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Oct 19, 2018

26 ways to say "very" in Japanese - with example sentences


Hello. I'm Kosuke!

Today, let's learn how to say "very" in Japanese!

There are so many ways to say "very" in Japanese.

I will show you 26 ways in this article.


However, I think you should not remember all the words.

I would like you to remember at least the first 5 words from this article!


Below is the index of this article!





1. Summary


I will explain about many words in this article.

However, the way to use them is very similar.

You just need to put them in front of adjectives.

You can put them in front of i-adjectives.
You can put them in front of na-adjectives.

You can sometimes even put them in front of verbs.


They make the meaning of the word right after them stronger, just like "very"!





2. Very common words


I would like to show you 5 common words to say "very" in Japanese.

If you remember these 5 words, I think it's enough for now!




2-1. Totemo


"とても(totemo)", or "とっても(tottemo)", is the most common way to say "very" in Japanese.

Hiragana is used when writing the words.



Example:

ふじさんは とても きれいです。
fu ji sa n wa to te mo ki re i de su

Meaning: "Mt. Fuji is very beautiful."

ふじさん: Mt. Fuji
とても: very
きれい: beautiful, clean


If you don't know about "は(wa)", please check this:
  Particle wa >>

If you want to know more about "きれい(kirei)", please check this:
  Kirei >>

If you don't know "です(desu)", please check this:
  Desu >>





2-2. Sugoku


Kanji: 凄く

"すごく(sugoku)" is also a very common way to say "very" in Japanese.

"Sugoku" is one form of the i-adjective word
"sugoi".

Some meanings include, "terrific", "amazing", "great""tremendous", and so on...


When you want to say "very", please change the form into "sugoku", and please put it in front of another adjective.



Example:

ラーメンは すごく おいしい。
ra me n wa su go ku o i shi i

Meaning: "Ramen is very delicious."

ラーメン: ramen (Japanese noodle)
すごく: very
おいしい: delicious

If you want to know more about "おいしい(oishii)", please check this:
  Oishii >>





2-3. Monosugoku


Kanji: 物凄く

"ものすごく(monosugoku)" is a more emphasized way to say "sugoku".


"Monosugoku" is also one form of the i-adjective word "monosugoi".

Some meanings include, "terrific", "amazing", "great", "tremendous", and so on...

However, it is more emphasized due to the addition of "mono".

The way to use "monosugoku" is the same as "sugoku".



Example:

すしは ものすごく おいしい。
su shi wa mo no su go ku o i shi i

Meaning: "Sushi is extremely delicious."

すし: Sushi (Japanese food)
ものすごく: very, extremely
おいしい: delicious





2-4. Kanari


"かなり(kanari)" is also one of the common ways to say "very".


The three words "totemo", "sugoku", "kanari" are the most common ways to say "very" in Japanese.
So please remember those three words!



Example:

きょうは かなり あつい。
kyo u wa ka na ri a tsu i

Meaning: "Today is very hot."

きょう: today
かなり: very
あつい: hot


If you want to know more about "あつい(atsui)", please check this:
  Atsui >>





2-5. Hontouni


Kanji: 本当に

"ほうとうに(hontouni)", or "ほんとに(hontoni)", is another way to say "very".

"hontou" is one of na-adjectives, which means "real".

So "hontouni" means "very" and "really".



Example:

きょうは ほんとうに さむい。
kyo u wa ho n to u ni sa mu i

Meaning: "Today is very cold."

きょう: today
ほんとうに: very, really
さむい: cold


If you want to know more about "さむい(samui)", please check this:
  Samui >>





3. Casual words


If you remember the 5 words above, I think it's enough for now.

However, if you have an opportunity to speak with Japanese friends, they will use more casual words.

I recommend you to skim through this topic, and prepare for it!




3-1. Mechakucha


Kanji: 滅茶苦茶, 目茶苦茶

Originally, "めちゃくちゃ(mechakucha)" means "incoherent", "confused", or "chaotic".

However, when we use it in casual conversations, it sometimes means "very" or "terribly".



Example:

この スープは めちゃくちゃ うまい。
ko no su pu wa me cha ku cha u ma i

Meaning: "This soup is very delicious."

この: this
スープ: soup
めちゃくちゃ: very, terribly
うまい: delicious


If you don't know why Kanataka is used for "スープ", please check this:
  When should you use Katakana? >>

If you want to know more about "うまい(umai)", please check this:
  Umai >>





3-2. Metcha


"めっちゃ(metcha)" is a shorter way to say "めちゃくちゃ(mechakucha)".

This is often used in casual conversations amongst young people.



Example:

この ケーキ、 めっちゃ やばい!
ko no ke ki me t cha ya ba i

Meaning: "This cake is very delicious!"

この: this
ケーキ: cake
めっちゃ: very
やばい: amazing, terrific, delicious, etc.


