Consider the following:

良い yoi — 良く yoku

いい ii — よく yoku

When typing いい, IME offers 良い in the lookup table. It makes me wonder whether いい is just an alias of 良い but it is pronounced differently only in the dictionary form.

What is the difference between 良い and いい?


1 Answer 1


良い can be read as both いい and よい. 良{よ}い is more formal than いい. But they are very similar words, and they are sometimes safely interchangeable. For example, the following words are the same and both mean "good boy/girl".


Sometimes, いい cannot be replaced with 良い in casual language. For instance, in the Japanese version of Facebook, you call the "Like" button, the "いいね" button. If you replace it to "良いね", it would be a little bit strange because いいね is a casual word, and 良い is somewhat formal. They should go together.

  • 3
    I've also been told that adding 良い tends to enforce the reading よい more than いい (another reason why people tend not to do it). In most cases to say いい、people just write いい.
    – sqrtbottle
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 17:48

You must log in to answer this question.

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