I believe in English you can say "no" when something unfortunate is about to happen or has already started — suppose somebody has just bumped into a table with an antique vase and now you see it swaying on the verge of falling to the ground. Aside from rushing to prop it up, you can call out "no!" or "no, no, no!", and I think it would be a bit different from a dismayed "no" said after the fact, for example, as the first sounds to me almost like an effort to convince something or someone (the universe? the falling vase?) to stop the accident from happening while there is still a chance to do so. It works similarly in my native language (my calling out "no!" the moment something slipped out of my hands, but didn't reach the ground just yet, was actually what prompted this question).

In Japanese, however, there isn't really such a versatile "no"-word as in English that one could assume would work in this situation. The question is, then: how do you express this sentiment in Japanese? What exclamation would be used in a similar setting?


2 Answers 2


For something bad but spontaneous, I feel いけない is a better match.

Naturally if there’s a sense of impending danger or of warning others, you may also consider あぶない as an interjection.


In my experience the word やだ or more informal versions of いいえ such as いや are used in response to sudden negative events.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .