I'd like to ask how emotionally loaded 会いたい【あいたい】 is.

For example, if I were to (neutrally) convey the sense of "I'd like to meet you" by using 会いたい, would it carry an emotional expectation in the sense of missing the person, as compared to simply conveying a want to meet?

How would I convey a want to meet (neutrally)?

How would I convey the varying degrees of emotional tones? I.e. how would sentences with more emotional loading be constructed?

Some examples I can think of are:

  • to an acquaintance
  • to a friend
  • to a (general) romantic interest
  • to an already intimate romantic interest

1 Answer 1


I think it's "quite" emotionally loaded, or at least can be. My son often refers to it when he wants to see his mom (and it's generally met w/ tears). He's a bit of a mama's boy. On the flip side though, throw a な~ at the end of it, and now it's definitely softened.

I think for the most part it has to do with the tone of the way it's conveyed, but to a friend or acquaintance that you've not seen in a while, just say 会おうよ。That should avoid any awkwardness. :) For the other two, use 会いたい。Of course, your mileage may vary.

  • I agree. <br> Because Japanese culture has a tendency of avoiding any personal assertings, as you know, so ~たい in Japanese is much more unusual than "want to ~" in English, and, therefore, sounds stronger.<br> Actually I can't remember my ever saying 会いたい. I always say 会おうか, 会おうよ, 会いませんか?, お会いできれば幸いです, etc. :-)
    – isayamag
    Nov 22, 2014 at 7:32
  • Yes, and on a similar note, the classic that almost all beginners fall for: translating "it was nice to meet you" as あなたに会ってよかった which is straight out of one of those countless, horrible TV dramas. Nov 23, 2014 at 2:26

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