About to move to Japan or move in with Japanese speaking people? This might just be the blog for you. 

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Overview

Living with someone is as hard as it is by itself–what more if you can’t understand each other? Communication is a huge part of maintaining peace between roommates and it’s the best way to establish some basic ground rules as well. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with this blog! 

行ってきます (Itte kimasu)

What does it mean?: I’m leaving/ I’m off

When do you use it?: When you are leaving your/someone else’s house

This phrase is mainly used when you are about to leave–usually uttered when you’re putting your shoes on in the 玄関(Genkan: entrance) and are about to leave. It’s quite a nice phrase to say as it also assures your partner or roommate that you will be coming back. This can also be used when you are in someone else’s house and are about to go out (maybe to buy something?) but will be back soon!

行ってらっしゃい (Itterasshai) 

What does it mean?: See you later/ Stay safe while you’re out/  Have a nice day

When do you use it?: Response to someone who says they’re leaving

This is the reply made to our first phrase above. This is mainly done to show your acknowledgement that your roommate or partner is about to leave. This definitely shows them that you care and acknowledge their presence.

ただいま (Tadaima) 

What does it mean?: I’m home/ I’m back

When do you use it?: When you get home

As you will be living with someone, you will probably be able to familiarise yourself with their voice and will recognise it when you hear it–this is a good way to know who just arrived!

お帰りなさい (Okaeri nasai) 

What does it mean?: Welcome home/ Welcome back

When do you use it?: Response to someone saying they’re home

Responding to your roommate or partner is a great way to acknowledge them and build your relationship. Try this out and it will definitely make your roommate like you even a tiny bit more.

鍵かけました? (Kagi kakemashita ka) 

What does it mean?: Did you lock the door?

When do you use it?: Literally, anytime!

No matter how put together you are, it’s still better to be safe than sorry. You can use this phrase when you are about to leave the house together or when you are both about to sleep!

〜てもいいですか? ( -te mo ii desu ka) 

What does it mean?: Can I…?/ Is it okay if I..?

When do you use it?: When you’re asking permission to do something

This is very useful as you can use this in different situations. The sentence pattern for this is as follows: (-te form of verb) + もいいですか?. Here are a few useful phrases you start using ASAP.

 1:入ってもいいですか?(Haitte mo ii desu ka?: Can I come in?)
 2:借りてもいいですか?(Karite mo ii desu ka?: Is it okay if I borrow this?)
 3:使ってもいいですか?(Tsukatte mo ii desu ka?: Can I use this?)

Of course, if you and your roomie have quite a good relationship and are quite informal with each other, you can drop the “ ですか(desuka)”.

〜てくれますか? (-te kuremasu ka) 

What does it mean?: Can you..?

When do you use it?: When you’re asking someone to do something for you

This is very useful when you want to ask for your roomies help with something. The sentence pattern for this is as follows: (-te form of verb) + くれますか?. Here are a few phrases that will be good to know.

 1:手伝ってくれますか?(Tetsudatte kuremasu ka?: Can you help me?)
 2:運んでくれますか? (Hakonde kuremasu ka?: Can you carry this for me?)
3:買ってきてくれますか? (Katte kite kuremasu ka?: Can you go and buy this for me?)

〜どこにあるか知しっていますか? (-doko ni aru ka shitteimasu ka) 

What does it mean?: Do you know where the…is?

When do you use it?: When you want to ask the location of something 

A lot of possible misunderstandings between roommates can be because of misplaced items (especially from the kitchen). This phrase can be used to ask directions and for you and your roommate to help each other find things around the house. The sentence pattern is (noun) + 〜どこにあるか知しっていますか?. Please look below for a few sentence examples.

パソコンの充電器はどこにあるか知っていますか? 
Pasokon no juudenki wa doko ni aru ka shitteimasu ka?
Do you know where the laptop charger is?
鍵はどこにあるか知っていますか?
Kagi wa doko ni aru ka shitteimasu ka?
Do you know where the keys are?
携帯はどこにあるか知っていますか?
Keita wa doko ni aru ka shitteimasu ka?
Do you know where my (mobile) phone is?

なんか飲む? (Nanka nomu) 

What does it mean?: Is there something you want to drink?

When do you use it?: When you want someone if they want something to drink

Technically done out of etiquette, this will help you build a good relationship with your roomie as it shows that you care about them. 

出前取りますか (de mae torimasu ka) 

What does it mean?: Do you want to get takeout/ food delivered?

When do you use it?: When you want to ask your roommate if they want to get food delivered

The best way to build relationships with people is to bond over food. It’s a great way for you and your roommate or partner to relax and maybe put a movie on while you eat. This is very useful if you and your roommate aren’t that fond of cooking.

何食べたい? (Nani tabetai)

What does it mean?: What do you want to eat?

When do you use it?: When you want to ask someone what they want to eat

Usually asked when you and your roommate have decided to get or cook food–another way to show you care and acknowledge them.

ごめんなさい、起おこしちゃった?

What does it mean?: I am sorry, did I wake you up?

When do you use it?: When you accidentally/unintentionally wake your roommate up

Living with someone doesn’t necessarily mean that you have the same sleeping habits. This phrase is a good way to make your roommate know that you are apologetic about unintentinally waking them up. 

Summary

Hopefully, the sentences and phrases we have covered on here can help you build and maintain rapport with your partner or roomie. Remember, Japanese culture is based on respect and as long as you show your Japanese partner or roommate that you care about them and respect them, you will definitely have a smooth time living with them–who knows, they might even become your life long friend! (or in your romantic partners case, your future hubby/wifey!)

Learn Japanese Online with BondLingo

Learn Japanese Online with BondLingo

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