “no” (iya). Means: yes / well / really / I mean
  • Saa (さあ) - Hmm...  I don't know...
Woohoo!
  • Yareyare (やれやれ) - Phew! (indication of relief)
  • Yatta (やった) - I did it! Yay!
Yeah. Okay. No.
  • Hai (はい) - Yes / Hi!
  • Hei (ヘイ) – informal “yes” (はい)
  • Ok (オーケー) - Okay!
  • Ha^ (はあ) - Yeah, okay
  • So^so^ (そうそう) – Oh yeah! That's right!
  • Hora (ほら) – You know...
  • N / Un (ん / うん) – Yeah (If you ask a negative question, like “are you not cold”, Japanese will say “yes” to mean they aren't cold. It's logical, but differs from an English response)
  • Ryo^kai (了解)無線で – I understand / that's okay
  • Yoshi (よし) - All right / Okay / Great! (interjection form of Yoi / Ii)
  • Ya^ (やー) – Different form of iya^ and can mean “that's odd”
  • Mate (まて) – Wait
  • Yamete (やめて) – Stop! Don't!
  • Sa^ (さあ) - Let's... Hmm...
However... And...
  • Soshite (そして) – And
  • Do^mo (どうも) – Indeed... Very much... Quite...
  • Demo (でも) - But
  • Mada (未だ) - Still / Yet
  • Kitto (きっと) - Surely...
  • Ima (今) - Now
  • Sugu (すぐ) – Immediately
  • Yatto (やっと) - Finally / At last
  • Nao (なお) - Further / However
Fool! Idiot! Damn!
  • Baka (バカ) - Idiot / Silly
  • Che! (チェツ) – Damn! (expression of chagrin)
  • Kuso (くそ) – Shit! Crap! (expression of chagrin)
  • Shiranai (しらない) – I don't know you! (used more often by females when annoyed)
  • Kirai! (きらい!) – Meanie! (Mainly used by women) / I hate you!
This and that...
  • Kore (これ) - This
  • Kono (この) - This
  • Sore (それ) - That (close by)
  • Are (あれ) - That (further away)
  • Konna (こんな) – Such
Sorry
  • Gomen ne (ごめんね) - Informal sorry

  • Sumimasen (すみません) - Sorry / Excuse me