5 Ways to Say “I Like You” in Japanese (Suki vs Daisuki)


How to Say I Like You in Japanese - Suki vs Daisuki, Suki da 好きだ, Suki desu 好きです, Daisuki 大好き

One of the most commonly asked questions I receive from my readers is how to sayI like youin Japanese. So in today’s blog post, I’m finally going to cover the most popular Japanese phrases that you can use to tell someone that you like them in a romantic way or as a friend. As usual, let’s start with a quick answer to how to say “I like you” in Japanese.

The formal way to say “I like you” in Japanese is “Suki desu” (好きです) while “Suki da yo” (好きだよ) is the more casual phrase. Both phrases express a romantic interest in the other person and can also be translated as “I love you”. When you like someone as a friend you should say “Ki ni itta” (気に入った).

If you want to know why you shouldn’t use suki with friends even though it translates as “like” you will find the detailed answer below. I will also explain the difference between the two words suki (好き) and daisuki (大好き) and teach you a couple of other useful phrases such as “I really like you” and “I like you, too“.

How to Say “I Like You” in Japanese

In order to answer the question of how to sayI like youin Japanese, we first have to understand that there is a big difference in howI like youis used in the western world and in Japan. In western cultures, we often tell our friends or family members that we like (or love) them. In the more conservative Japanese culture, however, it is common to express one’s love and affection through actions. The phrase “I like youis rarely used.

If a Japanese person says “I like you” it has a way deeper meaning than when western people use it. That’s why the Japanese wordsuki” (好き) which is often translated as just “like” is actually closer to the English word love” and should only be used when you are romantically interested in someone.

1. Suki desu – “I Like You” (Formal)

Suki desu (好きです) is the formal phrase that you can use to tell someone “I like you” in Japanese. When said to a person suki (好き) usually means and translates as “like (in a romantic way)” or “to be in love with“. The word desu (です) at the end is a Japanese copula and makes the sentence sound more polite.

Suki desu.
好きです。
I like you (formal)

Instead of using “you” it is more common for the Japanese people to use the person’s name followed by an honorific title and the particle ga (が). For women, you should use the polite suffix chan (ちゃん), and for men, you should use the polite suffix kun (くん, 君). If you are not that close or want to sound politer you can also use the more formal honorific title san (さん).

Hina-chan ga suki desu.
ヒナちゃんが好きです。
I like you, Hina.

Naruto-kun ga suki desu.
ナルトくんが好きです。
I like you, Naruto.

Daisuke-san ga suki desu.
ダイスケさんが好きです。
I like you, Daisuke.

Sometimes you will also see the variation “Suki desu yo” (好きですよ). The sentence ending particle yo (よ) adds emphasis and makes the phrase sound slightly more casual. In my opinion, it is best to think of it as an exclamation mark and translate the sentence as “I like you!”.

Suki desu yo.
好きですよ。
I like you!

2. Suki da (yo) – “I Like You” (Casual)

Suki da” (好きだ) has the same meaning as “Suki desu” (好きです) but is the casual way to sayI like you” in Japanese. Da (だ) is the plain and more declarative version of the polite Japanese copula desu (です) and makes the sentence sound more casual.

Suki da.
好きだ。
I like you (casual)

In Japanese, it is also possible to say “I like youjust by saying the wordSuki” since the da isn’t needed to form a full sentence. You can also add the sentence ending particle yo (よ) to add more emphasis and use names instead of “you”, just like we did with the formal phrase before.

Suki.
好き。
I like you.

Suki da yo.
好きだよ。
I like you!

Sakura-chan ga suki da yo.
サクラちゃんが好きだよ。
I like you, Sakura!

Sasuke-kun ga suki.
サスケくんが好き。
I like you, Sasuke.

3. Ki ni Itta – “I Like You” (Just as a friend)

If you are not romantically interested in a person and just like them as a friend you should use the Japanese phraseKi ni itta” (気に入った). It means “to like“, “to be pleased with“, “to be delighted with“, or “to take a liking to“. You can add Anata, Kimi, or the name of the person plus the particle ga (が) to form the full sentences “I like you“.

Anata ga ki ni itta.
あなたが気に入った。
I like you (to a male friend)

Kimi ga ki ni itta.
君が気に入った。
I like you (to a female friend)

Kakashi-san ga ki ni itta.
カカシさんが気に入った。
I like you (as a friend), Kakashi.

