Suppose someone is about to do/say something dangerous/inappropriate. And I want to stop them immediately. In English and Spanish I say "no!" to them. It is an order to stop, short form of "don't do it/that". How can I do that in Japanese?

I do not think you can say いいえ in this case.

To stop a child from doing something, some book says to say だめ!. But I find it lacking, meaning "it is wrong/problematic to do that" and leaving the connection to "(so don't do it)" to the listener. I want a short direct, clear, unambiguous order. :-)

とまれ![止まれ?] sounds to me more related to movement, less general. Also, だめ! and "no!" are simpler for a child (to understand/process, and for me to think and say).

Would the answer depend on context or listener (adult/toddler/student/teammate)?

  • 1
    About "no" versus いいえ, but not related: What's the difference between いいえ and English's “no”?.
    – Pablo H
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 16:58
  • 1
    – user29959
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 17:19
  • 「危ない」is also a good way to order a child to stop. For example. 2人で自転車に乗るのは危ないんだよ!
    – user29959
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 17:25

2 Answers 2


When I lived in Japan, I heard parents use some of the following:

Like you suggested, だめ! was among the first. Sometimes followed by 危ないから! or 危ないよ!

I also heard やめて! pretty often.

I guess none of those really carry the "What you are doing is wrong" nuance, but neither does "NO STOP!" in English. If you have to express the idea that a child should not do something, I would suggest それをやってはいけないよ or maybe やっちゃダメだよ or something similar.

  • I think やめろ! is what I'm looking for. Thanks to both answers and HING's comment. It's hard go get my mind around not having single all-purpose 'no' :-) (one can't answer やめろ to リンゴが好き?).
    – Pablo H
    Commented Oct 23, 2018 at 12:29

there are a lot of situations.

・to stop speak: (to child):

  (to stop loud)静かにしなさい。うるさい。お口はチャック。
  (to stop inappropriate saying)黙りなさい。そんなことを言ってはいけません。

(to students):

  (to stop loud)静かにしなさい。私語は慎みなさい。静粛に。    
  (to stop inappropriate saying)黙りなさい。

(to friends):

    (to stop loud)静かにして。うるさいよ。黙ろう。

    (to stop inappropriate saying)言いすぎだよ。これ以上はだめ。


(to adults (politeway)):

  (to stop loud)静かにしていただけませんか。静粛にお願いします。私語はお控えください。
  (to stop inappropriate saying)おやめください。冷静になってください。
  (both)---I never heard...---

・to stop dangerous things:

  (to child):危ない!だめっ!やめなさい!こらっ!何やってるの!こっちに来なさい!めっ!
  (to students):危ない!やめなさい!こらっ!何やってるの!
  (to friends):危ない!やめろ!何やってんだ!
  (to adults (polite))おやめください!危険です!何をしていらっしゃるのですか!?

We dont use お黙りください for polite way. because "お黙り" include the strong order. sometimes in the anime/movie, the princess use "お黙りなさい" to lower class person.

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