If you want to know more about "やばい(yabai)", please check this:
  Yabai >>





3-3. Sugoi


Kanji: 凄い

I already explained about "すごく(sugoku)".

"すごい(sugoi)" is another form of "sugoku".

However, we can't use "sugoi" as "very" because "sugoi" should be used only for explaining a noun.
So if we use "sugoi" instead of "very", it is grammatically wrong.


However, many Japanese people use this as "very" in a casual conversation.
Native speakers use this, so maybe you can as well, even if it is grammatically incorrect.



Example:

この ビルは すごい おおきい。
ko no bi ru wa su go i o o ki i

Meaning: "This building is very large."

この: this
ビル: building
すごい: very
おおきい: large, big






3-4. Sugee


Kanji: 凄ぇ

"すげぇ(sugee)" is a very casual way to say "very".

I don't recommend you to use this in a formal conversation.

This is mainly used among young people.



Example:

この ゲームは すげぇ むずかしい。
ko no ge mu wa su ge e mu zu ka shi i

Meaning: "This game is very hard."

この: this
ゲーム: game
すげぇ: very
むずかしい: hard, difficult





3-5. Chou


Kanji: 超

"ちょう(chou)" is a very common way to say "very" among young people.

Probably, you will hear this word when speaking with young Japanese people.



Example:

このまんが、ちょうおもしろい!
ko no ma n ga cho u o mo shi ro i

Meaning: "This comic is very interesting."

この: this
まんが: comic
ちょう: very
おもしろい: interesting





4. Formal words


I have already explained about casual ways to say "very" in Japanese.

However, if you work in Japan, I recommend you to remember these formal words!




4-1. Hijouni


Kanji: 非常に

"ひじょうに(hijouni)" is often used in formal conversations.


Regarding the Kanji, "非" means "not".
"常" means "usual".

So "非常に(hijouni)" means "unusually".


We can use this word as "very".



Example:

この タスクは ひじょうに むずかしい。
ko no ta su ku wa hi jo u ni mu zu ka shi i

Meaning: "This task is very difficult."

この: this
タスク: task
ひじょうに: very
むずかしい: difficult, hard





4-2. Taihen


Kanji: 大変

"たいへん(taihen)" is another way to say "very" in a formal conversation.

It is very similar to "hijouni".


"Taihen" sometimes means "serious" or "no laughing matter".

However, it also means "very", "greatly", or "exceedingly".



Example:

それは たいへん すばらしい。
so re wa ta i he n su ba ra shi i

Meaning: "It is very nice."

それ: it
たいへん: very
すばらしい: nice





4-3. Makotoni


Kanji: 誠に

"まことに(makotoni)" is a very formal and polite way to say "very" in Japanese.

"Makoto" means "real", and "makotoni" means "really".
So this is similar to "hontouni".


However, "makotoni" is much more polite.



Example:

まことに もうしわけ ございません。
ma ko to ni mo u shi wa ke go za i ma se n

Meaning: "I am very sorry."

まことに: very, really
もうしわけございません: I'm sorry


You can use the sentence above when you apologize to your client in Japan.





4-4. Kiwamete


Kanji: 極めて

"きわめて(kiwamete)" is often used for academic documents or formal speeches.


"Kiwameru" is a verb which means "going to extremes".

So "kiwamete" means "very" or "extremely".



Example:

じんたいの こうぞうは きわめて ふくざつだ。
ji n ta i no ko u zo u wa ki wa me te fu ku za tsu da

Meaning: "The structure of the human body is very complicated."

じんたい: human body
の: of
こうぞう: structure
きわめて: very, extremely
ふくざつだ: complicated





5. Advanced words


If you remember the words I already explained, it's enough.

However, please let me show other words, just in case.

They are sometimes used in Japan.
So please just skim through, and prepare in case you hear them.




5-1. Hanahada


Kanji: 甚だ

"はなはだ(hanahada)" is a somewhat difficult way to say "very".
So I don't think Japanese people should use this word in front of foreign people.

However, it is sometimes used in formal documents.

Please remember, just in case.



Example:

かれの しゅちょうは はなはだ うたがわしい。
ka re no shu cho u wa ha na ha da u ta ga wa shi i

Meaning: "His argument is very doubtful."

かれの: his
しゅちょう: argument, opinion, claim
はなはだ: very
うたがわしい: doubtful


If you want to know more about "かれ(kare)", please check this:
  He and She >>





5-2. Taisou


Kanji: 大層

"たいそう(taisou)" is another way to say "very".

This is sometimes used in formal conversations.

Also, this sounds a little polite.



Example:

かれは たいそう おどろいた。
ka re wa ta i so u o do ro i ta

Meaning: "He was very surprised."

かれ: he
たいそう: very
おどろいた: was surprised





5-3. Jitsuni


Kanji: 実に

"じつに(jitsuni)" is also a formal way to say "very".


The Kanji character "実" means "real".
So "実に(jitsuni)" means "really" and "very".



In Japan, there is a famous TV drama callled "Galileo".

