Mastering Japanese: How to Say Eat in Japanese – A Quick Guide

In this quick guide, you will learn how to say ‘eat’ in Japanese. Understanding how to express eating-related vocabulary is essential for navigating Japanese cuisine and culture. Throughout this comprehensive guide, we will cover vocabulary, verb usage, expressions, pronunciation, and sentence patterns related to ‘eat’ in Japanese. By the end of this article, you will have enhanced your linguistic skills significantly.

Common Vocabulary for ‘Eat’ in Japanese

Before diving into verb usage and expressions, let’s start with some common vocabulary words for ‘eat’ in Japanese. Learning these words will give you a solid foundation for understanding and using the term ‘eat’ in various contexts.

English Japanese How to Pronounce
Eat (verb) 食べる ta-be-ru
Meal 食事 sho-ku-ji
Food 食べ物 ta-be-mo-no
Dish 料理 ryoh-ri
Snack おやつ oh-ya-tsu

Remember to pronounce each syllable evenly and clearly, and pay close attention to accent placement when pronouncing Japanese words.

Verb Usage: ‘To Eat’ in Japanese

In Japanese, the verb for ‘eat’ is expressed by the word ‘taberu.’ To conjugate this verb, you need to remove the ‘ru’ at the end and replace it with the appropriate suffix.

Verb Tense Suffix Example
Present Tense -masu form tabemasu
Past Tense -ta form tabeta
Future Tense -masu stem + -sou tabemasu + -sou = tabemasu sou

For example, to say ‘I eat sushi’ in Japanese, you would say ‘watashi wa sushi o tabemasu.’ The subject ‘watashi’ (meaning ‘I’) comes first, followed by the verb ‘tabemasu,’ then the object ‘sushi.’

Using the correct verb tense is essential in Japanese to convey the appropriate meaning in a sentence. With practice, you will become comfortable using the verb ‘taberu’ in various tenses and sentence structures.

Polite Forms for ‘Eat’ in Japanese

When speaking with someone who is of a higher status or to show respect, it’s crucial to use polite language in Japanese. To express ‘eat’ in a polite manner, you can use the honorific prefixes ‘o’ or ‘go’ when referring to food items.

For instance, instead of saying ‘taberu,’ you would say ‘meshiagaru’ or ‘go-ham-meshi-ni-naru,’ which both mean ‘to eat.’ These expressions convey respect and politeness and are commonly used in formal settings or when speaking with someone you don’t know well.

Now that you have learned about the verb usage and polite forms for ‘eat’ in Japanese, it’s time to practice constructing sentences. Keep reading to learn about commonly used sentence patterns with ‘eat’ in Japanese.

Expressions Related to Eating in Japanese

Learning expressions related to eating in Japanese is essential to understanding the language and culture surrounding food. Here are some commonly used expressions:

Expression Translation
Itadakimasu A phrase used before a meal to express gratitude for the food and those who prepared it.
Gochisousama deshita A phrase used after a meal to express gratitude for the food and those who prepared it.
Kanpai A common toast used when drinking alcohol.

Itadakimasu, translated to “I humbly receive,” is a polite expression of gratitude used before a meal. It shows respect for the food, those who prepared it, and those you are dining with. When finishing the meal, Japanese people often say “Gochisousama deshita,” meaning “It was a feast.” This expression shows appreciation for the food and those who prepared it.

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Another commonly used expression is “Kanpai,” meaning “Cheers” or “Bottoms up!” This expression is used when drinking alcohol, typically during social gatherings or meals.

Using Expressions Related to Eating in Japanese

It’s important to use these expressions appropriately and in the right context. In Japan, dining is often a social activity, and expressions related to food and drink are used to show respect, gratitude, and appreciation. Use these expressions to enhance your conversations and show your understanding and appreciation of Japanese culture.

By mastering expressions related to eating in Japanese, you will not only improve your language skills but also gain a deeper understanding of Japanese culture and customs.

Polite Forms for ‘Eat’ in Japanese

When it comes to speaking Japanese, politeness is key. In order to express ‘eat’ in a polite manner, there are certain forms that you need to be aware of. One of the most common forms of polite language in Japanese is the honorific form, which is used to show respect to someone of higher status. Using honorific language when talking about eating is especially important in formal situations, such as business meetings or when speaking to elders.

The most common way to express ‘eat’ in a polite manner is by using the verb ‘meshiagaru.’ This verb is often used in formal situations or when speaking to someone of higher status, such as a boss or teacher. For example:

English Japanese
May I eat? Meshiagaremasu ka?
Would you like to eat? Meshiagaru deshou ka?

