How to End a Conversation With Sayonara

Basic Japanese Lessons

Saying goodbye
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Click here for the dialogue for "Introducing People."

1. Short Questions

When asking information about someone's name or country etc., a shortened form of a question is often used. This leaves just the topic, which is said with rising intonation.

O-namae wa (nan desu ka).      (What is) your name?


O-kuni wa (dochira desu ka).    (Where is) your country?


Go-senmon wa (nan desu ka).   (What is) your field of study?


2. How to End a Conversation

Sayonara(さよなら) is not normally used when leaving one's own home or places of temporary residence unless one is leaving for a very long time. If you know that you will see a person again soon, expressions like "Ja mata (じゃまた)" or "Mata ashita (また明日)" are used.

"Shitsurei shimasu (失礼します)" is a formal expression used when announcing that you are leaving someone's presence or when you are leaving before someone else (in this case, it is often said as "Osakini shitsurei shimasu(お先に失礼します).") It is also used when entering a house or room, passing in front of someone, or leaving in the middle of a gathering.

Dewa mata.             See you later. 


Ja mata.                   See you later. (less formal)


Mata ashita.             See you tomorrow.


Sayonara.                 Good-bye.


Shitsurei shimasu.   I am going to leave. (very formal)  


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Abe, Namiko. "How to End a Conversation With Sayonara." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Abe, Namiko. (2023, April 5). How to End a Conversation With Sayonara. Retrieved from Abe, Namiko. "How to End a Conversation With Sayonara." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 4, 2023).