Guide: How to Say “Tired” in Japanese

Feeling tired and in need of expressing it in Japanese? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various ways to say “tired” in Japanese, including formal and informal expressions. Along the way, we’ll provide helpful tips and examples to boost your understanding. Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate learner, this guide will surely assist you in expanding your Japanese vocabulary.

Formal Expressions:

If you wish to express your fatigue in a polite and formal manner, consider the following options:

  • 1. 疲れました (tsukaremashita)

    This expression is simple and commonly used. It translates directly to “I’m tired” and is appropriate for formal situations or when speaking to someone of higher status. For example:


    (Kyō wa ichinichijū arukimawarimashita node, tsukaremashita.)

    “I walked around all day today, so I’m tired.”

  • 2. お疲れ様です (otsukaresama desu)

    This phrase carries a deeper meaning of acknowledging someone’s hard work or effort. It can be used to show empathy for others who are tired. You may hear it commonly used in the workplace. For example:


    (Kyō wa hontō ni otsukaresama desu.)

    “You worked really hard today.”

Informal Expressions:

If you’re among friends or in casual situations, these expressions will help you convey your tiredness more informally:

  • 1. 疲れた (tsukareta)

    This is a simple and commonly used phrase to express being tired in an informal setting. It is the casual form of “疲れました.” For example:


    (Kinō no pātī de totemo tanoshikatta kedo, sugoku tsukareta.)

    “Yesterday’s party was so much fun, but I’m really tired.”

  • 2. めっちゃ疲れた (meccha tsukareta)

    This colloquial expression, often used by younger individuals, adds emphasis to your fatigue. It’s similar to saying “totally tired” or “exhausted” in English. For example:


    (Saigo made shikenbenkyō o ganbarimashita ga, meccha tsukareta.)

    “I studied hard until the end for the exam, but I’m totally exhausted.”

Tips and Cultural Insights:

Here are a few additional tips and cultural insights to enhance your understanding of expressing tiredness in Japanese:

  • Avoid saying 疲れている (tsukareteiru) casually: This phrase is often associated with a deeper and more chronic fatigue, rather than temporary tiredness. It’s best to reserve it for situations where you genuinely feel exhausted or burned out.
  • Body language speaks volumes: In Japanese culture, physical cues such as yawning or rubbing your eyes subtly indicate fatigue. Combine these with the appropriate expression to convey your tiredness effectively.
  • Context matters: Consider the circumstances and the relationship you have with the person you are speaking to when choosing a formal or informal expression. Adapting your language appropriately is important in Japanese culture.

With these expressions, examples, and tips in mind, you’re well-equipped to express your fatigue in Japanese confidently. Remember to consider the formality of the situation and adjust your speech accordingly. So go ahead, embrace your tiredness, and communicate it fluently in Japanese!

Happy learning!

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