Yokatta: Japanese Meaning, English Translation, How to Use


Yokatta - Japanese Meaning English Translation and How to Use よかった 良かった

This is an in-depth guide about the Japanese wordyokatta” (よかった, 良かった). In this blog post, I have covered for you the word’s meanings, English translations, and the most common ways of how to useyokatta” in a Japanese sentence. Let’s start with one of your most commonly asked questions: What doesyokattamean?

The Japanese word “yokatta” (よかった, 良かった) means “(something) was good”, “That’s great”, “I’m glad to hear that”, “Thank goodness”, or “I’m relieved to hear that”. It is a phrase that can be used in all kinds of situations to express happiness or relief and is often used after hearing good news.

Below I will explain the meanings and translations of the Japanese word “yokatta” (よかった, 良かった) with some helpful examples and tell you why Japanese people use the phrase so often. At the end of the post, you will also find the meaning of “Yokatta desu ne!“, “Sore wa yokatta (desu)!“, and “Kimochi yokatta!” and learn how you can use the word in Japanese.

The Meaning of “Yokatta” in Japanese & English

Yokatta” (よかった, 良かった) is the past tense form of the Japanese word “ii” or “yoi” (いい, 良い) which means “good”, “fine”, “nice”, “pleasant”, or “great”. So “yokatta literally translates as “was good“, “was fine“, “was nice“, “was pleasant“, or “was great” and is used to talk about something that you liked or enjoyed.

Present tense:
ii (or yoi)
いい (or 良い)
good, fine, nice, pleasant, great

Past tense:
yokatta
よかった (良かった)
was good, was fine, was nice, was pleasant, was great

Just the word “yokatta” (よかった, 良かった) can also be translated as a full sentence: “It was good” or “It was great” since it is common to omit the subject and the topic when they are clear in spoken Japanese. By the way, the polite form of “yokatta” is “yokatta desu” (よかったです).

Eiga dou datta?
映画どうだった?
How was the movie?

Yokatta!
よかった!
It was good!

Yokatta desu!
よかったです!
It was good! (polite)

However, when it is not clear what was good you can explicitly mention the topic or subject and add the particle wa (は) or ga (が) before “yokatta” to say “… was good“.

Sono resutoran wa yokatta.
そのレストランはよかった。
That restaurant was good.

Kinou tenki wa yokatta.
昨日、天気は良かった。
Yesterday the weather was good.

Taimingu ga yokatta.
タイミングがよかった。
The timing was good.

But that’s not the only meaning of the word “yokatta” (よかった, 良かった).

The expression is often used to express that you are glad, happy, or relieved about something and it is often used to respond to someone else’s good news. That’s why depending on the situation, “yokatta” (よかった, 良かった) can also have the following English translations.

  • That’s good!
  • That’s great!
  • Good for you!
  • What a relief!
  • That’s a relief!
  • That’s wonderful!
  • Thank god!
  • Thank goodness!
  • I’m glad to hear that!
  • I’m relieved to hear that!

When one of your friends passed a test or was invited to a second interview you can respond to the good news with “Yokatta!” (よかった, 良かった) meaning “That’s great!“, “That’s wonderful!“, or “That’s good to hear!“.

Shiken ni goukaku shita!
試験に合格した!
I passed the examination.

Yokatta!
よかった!
That’s great!
That’s wonderful!
That’s good to hear!

Yokatta!” (よかった, 良かった) can also be used when you feel relieved about something and want to say “Thank god!“, “Thank goodness!“, “That’s a relief“, “What a relief!“, or “I’m relieved to hear that!“. Maybe your friend finally found a new job or feels better after an injury.

Mou genki ni natta.
もう元気になった。
I feel better already.

Yokatta!
よかった!
Thank god!
What a relief!
That’s a relief!
Thank goodness!
I’m relieved to hear that!

The word can also be used in Japanese when somebody says something that makes you feel glad or happy. Maybe your friends really enjoyed the movie or place you recommended to them or maybe they tried your favorite dish or restaurant and thought it is really good.

In this situation, “yokatta” (よかった, 良かった) can be translated as “I’m glad to hear that” or “I’m happy to hear that“.

Kore mecha oishii!
これめちゃ美味しい!
This is so good!

Hontou? Yokatta!
本当?よかった!
Really? I’m glad to hear that!
Really? I’m happy to hear that!

Why Do Japanese People Say “Yokatta”?

Yokatta” (よかった, 良かった) translates as “was good“, but it is also a common exclamation that Japanese people use to respond to good news, say that they are feeling relieved, happy, or glad about something. It is used whenever something was good and enjoyable or someone feels pleased with something.

