Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

This is probably related to How would I respectfully disagree with a superior? however the context is a tech forum where the thread starter is asking for someone technically advanced to help, and the culture is more concerned about solving problems than politeness. Is a plain ~違います appropriate in this context?

share|improve this question
Are you asking about Japanese internet etiquette or about conversational Japanese? – Earthliŋ Feb 19 '13 at 20:05
internet etiquette – Sheng Jiang 蒋晟 Feb 19 '13 at 20:07
My university published this a few weeks ago: wellness.nmsu.edu/eap/resources/Howtosay.pdf Same concepts could be applied to Japanese. – istrasci Feb 20 '13 at 17:46
How about 「そうでしょうか。」「(さあ、)それはどうでしょう(か)。」(I doubt it.)「私の意見/考え/見解はちょっと違います。」「私はちょっと違う意見/考えです。」(I think differently.) or maybe 「それはちょっと違うんじゃないでしょうか。」? – user1016 Mar 8 '13 at 21:53
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Someone well-versed in internet Japanese may need to correct me, but...

You can always soften a straight 違います with saying something like


You can also present a fact, which disproves the claim of your technically advanced helper. There may be no need to say explicitly "you were wrong".

This is not only true for Japanese, but trying to confirm the correctness of the claim in some situation that does not apply to you doesn't give the message "you are wrong", which by itself is not very helpful. You could try

That may be so in general, but in my situation...

That said, 違います is a lot better than 違う and, although probably unnecessary, may be perfectly acceptable in that particular tech forum, in particular if you are on the end of the technically advanced helper.

If that is the case, there is also the expression

That's fine, but...

share|improve this answer
thanks, does the result change if I am the technically advanced helper? – Sheng Jiang 蒋晟 Feb 19 '13 at 20:22
I see, I didn't get that from your question. I guess in that case it does change. A bit more context would make for better example sentences, but there is "それはそれでいいんですけど..." meaning roughly, "That's fine, but..." – Earthliŋ Feb 19 '13 at 22:05

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.