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Basic Japanese quiz: answers & explanation

06 November 2018 by 6c3d4d34984c46c74034c228f7289f60bdc21d14 img 0041 1 Jojo

Did you already take the quiz: How well do you know basic Japanese? If you haven't then you should! In this post we will discuss the correct answers and explain grammar and more! How well did you do? Let us know in the comments below!

Question 1: You're in Tokyo on your way to work. On the early morning train you see your friend. What do you say? 

A. こんばんわ (konbanwa) ❌

B. おはよう (ohayou) ✅

C. もしもし (moshi moshi) ❌

D. こんにちは (konnichiwa) ❌


The correct answer is ohayou which means good morning!

Konnichiwa = good day

Konbanwa = good evening

Moshimoshi = hello (only when picking up the phone)

Question 2: Your friend asks: How are you? What's your reply? 

A. 馬鹿です!(baka desu) ❌

B. 便秘ですね!(benpi desu) ❌

C. 元気ですね!(genki desu) ✅

D. おめでとうございます!(omedetou gozaimasu) ❌


The correct answer is genki desu which means I'm fine (literally: I'm energetic).

Benpi = constipated. This answer is considered an old man's joke in Japan because it sounds a little similar to genki.

Baka = idiot

omedetou gozaimasu = congratulations (on your birthday, wedding etc.)

Question 3: You make plans to meet your friend next week but you have to get off the train now.  What do you tell your friend ?

A. さようなら! (sayonara) ❌

B. また明日!(mata ashita) ❌

C. 嫌だ!(iya da) ❌

D. じゃあね!(jaa ne) ✅


The correct answer is jaa ne which means see you!

This one is tricky, many may have answered sayonara. While sayonara also is a parting salutation it's not often said in a casual setting to a friend who you will meet soon again. It's more along the lines of 'farewell'.

sayonara = farewell

iya da = no, no way, disagree

mata ashita = see you tomorrow

Question 4: At work your boss introduces you to a new coworker, what do you say? 

A. 頑張ってください (ganbatte kudasai) ❌

B. よろしくお願いします (yoroshiku onegaishimasu) ✅

C. 始めました  (hajimemashita) ❌

D. お前はもう死んでいる (omae wa mou shindeiru) ❌


The correct answer is yoroshiku onegaishimasu which literally means: please take care of me, an expression we don't use in English but is used when introducing yourself.

ganbatte kudasai = please do your best. Not a phrase used to introduce yourself.

hajimemashita = it has begun. The correct way to say nice to meet you would be hajimemashite.

omae ha mou shinde iru = you are already dead. A recent famous anime meme.

Question 5: Your new coworker is considered your:

A. 先生 (sensei) ❌

B. 先輩 (senpai) ❌

C. 後輩(kohai) ✅

D. 変態 (hentai) ❌


The correct answer is: kohai which means junior or lower person at work or at school.

sensei: teacher or doctor

senpai: senior or upperclassman

hentai: pervert

Question 6: After work you go for food and drinks with your coworkers. What do you say before you start eating?

A. いただきます!(itadakimasu) ✅

B. 食べましょう!(tabemashou) ❌

C. お疲れ様です!(otsukaresama desu) ❌

D. 帰ります!(kaerimasu) ❌


The correct answer is itadakimasu which is a standard phrase said before a meal like the French bon apetit (enjoy your meal)

tabemashou = Let's eat. Not wrong grammatically but it's not the standard phrase said before a meal.

otsukaresama desu = Good job today! (Literally: Thank you for your hard work). A standard phrase said after finishing work.

kaerimasu = I'm going home.

Question 7: Let's make it a bit more difficult! You want to order たこ (tako) what is it? 

A. squid ❌

B. eel ❌

C. shrimp ❌

D. octopus ✅


The correct answer is octopus!

squid = ika

eel = unagi

shrimp = ebi

Question 8: Your coworker is drunk and kind of annoying, what do you say? 

A. しっかりして!(shikkari shite) ✅

B. 止めて!(tomete) ❌

C. 元気を出して! (genki wo dashite) ❌

D. 食べて!(tabete) ❌


The correct answer is shikkari shite: pull yourself together.

tomete = stop (stop the car etc.) If you want to tell someone to stop doing something the correct expression would be yamete.

genki wo dashite = cheer up.

tabete = eat.

Question 9: It's time to go home. How do you ask for the bill ?

A. お会計をお願いします (okaike wo onegaishimasu) ✅

B. お金をお願いします (okane wo onegaishimasu) ❌

C. お根性をお願いします (okonjo wo onegaishimasu) ❌

D. おチェックお願いします (ochekku wo onegaishimasu) ❌


The correct answer is okaike wo onegaishimasu, a correct way to ask the bill especially used a lot in Tokyo. Another correct way would be okanjo wo onegaishimasu.

okane wo onegaishimasu = money please

okonjo wo onegaishimasu = determination/willpower please. This sentence is totally wrong and doesn't make sense whatsoever.

ochekku wo onegaishimasu = chekku from the English check is a Japanese word but this sentence is grammatically incorrect and not used this way.

Question 10: You've missed the last train. Your boss offers to pay for a taxi. How do you tell the taxi driver to take you to Shibuya?

A. 渋谷は行くお願いします (Shibuya wa iku onegaishimasu) ❌

B. 渋谷は運転ください (Shibuya wa unten kudasai) ❌

C. 渋谷は行きたくないください (Shibuya wa ikitakunai kudasai) ❌

D. 渋谷までお願いします (Shibuya made onegaishimasu) ✅


The correct answer is: Shibuya made onegaishimasu which means please take me to (literally: until) Shibuya.

Shibuya wa iku onegaishimasu = I go to Shibuya please. If you were on a trip and used this phrase the driver would understand but it's grammatically incorrect.

Shibuya wa unten kudasai = Shibuya is driving please. Grammatically incorrect!

Shibuya wa ikitakunai kudasai = I don't want to go to Shibuya please. The verb iku means going but ikitakunai means I don't want to go.

I hope you enjoyed the quiz and that the answers with explanation make sense to you! Don't forget to let us know your result! Are you studying Japanese? Leave some study tips for other in the comments!

Interested in Japanese language? Check out these phrases to use at a Japanese convenient store!

Or what about 5 weird Japanese words we don't have in English!

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