  • talks about something that was good or enjoyable
  • expressing relief
  • expressing happiness
  • responding positively to good news

Japanese people really use the word “yokatta” (よかった, 良かった) a lot. So knowing its meaning and translation will not only help you to understand anime and manga better but will also help you to handle all kinds of daily life situations and conversations in Japan.

How to Use “Yokatta” – Common Phrases & Example Sentences

Now let’s take a look at more example sentences and the meaning and translation of some common phrases that use the word “yokatta” (よかった, 良かった). The highly requested phrases “yokatta desu ne” (よかったですね) and “Sore wa yokatta” (それはよかった) are included, of course.

  • Yokatta desu ne
  • Yokatta ne/na/yo
  • Sore wa yokatta (desu)
  • Yokatta yokatta
  • Buji de yokatta
  • Kimochi yokatta

Yokatta Desu Ne – Means “I’m Happy For You”

Yokatta desu ne (よかったですね) is an expression that is commonly used to respond to someone else’s good news and means “I’m happy for you“, “I’m happy that…“, or just “I’m glad to hear that“. The desu (です) adds politeness and the particle ne (ね) makes you sound softer and more empathic.

Yokatta desu ne
よかったですね
I’m happy for you!
I’m glad to hear that!

Saifu ga mitsukatte yokatta desu ne.
財布が見つかってよかったですね。
I’m glad to hear that you found your wallet.

The expression is usually used in reply to what another person has said and shows your understanding of their situation as well as your support or relief. It can also be translated as “That’s good, isn’t it?” or “What a relief, huh?“.

You can also just say “Yokatta ne” (よかったね) which is the informal version of “Yokatta desu ne” (よかったですね). Instead of the soft ne (ね) there are also other sentence-ending particles you can use like the more masculine and stronger yo (よ) or the more empathic na (な).

Yokatta ne!
That’s great!
Great, isn’t it? (feminine)

Yokatta na!
That’s great!!! (more empathic)

Yokatta yo!
Great!!! (masculine, stronger)

Sore Wa Yokatta (Desu) – Means “That is Good to Hear”

Sore wa yokatta” (それはよかった) can be translated as “That’s good to hear“, “Good for you“, “Thank god!“, or “I’m happy to hear that“. It generally has the same meaning asYokatta” and “Yokatta desu“, but it is more formal and sounds a bit mature. In casual situations, the phrase might be too stiff.

Sore wa yokatta.
それはよかった。
That is good to hear.
Good for you!

Sore wa yokatta desu.
それはよかったです。
That is good to hear. (politer)
Good for you! (politer)

Yokatta Yokatta – Means “I’m Relieved to Hear That”

Yokatta yokatta” (よかったよかった) can mean “I’m relieved to hear that“, “That’s great news“, or “I’m glad to hear that“. It’s another way to use the word “yokatta” (よかった, 良かった) in casual Japanese. However, it is more commonly used by adults or older people when talking to younger people they know.

Yokatta yokatta
よかったよかった
I’m relieved to hear that.
That’s great news!
I’m glad to hear that!

Buji de Yokatta – “I’m Glad That You Are Safe”

Buji de yokatta” (無事でよかった) means “I’m glad that you are safe” or “I’m glad to hear that you are safe“. It is used when someone tells you that they have arrived at home or another destination without trouble. Or when they experienced a dangerous situation like a typhoon without any damage.

Buji de yokatta
無事でよかった。
I’m glad that you are safe.
I’m glad to hear that you are safe.

Minna buji de yokatta.
皆無事でよかった。
Thank god that everyone is safe!
I’m glad that everyone is safe!

Kimochi Yokatta – Means “It Felt Good”

The phrase “Kimochi yokatta” (気持ちよかった) means “It felt good” or “It felt pleasant“. While the phrase can generally be used to talk about a cool breeze in summer or a hot onsen bath in winter, for example, it is most commonly used in relation to love affairs and when getting intimate with someone.

Kimochi yokatta.
気持ちよかった。
It felt good.

Umi wa totemo kimochi yokatta desu.
海はとても気持ちよかったです。
The ocean felt really good.

Sore wa totemo kimochi yokatta
それはとても気持ちよかった。
That felt really good.

Itte Yokatta – Means “I’m Happy I Went”

This might be a little bit too advanced, but you can use “yokatta” (よかった, 良かった) after the te-form of a verb to form sentences like “I’m happy that I went to the concert“, “I’m happy that I met you“, or “I’m glad that I bought this“.

Itte yokatta!
行ってよかった!
I’m happy that I went

Raibu ni itte yokatta desu!
ライブに行ってよかったです!
I’m happy that I went to the concert

Mata aete yokatta desu.
また会えてよかったです。
I’m glad that we could meet.

Kore o katte yokatta na!
これを買ってよかったな!
I’m so glad that I bought this!

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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