Both of them means "to say" but when is the best time to use each of them?

1 Answer 1


言う is a very common verb that means "to say". 口にする is a more nuanced verb meaning "to vocalize", "to utter" or "to say out loud". It's more specific and less common than 言う.

The basic meaning of 口にする is "to express one's thoughts in verbal form". The presence of voice as sound is assumed. 口にする is typically used in the following contexts:

  • Verbalizing your opinion or thoughts to someone by actually saying them out loud, rather than just thinking them.

    Nobody will understand you if you don't say out loud what you're thinking.

  • Accidentally uttering what one is thinking internally, such as in the form of a criticism or insult.

    Once you have said something, you cannot take it back.

声が出る is another set phrase similar to this. See: What does "声が出る" mean?

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