How to Say “I Miss You” in Japanese (The Only Natural Way)


How to Say I Miss You in Japanese Aitai 会いたい Sabishii Samishii 寂しい

Believe it or not, but answering the question of how to sayI miss you in Japanese is by far one of the most difficult things I’ll have to do for you. There are a few Japanese words and phrases you can use to express that you miss someone, but none of them feels quite right. You will immediately understand what I mean when you get to know the most natural Japanese phrase to say “I miss you“.

Aitai (会いたい) is the most common expression to say “I miss you” in Japanese. It literally translates as “I want to see you” or “I want to meet you” in English, though. Other phrases as for example “Sabishi” (寂しい) which actually means “I’m lonely” can also be used to tell someone that you miss them.

Below you will find a few other words and expressions that can be used to say “I miss you” in Japanaese including “Aitakute” (会いたくて) and “Koishii” (恋しい). I have also covered other similar expressions such as “I will miss you“, “I miss you too“, “I miss you so much” and “I miss him/her“.

How to Say “I Miss You” in Japanese

Japanese are usually not that open about their emotions. Even among lovers, family members, and friends they prefer to show their feelings and affection instead of talking about them. That’s in my opinion the reason why in Japanese there is no real expression for “I miss you“.

The most natural way you can tell someone that you miss them is by telling them that you want to meet them. So Japanese people use the word “Aitai” (会いたい) which means “want to meet” or “want to see” to express the English phrase “I miss you“.

As you can see in the list below there are a couple of other words that can be used to say “I miss you” in Japanese. However, they are either not frequently used in daily life or rather express loneliness and the wish to meet up. None of them comes close to the English expression “missing someone”.

  • Aitai (会いたい) – “I miss you” or “I want to see you”
  • Aitakute (会いたくて) – “I miss you” or “I wish I could see you”
  • Koishii (恋しい) – “I miss you” or “I’m longing for you”
  • Sabishii (寂しい) – “I’m lonely” or “I miss you”
  • Samishii (寂しい) – “I’m lonely” or “I miss you”

1. Aitai – “I Miss You”, “I Want to See You”

The Japanese word “Aitai” (会いたい) means “want to meet“. Since it is common to omit the subject and object there is no need to sayI” (watashi, 私) and “You” (anata, あなた or kimi, 君). So just the word “Aitai” means “I miss you“. However, you can say “Anata ni aitai” (あなたに会いたい) to a guy or “Kimi ni aitai” (君に会いたい) to a woman.

Aitai.
会いたい。
I miss you.

Aitai desu.
会いたいです。
I miss you (polite)

Anata ni aitai.
あなたに会いたい。
I miss you (to a man)

Kimi ni aitai.
君に会いたい。
I miss you (to a woman)

2. Aitakute – “I Miss You”, “I Wish I Could See You”

A very similar word is “Aitakute” (会いたくて) which can be translated as “I miss you” or “I wish I could see“. It expressses not only the desire that you want to see someone but also that it is not possible to meet right now. You can think of it as “I (really) want so see/meet you but unfortunately I can’t“. It can also be written as 逢いたくて which is the more romantically kanji.

Aitakute…
会いたくて…
I miss you…

Anata ni aitakute…
あなたに会いたくて。
I miss you (to a man)

Kimi ni aitakute…
君に会いたくて。
I miss you (to a woman)

3. Koishii – “I Miss You”, “I’m Longing For You”

Koishii (恋しい) is a tricky word, because according to dictionaries it is exactly what we are looking for and translates as “yearned for“, “longed for“, and “missed” (source). However, a lot of my Japanese friends told me that it is not really used to say that you “miss someone” but to say that you “miss something“.

I also remember that I used “koishii” once because I wanted to say “I miss you and your family” to my Japanese host mother but she only looked at me with confusion. So my personal recommendation is to use this word with care.

Koishii.
恋しい。
I miss you/it.

Koishii desu.
恋しいです。
I miss you/it (polite)

Inu ga koishii
犬が恋しい。
I miss my dog.

Nihon ga koishii.
日本が恋しい。
I miss Japan.

4. Sabishii – “I’m lonely”, “I Miss You”

Sabishii” (寂しい) is probably the second best way to say “I miss you” in Japanese. It acutally translates as “I’m lonely” but indicates that you want to meet the other person because you feel lonely.

Sabishii.
寂しい。
I’m lonely.

Sabishii desu.
寂しいです。
I’m lonely (polite)

Aenakute samishii.
会えなくて寂しい。
I feel lonely because I can’t see you.

Aenakute samishii desu.
会えなくて寂しいです。
I feel lonely because I can’t see you (polite)

5. Samishii – “I’m lonely”, “I Miss You”

Samishii (寂しい) is actually the same word (kanji) but with an alternative reading. It also means “I’m lonely”, “I miss you”, or “I’m lonely so I want to see you“. Both “sabishii” and “samishii” are commonly used so you can choose the one which you prefer best.

