I know the meaning of [そう, ああ, うん, いいよ] but I don't really know about the different usages of the interjection [そう, ああ, うん, いいよ], what are the nuances between those words?



This is an abbreviation of そうか, そうですか or そうなんだ, whose meaning is "Is that so" or "I see".

So そう is a common reply when you heard something new.

Be careful that sometimes it sounds like the speaker is not interested in what he/she heard, because そう does not include any emotion or opinion of the speaker.


There are a few usages of ああ:

  1. To express admiration, but not when excited. This is similar to English "oh," I think.

  2. To agree or to answer affirmatively. In this case saying ああ means "Yes" or "I agree."

  3. To say "I see." This is similar to そう but it is often used when you are reminded something you already know.


うん is a common (colloquial and informal) word to mean "yes".

Another usage of うん is as the simplest [相槌]{あいづち} (I'm not sure how to say in English) without any additional nuances. So it may also mean "I see" etc.


The literal meaning of いいよ is "It's OK." Its nuance is similar to "no problem."

The two major usages are:

  1. When someone asks you a favor and you are accepting, you can say いいよ (or more formally, いいですよ or 構いませんよ).

  2. You can say いいよ to permit doing something or to forgive someone.

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  • hai chocolate and faily feely thanks for the answer its help me much if you all dont mind, cant i have your e-mail? i want to ask more about japanese interjection, thanks before – ilma Dec 23 '16 at 13:32

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