How to Say “Let Me Go” in Japanese: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to expressing the phrase “let me go” in Japanese, it’s essential to understand the appropriate usage in different contexts, including both formal and informal situations. This guide will provide you with a variety of translations, tips, and examples to help you navigate this phrase effectively.

Formal Ways to Say “Let Me Go”

In formal situations, it’s crucial to use polite language and honorifics to convey deference and respect. Here are some options to use when you need to say “let me go” in a formal setting:

1. 行かせてください。(Ikasete kudasai)

This phrase literally translates to “please let me go.” It is a polite and formal way to express your request when you want someone to permit your departure.

2. 行ってもいいですか。(Itte mo ii desu ka)

This phrase means “Is it okay if I go?” It is a polite way to ask for permission to leave a formal gathering or event.

3. ゆるしていただけますか。(Yurushite itadakemasu ka)

When translated, this phrase means “May I be excused?” It is a respectful way to ask for permission to leave a formal setting, such as a business meeting or formal dinner.

Informal Ways to Say “Let Me Go”

In more casual or informal situations, you can use less formal language to express your request to leave. Here are some options you can utilize:

1. 行かせてくれ。(Ikasete kure)

This phrase translates to “let me go” in an informal manner. It’s suitable to use among friends or acquaintances in casual settings.

2. 行っていい?(Itte ii)

This phrase means “Can I go?” and is used mainly in casual situations when seeking permission to leave.

3. 逃がしてよ。(Nigashite yo)

When translated, this phrase means “let me escape” or “let me get away.” It is used informally when you want to express a bit of urgency or playfulness alongside your request to leave.

Additional Tips and Examples

Understanding how and when to say “let me go” in Japanese is not only about the actual phrase but also the cultural and contextual nuances. Here are some additional tips and examples to help you navigate this phrase effectively:

1. Pay Attention to Facial Expressions

In Japanese culture, facial expressions play a significant role. When expressing your desire to leave, consider showing a sense of gratitude to the host or respond with a friendly smile. This helps maintain a warm atmosphere and shows your appreciation.

2. Use Body Language

Accompanying your phrase with appropriate body language helps convey your message more effectively. For example, combining a slight bow with “行かせてください” (Ikasete kudasai) in a formal setting demonstrates respect and politeness.

3. Adjust Your Tone

Depending on the situation, you can adjust your tone to match the level of formality or urgency. A softer and more polite tone works well in formal settings, while a casual and friendly tone suits informal situations among friends or peers.

4. Context Matters

Consider the context in which you want to say “let me go” and choose the appropriate phrase accordingly. Tailoring your expression to fit the specific situation demonstrates cultural sensitivity and enhances effective communication.

5. Express Gratitude

Before leaving, it’s customary to express gratitude to the host or others present. You can do this by saying “ありがとうございました” (Arigatou gozaimashita) meaning “Thank you very much” to show your appreciation before taking your leave.


  • Formal: At the end of a formal business meeting, you can say, “行かせてください” (Ikasete kudasai) while slightly bowing.
  • Informal: When leaving a casual gathering with friends, you can simply say, “行っていい?” (Itte ii).

Remember, fluency in a language is often achieved by practicing and immersing yourself in its culture. Don’t hesitate to use these phrases in real-life situations and pay attention to native speakers for further guidance.

In conclusion, this guide has provided you with various translations and tips to say “let me go” in Japanese. Whether you’re in a formal or informal setting, understanding the appropriate phrases, context, and cultural nuances will help you navigate social interactions smoothly. Enjoy learning the Japanese language and embrace the warmth of its culture!

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