Learn “How to Say Last Year in Japanese” Easily

Are you interested in learning Japanese? Are you struggling to express the concept of “last year” in Japanese? Look no further, as we explore the Japanese word for last year and how to use it in conversations. In this section, you will discover different ways to say “last year” in Japanese, including the Japanese term for last year and its application in various contexts.

Learning how to say last year in Japanese is an essential language skill that will enhance your communication and understanding of Japanese culture. With our comprehensive guide, you will gain insights into the pronunciation and meaning of the Japanese word for last year. This will enable you to communicate effectively and confidently in different situations.

So, whether you are a beginner or an advanced learner, join us as we embark on this language journey to master the Japanese term for last year. Let’s get started!

Understanding the Japanese Word for Last Year

When learning a new language, it’s essential to understand how to express time-related concepts accurately. In Japanese, “last year” is expressed as “去年” (kyonen). Pronounced as “koh-nen,” this term is composed of two kanji characters. The first character “去” means “past,” “previous,” or “gone,” while the second character “年” means “year.”

When translating “last year” into Japanese, it’s crucial to understand that the word order is reversed. In English, we say “last year,” while in Japanese, it’s “kyonen.” Therefore, when expressing “last year” contextually in Japanese, you must keep in mind the reversed word order.

Additionally, “kyonen” can be used in various situations to express the concept of “last year.” For instance, if you want to say “I went to Japan last year,” you can say “watashi wa kyonen nihon ni ikimashita.” This translates to “私は去年日本に行きました.” Here, “kyonen” is used to signify the time frame when the speaker went to Japan.

Translating “Last Year” into Japanese

When expressing “last year” in Japanese, it’s essential to understand the grammatical structures and conjugation rules involved. For instance, “kyonen” is a noun, meaning it has no tense or conjugation. However, when using it in a sentence, you must conjugate the verb according to the context.

For example, if you want to say “I ate sushi last year,” you would say “watashi wa kyonen sushi o tabemashita.” Here, “tabemashita” is the past tense of the verb “taberu,” which means “to eat.”

Similarly, if you want to say “I met my friend last year,” you would say “watashi wa kyonen tomodachi ni aimashita.” In this case, “aimashita” is the past tense of the verb “au,” which means “to meet.”

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By understanding the grammatical structures involved in using “kyonen,” you can express the concept of “last year” accurately and contextually in Japanese.

Using Last Year in Conversations

Now that you have learned the Japanese word for “last year,” let’s explore how to use it in conversations. Pronouncing this term correctly is crucial to ensure your message is understood correctly.

How to pronounce last year in Japanese

The Japanese word for last year is pronounced as “kyonen.” The “k” is pronounced with a hard “k” sound, and the “yo” is pronounced with a long “o” sound. The “nen” is pronounced with emphasis on the “n” sound, and the “e” is pronounced silently.

To practice, try saying the following sentence:

Japanese English Translation
“Kyonen wa totemo samui deshita.” “Last year was very cold.”

Last year in Japanese language

When discussing last year in Japanese, it’s important to understand how to apply the term correctly. Here are a few examples of how to use “kyonen” in sentences:

Japanese English Translation
“Kyonen no kono jiken ni tsuite oshiete kudasai.” “Please tell me about this incident from last year.”
“Kyonen wa nihon ni itta koto ga arimasen.” “I did not go to Japan last year.”
“Kyonen no saisho no yuki wa itsu deshita ka.” “When was the first snowfall last year?”

By learning how to use “kyonen” correctly in conversations, you will be able to convey the concept of “last year” effectively in spoken Japanese.

Other Temporal Expressions in Japanese

Now that you have learned the Japanese word for last year, it’s useful to know other temporal expressions in Japanese. This will allow you to discuss specific time periods with ease and add complexity to your conversations.


Japanese Romaji English
去年 Kyonen Last year
来年 Rainen Next year
今年 Kotoshi This year
再来年 Sairainen The year after next

As you can see, the Japanese language has specific terms for different years, making it easier to refer to them in conversations. To use these expressions, simply replace “last year” with the appropriate Japanese term.


Japanese also has different words for each month of the year, making it easy to refer to specific months.

Japanese Romaji English
一月 Ichigatsu January
二月 Nigatsu February
三月 Sangatsu March
十二月 Juunigatsu December


While Japanese doesn’t have specific terms for each week, it does have the concept of “last week” and “next week.”

Japanese Romaji English
先週 Senshuu Last week
来週 Raishuu Next week

Knowing these additional temporal expressions will help you communicate more effectively in Japanese.

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Expand Your Japanese Vocabulary

Congratulations! You have now learned how to say “last year” in Japanese. This is just the beginning of your journey towards fluency in the Japanese language. To further expand your vocabulary, consider these tips and resources:

1. Language Learning Apps

There are many language learning apps available that can help you practice and improve your Japanese vocabulary. Some popular apps include Duolingo, Memrise, and Rosetta Stone. These apps offer multiple levels of difficulty and provide exercises to enhance your language skills.

2. Japanese-English Dictionary

A Japanese-English dictionary is a valuable tool to have when learning new vocabulary. You can use it to look up the Japanese word for last year, as well as other words related to time and dates. Some popular Japanese-English dictionaries include Jisho, Weblio, and Kanji alive.

3. Japanese Language Classes

If you’re serious about learning Japanese, consider taking language classes. Classes provide structure and discipline, allowing you to focus on your language learning. You can find classes at local community centers, universities, and language schools.

4. Immersion Programs

Immersing yourself in the Japanese language and culture can help you improve your vocabulary quickly. Consider participating in an immersion program, where you’ll be surrounded by native Japanese speakers and forced to communicate in their language. Programs can range from a few weeks to several months and are offered around the world.

By utilizing these resources and tips, you’ll be on your way to expanding your Japanese vocabulary beyond just “last year.” Keep practicing and always seek out new opportunities to improve your language skills.


Q: How do I say “last year” in Japanese?

A: The Japanese word for “last year” is “sakunen.” It is pronounced as “sah-koo-nen.”

Q: How do I use the term “sakunen” in different contexts?

A: The term “sakunen” can be used in various ways, such as stating when an event or action occurred in the past year or referring to the previous calendar year in general.

Q: Can you provide an example of using “sakunen” in a conversation?

A: Sure! You can say, “Sakunen no haru ni Nihon ni ikimashita” which means “I went to Japan last spring.”

Q: Are there other temporal expressions in Japanese?

A: Yes, there are various temporal expressions used in Japanese. Some examples include “kyonen” for “last year” and “senshu” for “last week.”

Q: How can I expand my Japanese vocabulary?

A: To expand your Japanese vocabulary, we recommend using language learning apps, practicing with native speakers, and regularly studying Japanese textbooks or online resources.

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