はい

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See also: ばい

Japanese[edit]

Etymology[edit]

According to some sources, it may derive from Cantonese (hai6), or perhaps from Sino-Japanese (hai). It is believed by other scholars to be a false cognate.

Interjection[edit]

はい (rōmaji hai)

  1. yes; okay; understood, got it
    「もしもし、木村 (きむら)さんですか?」「はい木村 (きむら)です。」
    “Moshimoshi, Kimura-san desu ka?” “Hai, Kimura desu.”
    "Hello, is this Mr./Ms. Kimura?" "Yes, Kimura speaking."
    はい (しょう) ()しました。
    Hai, shōchi shimashita.
    Understood.
  2. here, present
    はい (なん)でしょうか。
    Hai, nan deshō ka.
    Yes? What is it?
  3. uh-huh (I’m hearing)
    はいはいはい。なるほど、なるほど。
    Hai. Hai. Hai. Naruhodo, naruhodo.
    Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Yes. Mmm, I see.
  4. sorry? (What did you say?)
    はい (なん)ですって?
    Hai? Nan desu tte?
    I'm sorry? Could you repeat that?
  5. go, start; stop, time's up (expressing a timing)
    1 (いち)2 ()3 (さん)はい
    Ichi, ni, san, hai!
    1, 2, 3...!
    はい、そこまで。
    Hai, soko made.
    Let's stop here.
  6. (sentence-final) Used to express mild uncertainty.
    そうだと (おも)います、はい
    Sō da to omoimasu, hai.
    I believe so, yes.

Usage notes[edit]

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 (haaai)
  • “yes, I understand what you are saying (but don’t necessarily agree)”

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

Counter[edit]

はい (rōmaji -hai)

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

Noun[edit]

はい (rōmaji hai)

  1. : ancient oriental belt decoration
  2. : ash
  3. : lung
  4. : embryo, germ, spore
  5. : worship

Suffix[edit]

はい (rōmaji -hai)

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