“Dame desu” and “ii desu” :Learning how to say “it’s okay” and “it’s not okay” in Japanese with だめ and いい

“Dame desu” and “ii desu” – Learn how to use the Japanese common phrases

Person A: ここでお酒を飲んでもいいですか Person B:だめです Person A: Is it okay if I drink here? Person B: No, you can’t!
Person A: ここでお酒を飲んでもいいですか Person B:だめです Person A: Is it okay if I drink here? Person B: No, you can’t!

Hey guys, welcome to another amazing online Japanese lesson from Bondlingo. Today we are going to look at 2 of the most fundamental and important phrases that exist in the Japanese language, exciting right? Today we are going to learn about “ii desu いいです” and “Dame(だめ)です”.

Firstly we will start by looking at each of the phrases individually and talk about their meanings. Secondly we will look at some example sentences and scenarios where you can use these phrases. Lastly, we will be giving you a small study challenge to help you really nail the usage of these two phrases.

Okay guys, strap yourselves in. It’s time to get started with today’s online Japanese lesson.

Phase one: Learning all about “いいです

Okay guys firstly, we need to look at how いいです is broken down. Please take a look at the table below.

iiいいgood
desuですIt is

From this translation you can now probably get a basic idea of what the phrase means. Basically from this translation we could literally take the meaning as “it’s good”, yes that is one of the meanings. However there are other meanings to いい(ii)です that have slightly different nuances to them, let’s take a look.

いい(ii)ですですcan also mean “you are allowed to”. Imagine asking your parents if you are allowed to go play outside as a kid, in this case, they could say “いい(ii)ですです” to mean “sure its okay” or “go ahead” generally giving consent.

Person A: ここで食べてもいいですか
Person B:いいです
Person A: Can I eat here?
Person B: Yes that’s okay.

Remember to read this conversation out loud and try and translate it back to Japanese to ensure you can create these types of sentences. 

Now we are going to learn all about Dame(だめ)です which is the total opposite of いい(ii)です。

PR

Phase two: Learning all about “Dame(だめ)です”

Now let’s look at how Dame(だめ)です is broken down. Please take a look at the table below.

dameだめNo good
desuですIt is

From this translation you can now probably get a basic idea of what the phrase means. Basically from this translation we could literally take the meaning as “it’s no good”, and yes, just like いい(ii)です this is one of the meanings, however there are other meanings to Dame(だめ)です that have slightly different nuances to them, let’s take a look.

“Hopeless” You can use Dame(だめ)です to express something as being hopeless. Imagine your lock to your door has broken and no matter how many times you try, it will not unlock. This is a perfect time to use Dame(だめ)です as “hopeless”.

Another meaning is “cannot; must not; not allowed​”. In a situation where you are not allowed to do something you can use Dame(だめ)です to mean “cannot, must not, not allowed”. Imagine you tried to smoke in a non smoking area, you would must certainly here “Dame(だめ)です”

Person A: ここでお酒を飲んでもいいですか
Person B:だめです
Person A: Is it okay if I drink here?
Person B: No, you can’t!

Again, remember to read this conversation out loud and try and translate it back to Japanese to ensure you can create these types of sentences. 

We are now going to look at an awesome study challenge to make sure you remember how to use いい(ii)ですです and Dame(だめ)です. Make sure you implement this after the lesson as it will be a really useful exercise for you all.

Today’s Effective Study Challenge.

For today’s study challenge we want you to come up with 10 situations where you can use いい(ii)です and Dame(だめ)です in your life and put those into practice. Construct 10 different scenarios where you could use these and be sure to write them down. This way you will be able to get used to using them in your day to day lifestyle. Start with いいですand then try the same exercise again with Dame(だめ)です.

Even if you write the first part in English, it’s okay, we just want you to get used to using it in all types of situations.

Well guys, there you have it. You have now learnt two of the most important phrases in Japanese. Something that you can now go out and use practically for yourselves too. Remember to also pay close attention to the study challenge as this will really help you master and not forget today’s lesson.

Thank you all so much for taking the time to read today’s online Japanese article. Here at Bondlingo we really appreciate all of your feedback and if you have any questions or ideas for content, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. Until next time guys, またね.

PR

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