はい

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Japanese[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Probably from Cantonese hai6, or perhaps from Sino-Japanese .

Interjection[edit]

はい (romaji hai)

  1. okay; understood, got it; yes
  2. here, present
  3. uh-huh (I’m hearing)
  4. sorry? (What did you say?)
  5. go, start; stop, time's up (expressing a timing)

Usage notes[edit]

Relatively formal; in casual conversation ええ or うん are used instead.

Used in a variety of contexts, including:

  • “present” – when calling attendance
  • “go ahead” – when a car or truck is backing up; often said deeply with extended ‘a’ sound as in はあ〜い
  • “yes, I understand what you are saying (but don’t necessarily agree)”

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

Counter[edit]

はい (romaji -hai)

  1. squids, octopuses, ships
  2. , : cup, glass, cupful
  3. : losses
  4. : swords

Noun[edit]

はい (romaji hai)

  1. : ash
  2. : lung
  3. : embryo, germ, spore
  4. : worship

Suffix[edit]

はい (romaji -hai)

  1. : (games) cup (for a victory)