4. Kimi (no koto) ga suki desu – “I Like You” (To a Woman)

When a man wants to confess their love to a woman they also often use the phrase “Kimi ga suki desu” (君が好きです) or “Kimi no koto ga suki desu” (君のことが好きです). Both phrases translate as “I like you“, but the latter one sounds more official and is often used when confessing one’s love for the first time.

Kimi ga suki desu.
君が好きです。
I like you.

Kimi no koto ga suki desu.
君のことが好きです。
I like you (sounds more official)

5. Anata (no koto) ga suki desu – “I Like You” (To a Man)

When a woman confesses that they like a man they usually use the word “anata” (あなた, 貴方) which is the gender-neutral word for “you”. So “Anata ga suki desu” (あなたが好きです) or “Anata no koto ga suki desu” (あなたのことが好きです) are also correct. However, it is actually very common to omit the word “you”.

Anata ga suki desu.
あなたが好きです。
I like you.

Anata no koto ga suki desu.
あなたのことが好きです。
I like you (more official sounding)

Just in case you are interested the full accurate sentence would actually be “Watashi wa anata ga suki desu” (私はあなたが好きです) for females and “Watashi wa kimi ga suki desu” (私は君が好きです) or “Boku wa kimi ga suki desu” (僕は君が好きです) for males. However, this sounds very unnatural since “I” (watashi or boku) is usually omitted. You will only find that kind of sentence in textbooks.

Suki vs Daisuki – What’s the Difference?

The difference between “suki” (好き) and “daisuki” (大好き) is that the latter one conveys stronger and deeper feelings of love. “Suki” translates as “like” or “I like you” and is used before the start of a relationship. “Daisuki” means “love” or “I love you” and is used in an established relationship.

The same goes for the word “Aishiteru” by the way. If you want to know more about the meaning of the word and why Japanese rarely say it, you can check out my other blog post “What Does “Aishiteru” Mean in Japanese“.

How to Say “I Like You Too” in Japanese

Watashi mo” (私も) can be used as a reply to someone who tells you that they like you in Japanese and translates as “I like you, too“. The full formal phrase would be “Watashi mo anata ga suki desu” (私もあなたが好きです) while the more casual response would be “Watashi mo anata ga suki da” (私もあなたが好きだ).

  • Watashi mo
    私も。
    Me, too.
  • Watashi mo anata ga suki desu
    私もあなたが好きです。
    I like you, too
  • Watashi mo anata ga suki da (yo)
    私もあなたが好きだ(よ)。
    I like you, too.
  • Watashi mo anata no koto ga suki desu
    私もあなたのことが好きです。
    I like you, too.

Men can also use “Boku mo” (僕も) instead of “Watashi mo” (私も) to say “I like you, too” in Japanese. Furthermore, instead of “anata” (あなた) you should probably use the word “kimi” (君) for “you”.

  • Boku mo
    僕も。
    Me, too.
  • Boku mo kimi ga suki desu
    僕も君が好きです。
    I like you, too
  • Boku mo kimi ga suki da (yo)
    僕も君が好きだ(よ)。
    I like you, too.
  • Boku mo kimi no koto ga suki desu
    僕も君のことが好きです。
    I like you, too.

“I Really Like You” or “I Like You a Lot” in Japanese

To say “I really like you” in Japanese you can either say “Totemo suki desu” (とても好きです), “Hontou ni suki desu” (本当に好きです), or “Sugoku suki ni natta” (すごく好きになった). You can also use the word daisuki instead of suki and say “Daisuki desu” (大好きです) which translates as “I love you” or “I like you a lot“.

I have just published a full blog post focusing on the translation and meaning of the Japanese word “daisuki”, so if you want to know more about the word I highly recommend you to read it. It includes a lot of example sentences.

“I Think I Like You” in Japanese

Anata ga suki ni natta mitai” (あなたが好きになったみたい) is the phrase you can use to say, “I think I like you” in Japanese. However, this is not a very frequently used phrase since Japanese people are more reserved about their feelings and only confess them when they are sure, so I don’t recommend using it.

Alex (RockinJapanese)

おはよう. I'm Alex. I have started studying Japanese when I was still a high school student and I have been living and working in Japan since 2015. I'm still learning new Japanese phrases and words every day and I thought that publishing them online will be useful for you, too. Hopefully, my study notes and free Japanese lessons will help you to reach the Japanese level you want to have! If you have any questions feel free to contact me anytime! Alex

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