When we want to say "Hey, hurry up! you'll be late!", which would be more appropriate? :

  1. 遅刻するぞ!
  2. 遅くなるぞ!
  3. any other suggestions?
  • Are you with the person who is the getting late (and going together)? Or are you waiting at the meeting point? Or are you an non-implicated third party near none of the implicated parties? Commented Feb 23, 2014 at 9:01
  • 4
    Without knowing "late for WHAT", no one could give you a good answer. You selected 遅刻するよ for the best answer but native speakers DO NOT use 遅刻する to mean to be late for a movie, date or for catching a bus or plane. It is used only to mean "late for school or work".
    – user4032
    Commented Feb 23, 2014 at 12:03
  • @TokyoNagoya, you realised this thread was 3 years old?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Feb 23, 2014 at 13:33
  • 2
    Other users can come across this thread on Google searches and such, so comments and answers are still welcome, even if the original user doesn't need them.
    – user1478
    Commented Feb 23, 2014 at 15:02

5 Answers 5


遅刻するよ! is the phrase you're looking for. 遅くなる does literally mean "become late", but this "late" is more along the lines of an event becoming delayed or postponed beyond the expected time. The context you're looking for is a person being late for a scheduled event, which is what 遅刻 conveys.

Either 遅刻するよ! or 遅刻しちゃうよ! can be used. The latter adds an undertone of regret.

遅れる works as an alternate for 遅刻する, if you want to avoid 漢語: 遅れちゃうよ!

And depending on the speaker and situation, ぞ can be substituted for よ, which was covered in this question.

  • ぞ is pretty rough.
    – Robusto
    Commented Jun 8, 2011 at 18:07
  • 2
    Yes, in the scale of things here, よ would be neutral, ぞ would be masculine, and わよ would be feminine. Choose your particle wisely. :) Commented Jun 8, 2011 at 19:38
  • 遅くなる means "It's getting late"
    – repecmps
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 2:08

What about 遅れるよ! ? I hear 遅れちゃった a lot when people show up to events.

  • That means "I am getting late", not "you're getting late". Commented Feb 23, 2014 at 8:58

As an alternative to 遅刻 and its variants you can flip it around a little bit and say 間に合わないよ, which I think is also a common way to say it. So instead of saying that you'll be "late" you're saying you "won't be on time."


The second one is good, and you can add 急いで (いそいで) to it to say "Hurry up"


You can use 遅刻する as "to be late". It has a more specific meaning (late for school, an appointment). So if you're saying "Hurry up, you'll be late for school", say

急いで!遅刻するよ。or 急いで!遅刻になるよ。


I‘m no sure if people would say {遅刻するぞ}, because they might say {遅刻しちゃうぞ} instead. To 遅刻する is to be tardy intentionally, while 遅刻しちゃう, which comes from {遅刻してしまう} has the connotation that even though you don't have the intention, you might end up being tardy, thus you better hurry.

I'm a bit undecided between 遅くなるぞ and 遅刻しちゃうぞ so I'll leave to native speakers or those who live long in Japan to give their verdicts :)

  • I thought 遅刻する was intentional at first, but then I changed my mind. Now I'm wondering which is right.
    – nevan king
    Commented Jun 8, 2011 at 17:40

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