How to Say “Sometimes” in Japanese: A Comprehensive Guide

Learning how to express “sometimes” in Japanese is essential for effective communication. Whether you want to convey your availability, describe occasional activities, or express uncertainties, this guide will provide you with a wealth of tips, examples, and variations of the word “sometimes” in both formal and informal contexts. So, let’s dive in!

Formal Ways to Say “Sometimes” in Japanese

In formal situations, it’s important to use appropriate language. Here are some formal expressions for “sometimes” in Japanese:

1. 時々 (Tokidoki)

One of the most common and versatile words for “sometimes” in Japanese is 時々 (tokidoki). It can be used in various contexts and is suitable for both written and spoken communication.

Example 1: 私は時々新しいレストランに行きます。

Translation: I sometimes go to new restaurants.

2. まれに (Mare ni)

When you want to express that something happens rarely but occasionally, you can use まれに (mare ni).

Example 2: 彼女はまれに映画に行きます。

Translation: She sometimes goes to the movies (rarely).

3. たまに (Tamani)

Another formal way to say “sometimes” is たまに (tamani). It implies occasional occurrences without specifying frequency.

Example 3: 私はたまに友達と旅行に行きます。

Translation: I sometimes go on trips with friends.

Informal Ways to Say “Sometimes” in Japanese

In informal settings or casual conversations, Japanese offers several choices for expressing “sometimes.” Here are a few common informal phrases:

1. 時々 (Tokidoki)

Yes, you can use 時々 (tokidoki) in both formal and informal situations. It remains a versatile word for expressing “sometimes.”

Example 4: うちの猫は時々魚を食べます。

Translation: My cat sometimes eats fish.

2. ちょくちょく (Choku choku)

If you want to emphasize more frequent occurrences in an informal or colloquial setting, you can use ちょくちょく (choku choku).

Example 5: 彼はちょくちょく遅刻します。

Translation: He sometimes arrives late (quite often).

3. 時折 (Tokiori)

When you want to convey occasional, intermittent, or sporadic events in an informal manner, 時折 (tokiori) is a useful word to incorporate.

Example 6: 雨が時折降ることがあります。

Translation: Sometimes it rains (occasionally).

Regional Variations

While Japanese has numerous regional dialects, the variations for expressing “sometimes” are not significant. The previously mentioned phrases are widely understood throughout Japan. However, some regional dialects may include slight differences in pronunciation or alternative expressions.

Tips for Using “Sometimes” Effectively

Now that you have a range of expressions for “sometimes” at your disposal, here are some tips to help you incorporate them more effectively into your Japanese conversations:

1. Context Matters

Understanding the context is crucial when choosing the right word for “sometimes.” Consider the frequency and nature of the occurrence to accurately express yourself.

2. Pay Attention to Nuances

Some expressions carry nuances related to rarity, frequency, or casualness. Be aware of these nuances to ensure your message is accurately conveyed.

3. Mimic Native Speakers

Listen to native Japanese speakers and watch Japanese media to become familiar with the appropriate usage and intonation of these expressions. This will help you sound more natural.

4. Practice Contextual Usage

Integrate these expressions into your daily conversations, language exchanges, or writing. The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll become with using “sometimes” in various situations.


Congratulations! You’ve reached the end of our comprehensive guide on expressing “sometimes” in Japanese. Remember to consider the formality of the situation when choosing the appropriate expression. Whether you use 時々 (tokidoki), まれに (mare ni), たまに (tamani), ちょくちょく (choku choku), or 時折 (tokiori), expressing “sometimes” in Japanese will undoubtedly enhance your communication skills. Practice, immerse yourself in the language, and enjoy the journey of mastering this valuable word!

Written by Alison Catherine

Hi, I'm Alison! A linguistic enthusiast with a penchant for global dialects, cultural intricacies and sweet delicacies. I combine passion, wit and creativity in my guides to cater to your textual and casual conversation needs. My love for the English language, tongue-twisting names and exotic slang is only rivaled by my weakness for tennis and Valyrian dragons. Here's to making words fun and uncomplicated, one post at a time!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Guide: How to Say “Small” in Gorilla Tag

How to Say “I am Evil” in German: A Guide