In the drama, there is a physicist, who is the main character of this drama.

He is smart, and always speaks formally.

When he finds an interesting mystery, he always says,
"じつに おもしろい(jitsuni omoshiroi)".

"Omoshiroi" means "interesting".
So it means "very interesting".


Maybe, "jitsuni" is used by smart and formal people, like physicists.



Example:

それは じつに むずかしい もんだいだ。
so re wa ji tsu ni mu zu ka shi i mo n da i da

Meaning: "It is a very difficult problem."

それ: it
じつに: very, really
むずかしい: difficult, hard
もんだい: problem, issue




5-4. Soutou


Kanji: 相当

"そうとう(soutou)" means "considerably", "quite" or "pretty".

It can also mean "very".



Example:

その えいきょうは そうとう しんこくだ。
so no e i kyo u wa so u to u shi n ko ku da

Meaning: "The impact is very serious."

その: the
えいきょう: impact, influence, effect
そうとう: very, considerably
しんこくだ: serious, critical





5-5. Eraku


Kanji: 偉く

"えらく(eraku)" also means "very".

This word is similar to "sugoku".

"Eraku" is not so formal.



Example:

かれは えらく じょうきげんだ。
ka re wa e ra ku jo u ki ge n da

Meaning: "He is in a very good mood."

かれ: he
えらく: very
じょうきげんだ: is in a good mood





5-6. Ooini


Kanji: 大いに

"おおいに(ooini)" is a similar word to "hijouni".

The Kanji character "大" means "big" or "great".

So "ooini" means "very" or "greatly".



Example:

わたしは かれに おおいに かんしゃして いる。
ka ta shi wa ka re ni o o i ni ka n sha shi te i ru

Meaning: "I am very grateful for him."

わたし: I
かれに: for him
おおいに: very
かんしゃしている: be grateful





5-7. Osoroshiku


Kanji: 恐ろしく

"おそろしい(osoroshii)" means "frightful", "awful" and "terrible".

So "おそろしく(osoroshiku)" means "frightfully", "awfully" and "terribly".


However, "osoroshiku" also means "very" or "extremely".



Example:

きょうは おそろしく あつい。
kyo u wa o so ro shi ku a tsu i

Meaning: "Today is very hot."

きょう: today
おそろしく: very, awfully
あつい: hot





5-8. Sorewa-sorewa


When we want to exaggerate the way to say "very", "それはそれは(sorewa-sorewa)" is sometimes used.

"Sorewa-sorewa" includes the meaning of "surprise".



Example:

それはそれは うつくしい じょせいが そこに たって いた。
so re wa so re wa u stu ku shi i jo se i ga so ko ni ta t te i ta

Meaning: "A very beautiful woman was standing there."

それはそれは: very
うつくしい: beautiful
じょせい: woman
そこに: there
たっていた: was standing


When we read "sorewa-sorewa" in the sentence above, we know the speaker was so surprised because of the very beautiful woman.





5-9. Itatte


Kanji: 至って

"いたって(itatte)" is similar to "hijouni".

This is one of the formal ways to say "very" in Japanese.



Example:

この もんだいは いたって シンプルだ。
ko no mo n da i wa i ta t te shi n pu ru da

Meaning: "This question is very simple."

この: this
もんだい: question, problem
いたって: very
シンプルだ: simple





5-10. Shigoku


Kanji: 至極

"しごく(shigoku)" is similar to "kiwamete".

It also means "very" or "extremely".



Example:

かれは しごく れいせいだった。
ka re wa shi go ku re i se i da t ta

Meaning: "He was very calm."

かれ: he
しごく: very
れいせい: calm
だった: was





5-11. Kekkou


Kanji: 結構

"けっこう(kekkou)" means "kinda", "sort of", "quite", or "really".

It can sometimes means "very".



Example:

この どうぐは けっこう べんりだ。
ko no do u gu wa ke k ko u be n ri da

Meaning: "This tool is very useful."

この: this
どうぐ: tool
けっこう: very, quite
べんりだ: useful





6. The very


In English, "the very" is not the same as "very", right?

"The very" is translated into "まさに(masani)" in Japanese.



6-1. Masani


Kanji: 正に


Example:

ここは まちの まさに ちゅうしんだ。
ko ko wa ma chi no ma sa ni chu u shi n da

Meaning: "This is the very heart of the city."

ここ: here, this
まち: city
の: of
まさに: the very
ちゅうしん: center, heart





7. Conclusion


How was it?

There are too many ways to say "very" in Japanese, aren't there?

I'm not sure why there are so many forms in Japanese.


Actually, I think you don't need to remember all the words.

I would like you to remember the first 5 words:


  • Totemo
  • Sugoku
  • Monosugoku
  • Kanari
  • Hontouni


After remembering these 5 words, please remember the other words in preparation for listening to native speakers.


I hope this article helps you study Japanese!
Thank you for reading!

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