‘I hate you’ is one of those negative phrases you probably wish to never use in conversation.
However, it’s always useful to have the knowledge under your belt – just in case you find yourself in a position where you wanna let someone know how you really feel!
The standard way to say hate in Japanese is kirai (嫌い / きらい).
But there are several different ways to express your hatred for someone or something in Japanese, from a mild dislike to a strong resentment!
As you may already know, in general, many Japanese people are not very confrontational. It is almost ingrained in society to keep the peace and not bring up negativity.
If you have any grudges against someone, it is seen as best to keep it to yourself or to downplay your feelings.
Our first phrase on the list, suki janai, really highlights this point!
I don’t like you
In our last post, we learned to say suki (好き / すき) for ‘I like you’ in Japanese.
By simply negating this phrase, we are left with the expression suki janai (好きじゃない / 好きじゃない): ‘I hate you’.
Admittedly, this actually directly translates to ‘I don’t like you’.
However, as discussed, the Japanese language is not known for being so direct, especially in hostile situations. So, by saying suki janai you can convey the same message of ‘hate’, in less of a harsh manner.
To negate a phrase in Japanese, it can be most commonly done by adding de wa nai (ではない) at the end, usually in place of desu.
Janai (じゃない) is simply the shortened version of de wa nai, which you will hear very often in spoken Japanese.
Kimura-san no koto ga suki desu
I like Kimura
Kimura-san no koto wa suki janai / de wa nai
木村さんのことは好きじゃない / ではない
きむらさんのことはすきじゃない / ではない
I don’t like Kimura
Note that in the negative, we use the particle wa (は) instead of ga (が).
Both janai and de wa nai are rather informal, so if you would like to be more polite you may say ja arimasen (じゃありません) or de wa arimasen (ではありません).
Quite like suki, suki janai can be used for pretty much anything you don’t like, not just people!
I hate you
Kirai (嫌い / きらい) definitely has a stronger connotation than the previous expression.
If you are a fan of Japanese anime or dramas you may have heard this term being thrown around in times of high emotion!
Like suki, kirai is an adjective and so the sentence structure works the same as discussed in the previous expressions, using koto (こと) after a person’s name helps to highlight that they are in fact the object of the sentence, rather than the subject.
John-san no koto ga kirai
I hate John
Below is an example where John is the subject of the sentence. Pay attention to the use of wa and ga!
John-san wa banana ga kirai
John hates bananas
I (really) hate you
Again, as we saw with suki and daisuki, you may input the kanji character for ‘big’ before kirai to get daikirai (大嫌い / だいきらい).
You can use daikirai to express when you ‘strongly dislike’ someone or something. In English it could be compared to the phrase ‘I can’t stand ____’.
I detest you
Nikui (憎い / にくい) is a word that is used pretty rarely, although the meaning does fit into the theme of ‘I hate you’, so it must be included!
The reason that it isn’t thrown around as commonly as the previous phrases is because it is so strong in meaning. It is a strong form of hatred that implies that the person you are using against has done something terrible to make you feel as such.
Therefore, it doesn’t really make sense in relation to objects, such as food dislike, in contrast to how the previously discussed expressions can be used.
Although nikui is also an adjective, the verb nikumu (憎む / にくむ) can also be used to express the same sentiment.
I resent you
Uramu (恨む / うらむ) is a verb which means ‘to hold a grudge against’ or ‘to feel bitter towards’. Like the previous phrase, it is also scarcely used.
From the same kanji, urami (恨み / うらみ) is the noun used to convey a ‘grudge’ or ‘resentment’.
Kare wa an-san ni urami ga arimasu
He resents Ann
The particle ni (に) can be translated as ‘on’ ‘at’ or ‘to’. We use ni because the urami, or grudge, is directed towards Ann. Additionally, as urami is a noun, we add the verb arimasu (あります) meaning ‘to have’.
- How to Say I Love You in Japanese
- ‘Shut up’ in Japanese: 6 Useful Phrases to Get Some Quiet!
- 18 Badass Japanese Slang Words to Impress Your Friends
Hannah is a half Irish/half Japanese girl living in Ireland. Her love for Japan and the Japanese language led her to studying languages and translation in university where she specialised in Japanese. She spent a year studying abroad at Rikkyo University in Tokyo. In her free time, Hannah enjoys using her sewing machine to upcycle clothes and create new pieces!