How to Say “Be Careful” in Japanese: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to learning a new language, understanding useful phrases for everyday situations is essential. One such phrase you might find yourself needing to know in Japanese is “Be careful.” Whether you want to warn a friend, express concern, or offer advice, knowing how to say “be careful” in Japanese can prove quite handy. In this guide, we will explore both formal and informal ways to convey this message, along with some tips, examples, and even a brief look at regional variations.

Formal Ways to Say “Be Careful” in Japanese:

If you want to express caution or issue a formal warning, these phrases will come in handy:

1. お気をつけて (Oki o tsukete)

When you want to express genuine concern and tell someone to be careful, “お気をつけて” is a widely used phrase. This formal version is appropriate for any context, and it is often used when someone is about to embark on a journey or perform a physically demanding task.


「お気をつけて、雨の中で車を運転しないでください。」(Oki o tsukete, ame no naka de kuruma o unten shinai de kudasai.)

Translation: “Please be careful and don’t drive in the rain.”

2. ご用心ください (Goyōshin kudasai)

Offering a more formal and serious tone, “ご用心ください” is commonly used to give someone a warning or cautionary advice. It is appropriate for urgent situations or when someone may be heading into potential danger.


「ご用心ください!この道路は危険です!」(Goyōshin kudasai! Kono dōro wa kiken desu!)

Translation: “Please be careful! This road is dangerous!”

Informal Ways to Say “Be Careful” in Japanese:

When talking to friends, family, or peers in a more casual setting, these expressions will help you convey the message to “be careful”:

1. 気をつけてね (Ki o tsukete ne)

For informal situations, “気をつけてね” is an easy and commonly used phrase among friends or close acquaintances. It carries a warm and caring tone, making it suitable for everyday settings.


「気をつけてね!雨がすごくて滑りやすいから。」(Ki o tsukete ne! Ame ga sugokute suberiyasui kara.)

Translation: “Be careful! It’s raining heavily, and it’s slippery out there.”

2. 危ないから気をつけて (Abunai kara ki o tsukete)

When you want to give a more straightforward warning regarding a specific danger, “危ないから気をつけて” is an appropriate phrase to use. It’s a bit more serious than the previous informal expression.


「危ないから気をつけて、階段が滑りやすいよ。」(Abunai kara ki o tsukete, kaidan ga suberiyasui yo.)

Translation: “Be careful because the stairs are slippery.”

Tips for Using “Be Careful” in Japanese:

Now that you know how to say “be careful” in both formal and informal settings, here are a few additional tips to keep in mind:

  • 1. Tone of voice: When using these phrases in Japanese, your tone of voice plays a significant role. Make sure to convey genuine concern or caution, depending on the situation.
  • 2. Non-verbal cues: Along with saying the phrase, you can reinforce your message by using appropriate body language, such as a concerned facial expression or putting your hand up carefully.
  • 3. Context matters: The context in which you use these phrases is vital. Tailor your wording and tone to fit the situation, whether it’s a formal setting or a casual conversation.
  • 4. Show empathy: When someone tells you to be careful in Japanese, remember to thank them and show appreciation for their concern. Saying “ありがとう” (arigatō) or “Thank you” is a great way to acknowledge their care.

Regional Variations:

While the above phrases are commonly used throughout Japan, it’s worth noting that there can be slight regional variations in expressing “be careful.” People in different regions might use alternative terms or dialects to convey the same meaning. Here’s an example of a regional variation:

1. ご用心あれ (Goyōshin are) – Kansai Dialect:

In the Kansai region, which includes cities like Osaka and Kyoto, the phrase “ご用心あれ” is commonly used instead of “ご用心ください.” This slight variation still means “be careful” in a formal sense.

By familiarizing yourself with these regional variations, you can better understand and communicate with people from different parts of Japan.

Remember, incorporating phrases like “be careful” into your Japanese vocabulary not only allows you to express genuine concern and offer advice but also helps you form deeper connections with native Japanese speakers. So, practice these phrases and use them wisely!

We hope this comprehensive guide has provided you with the knowledge and confidence to use “be careful” in Japanese effectively. Now go out there and communicate with care!

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darren onyskiw
darren onyskiw
27 days ago

thanks for the good work Bryce. are you on Youtube??

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