Another way to express ‘eat’ in a polite manner is by adding the honorific prefix ‘o’ to the verb ‘taberu.’ This results in the verb ‘otaberu,’ which is used to show respect to someone of higher status. For example:

English Japanese
I would like to eat sushi. Osushi wo tabetai desu.
Would you like to eat something? O-nani ka meshiagaru desu ka?

Learning these polite forms for ‘eat’ in Japanese is essential for anyone looking to communicate effectively in formal or respectful situations. Practice using these forms in your daily conversations to strengthen your language skills and show respect to those around you.

Pronunciation Tips for ‘Eat’ in Japanese

Learning how to pronounce ‘eat’ in Japanese is crucial for clear communication. Here are some pronunciation tips to help you master the correct sounds:

Japanese Pronunciation English Approximation
‘e’ Say the letter ‘e’ as in “egg”
‘a’ Pronounce the vowel sound ‘ah’ as in “father”
‘u’ Pronounce the vowel sound ‘oo’ as in “boot”
Rhythm and Accent In Japanese, the accent is on the second syllable, so emphasize ‘ta-‘ in ‘taberu.’ The rhythm of the word is also distinct, with a short pause between the ‘e’ and ‘a’ sounds.
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By following these tips and practicing the sounds, you’ll be able to confidently say ‘eat’ in Japanese in no time.

Frequently Used Sentence Patterns with ‘Eat’ in Japanese

Now that you have learned the basic vocabulary and verb usage related to ‘eat’ in Japanese, it’s time to start constructing sentences. Here are a few frequently used sentence patterns to help you get started:

English Japanese Phrase Breakdown Phrase Meaning
I eat breakfast every day. Watashi wa mainichi asa gohan o tabemasu. Watashi wa (I) + mainichi (every day) + asa (morning) + gohan (meal/rice) + o (object particle) + tabemasu (eat) A statement about the speaker’s daily routine of eating breakfast.
What do you want to eat? Nani o tabetai desu ka? Nani (what) + o (object particle) + tabetai (want to eat) + desu ka (question marker) A question about someone’s food preference.
I don’t eat seafood. Watashi wa shiizakana o tabemasen. Watashi wa (I) + shiizakana (seafood) + o (object particle) + tabemasen (do not eat) A statement expressing the speaker’s dislike for seafood.

These sentence patterns will help you express basic ideas related to eating in Japanese. Practice constructing your own sentences using the vocabulary and verb usage covered in this guide.

Conclusion and Next Steps in Learning Japanese Eating Vocabulary

Bravo! You have now mastered different aspects of saying ‘eat’ in Japanese. Understanding the vocabulary, verb usage, expressions, and pronunciation covered in this guide is crucial in expressing yourself clearly about food in Japanese.

To continue improving your linguistic skills, we recommend practicing with native Japanese speakers, joining language exchange groups, or enrolling in a language course. Further explore Japanese cuisine and dining culture to expand your knowledge and enhance your language skills.


Q: What does ‘taberu’ mean in Japanese?

A: ‘Taberu’ is the verb in Japanese that translates to ‘to eat.’

Q: How do you say ‘eat’ in Japanese?

A: The word for ‘eat’ in Japanese is ‘taberu.’

Q: How do you pronounce ‘taberu’?

A: The pronunciation of ‘taberu’ is tah-beh-roo.

Q: What are some common expressions related to eating in Japanese?

A: Some common expressions related to eating in Japanese include ‘Itadakimasu’ (said before meals) and ‘Gochisousama deshita’ (said after meals).

Q: How can I say ‘I eat breakfast every day’ in Japanese?

A: In Japanese, you can say ‘Mainichi asagohan o tabemasu’ to express ‘I eat breakfast every day.’

Q: Are there polite forms for ‘eat’ in Japanese?

A: Yes, in Japanese, there are various polite forms for ‘eat’ depending on the level of formality and honorifics.

Q: How can I improve my pronunciation when saying ‘eat’ in Japanese?

A: To improve your pronunciation, focus on the vowel sounds, accent placement, and practice regularly to avoid common pitfalls.

Q: What should I do next to continue learning Japanese eating vocabulary?

A: Congratulations on learning about saying ‘eat’ in Japanese! To continue your learning journey, practice the vocabulary, verb usage, expressions, and pronunciation covered in this guide. Keep exploring Japanese cuisine and culture to expand your knowledge further.

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