Samishii.
さみしい。
I’m lonely.

Samishii desu.
さみしいです。
I’m lonely (polite)

Aenakute samishii.
会えなくてさみしい。
I feel lonely because I can’t see you.

Aenakute samishii desu.
会えなくてさみしいです。
I feel lonely because I can’t see you (polite)

“I Missed You” in Japanese

Sabishikatta” (寂しかった), “Samishikatta” (寂しかった), and “Aitakatta” (会いたかった) are commonly used to say “I missed you” in Japanese. They are the same words that you can use to say “I miss you” but conjugated to the past tense. “Zutto aitakatta” (ずっと会いたかった) is also used and means “I really missed you“.

Aitakatta.
会いたかった。
I missed you.

Sabishikatta.
寂しかった。
I missed you.

Samishikatta.
寂しかった。
I missed you

Zutto Aitakatta.
ずっと会いたかった。
I really missed you.

“I Will Miss You” in Japanese

Sabishiku naru” (寂しくなる) and “Aenakute sabishiku naru” (会えなくて寂しくなる) are used to say “I will miss you” in Japanese. Both phrases acutally translate as “I’ll become lonely” and “I’ll feel lonely because I can’t see you“.

Sabishiku naru…
寂しくなる…
I will miss you…

Anata ni aenakute sabishiku naru.
あなたに会えなくて寂しくなる。
I will miss you.

“I Miss You Too” in Japanese

To say “I miss you too” in Japanese you can either say “Watashi mo” (私も) which means “Me, too” or you can repeat the phrase and add yo ne (よね) to add emphasis and to show that you are agreeing with what the other person is saying. That goes for both phrases “Aitai yo ne” and “Sabishii yo ne“.

Watashi mo.
私も。
I miss you too.

Aitai yo ne…
会いたいよね…
I miss you too.

Sabishii yo ne…
寂しいよね…
I miss you too.

The full sentence would acutally be “Watashi mo anata ni aitai” (私もあなたに会いたい) or “Watashi mo kimi ni aitai” (私も君に会いたい). However, in Japanese the general rule is omit what you can omit.

Watashi mo anata ni aitai.
私もあなたに会いたい。
I miss you too (to a man)

Watashi mo kimi ni aitai yo.
私も君に会いたいよ。
I miss you too (to a woman)

“I Miss You So Much” in Japanese

To Say “I miss you so much” or “I really miss you” in Japanaese you can use “Sugoku aitai” (すごく会いたい) or “Totemo aitai” (とても会いたい). Both words “sugoku” and “totemo” mean “really” or “so much“. Another commonly used phrase is “Ima sugu aitai” (今すぐ会いたい) which translates as “I want to see you right now“.

Sugoku aitai.
すごく会いたい。
I miss you so much.

Totemo aitai desu.
とても会いたいです。
I miss you so much.

Ima sugu aitai.
今すぐ会いたい。
I want to see you right now.

I have a whole article about the meaning of Sugoi and how to use it in Japanese. Since it is a very useful word which you can use to express that you are really into anime, music and other things or how amazing something or someone is, I highly recommend you to check out my blog post.

Also, if you really like anime you might also want to check out the meaning of “Sugoi dekai”. It’s the phrase from the anime “Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out” aka “Uzaki-chan wa Asobitai” that is written on Uzaki-chan’s t-shirt and a popular meme in the otaku world.

“I miss Him/Her” in Japanese

Him is “kare” (彼) and “her” is “kanojo” (彼女) in Japanese. So to say that you miss him you can say “Kare ni aitai” (彼に会いたい) or “Kare ga inakute sabishii” (彼がいなくて寂しい). In order to say that you miss her you use the phrases “Kanojo ni aitai” (彼に会いたい) or “Kanoji ga inakute sabishii” (彼女がいなくて寂しい).

Kare ni aitai.
彼に会いたい。
I miss him.

Kare ga inakute sabishii.
彼がいなくて寂しい。
I miss him.

Kanojo ni aitai.
彼女に会いたい。
I miss her.

Kanojo ga inakute sabishii.
彼女がいなくて寂しい。
I miss her.

Kare (彼) also means “boyfriend” and kanojo (彼女) also means “girlfriend“. So you can also use the phrases to say “I miss my boyfriend” or “I miss my girlfriend“. Instead of “kare” you can also say “kareshi” (彼氏) which is usually only used to refer to one’s boyfriend.

Kareshi ni aitai.
彼氏に会いたい。
I miss my boyfriend.

Kareshi ga inakute sabishii.
彼氏がいなくて寂しい。
I miss my boyfriend.

Kanojo ni aitai.
彼女に会いたい。
I miss my girlfriend.

Kanojo ga inakute sabishii.
彼女がいなくて寂しい。
I miss my girlfriend.

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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