はい

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See also: ばい

Japanese[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Ultimate derivation currently unknown, with various resources listing no etymology.[1][2][3][4] Theories include:

  • Perhaps related to interjection (ha, yes), which first appears in the early 1600s.[5]
  • Alternatively, may derive from Cantonese (hai6), or perhaps from Sino-Japanese (hai), but this theory is not academically accepted. (Can this(+) etymology be sourced?)

First cited as a general shout in the early 1600s (compare English hey),[1] with the affirmative yes sense first cited to 1774.[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

Interjection[edit]

はい (hai

  1. [from 1774] yes; okay; understood, got it; here, present; right, so (agreement); uh-huh (acknowledgement that one is listening)
    はい(しょう)()しました。
    Hai, shōchi shimashita.
    Yes, understood.
    「もしもし、()(むら)さんですか?」「はい()(むら)です。」
    “Moshimoshi, Kimura-san desu ka?” “Hai, Kimura desu.”
    "Hello, is this Mr./Ms. Kimura?" "Yes, Kimura speaking."
    はい(なん)でしょうか。
    Hai, nan deshō ka.
    Yes? What is it?
    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.
  2. [from 1774] no (in response to negative questions); agree
    今日(きょう)(あめ)だから、ピクニックには()けませんね?はい()けません。
    Kyō wa ame da kara, pikunikku ni wa ikemasen ne? Hai, ikemasen.
    It's raining today so we can't go on a picnic? No, we can't go.
  3. [date uncertain] sorry? (What did you say?)
    はい(なん)ですって?
    Hai? Nan desu tte?
    I'm sorry? Could you repeat that?
  4. [from 1603] general shout or call, compare English hey: 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, go!
    はい、そこまで。
    Hai, soko made.
    OK, let's stop here.
    はいおわりー
    Hai owarī.
    Hey, we're done.
  5. [from early 1800s] (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 (hāāi)
  • “yes, I understand what you are saying (but don’t necessarily agree)”

Synonyms[edit]
Antonyms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

The reading of various Chinese-derived terms.

For pronunciation and definitions of はい – see the following entries.
S
[counter] cupfuls
[counter] squids (as food)
[suffix] (games) cup (contest)
Alternative spelling
4
[counter] losses
H
[counter] swords
[noun] ancient ornamental belt
6
[noun] ash
6
[noun] (anatomy) lung
H
[noun] embryo
(This term, はい, is an alternative spelling of the above Sino-Japanese terms.
For a list of all kanji read as はい, not just those used in Japanese terms, see Category:Japanese kanji read as はい.)

(The following entries are uncreated: , .)

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 はい”, in 日本国語大辞典 (Nihon Kokugo Daijiten, Nihon Kokugo Daijiten)[1] (in Japanese), 2nd edition, Tōkyō: Shogakukan, 2000, →ISBN
  2. ^ はい”, in デジタル大辞泉 (Dejitaru Daijisen)[2] (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan, updated roughly every four months
  3. 3.0 3.1 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  4. ^ 1998, 広辞苑 (Kōjien), Fifth Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Iwanami Shoten, →ISBN
  5. ^ ”, in 日本国語大辞典 (Nihon Kokugo Daijiten, Nihon Kokugo Daijiten)[3] (in Japanese), 2nd edition, Tōkyō: Shogakukan, 2000, →ISBN

Okinawan[edit]

Interjection[edit]

はい (rōmaji hai)

  1. (gender-neutral) hello
    Synonyms: (men's speech) はいさい (haisai), (women's speech) はいたい (haitai)