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How does one say "I only see you as a friend" in Japanese?
Literal translation would give 友達だけとして見ます, but the 見ます part seems awfully wrong.

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2 Answers 2

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"I only see you as a friend."

You'd use しか~ない for this "only".

Please refer to this thread for the difference in nuance between だけ vs しか~ない.

You can form the sentence like this:

"I see you as a friend." + "only"
= 「友達として見ています。」 + 「しか~ない」
→ 「友達としてしか見ていません。」

Example dialogue:

Boy: 「好きです!付き合ってください!」
Girl: 「友達としてしか見られないの・・・ごめんなさい!」

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  • Does this work well in situations where the Girl/Woman is trying to imply that they are not interested in a romantic relationship, or is there a more Japanese way to say that?
    – ajsmart
    Mar 2, 2020 at 22:26
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    @ajsmart It will work well in such situations. Variants 「友達としか思ってない」「友達としか思えない」 or even 「友達としか…。」 will imply 恋愛対象外. 「一緒にいて楽しいけど、友達としてしか見れないし…ごめん。」とか言われたら、フラれたってことです。
    – chocolate
    Mar 4, 2020 at 0:51
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One phrase used to express this is

友達を超えない

Literally "(you) won't exceed being a friend".

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