How to say Sad in Japanese: #1 Ultimate Guide

The best way to say “sad” in Japanese is 悲しい (kanashii).

The word 悲しい (kanashii) is an adjective that means “sad” in Japanese. Use it to describe a feeling of unhappiness, express sorrow or regret.

To tell someone that you are sad in Japanese you can simply say 悲しい (kanashii).

It’s natural to omit pronouns in Japanese. Therefore you don’t need pronouns to communicate that you are feeling sad.

You can just say 悲しい (kanashii) to express “I am sad” in Japanese.

While 悲しい (kanashii) is a way to express general sadness, you may also wish to describe a specific kind of sad feeling.

There are many other ways to express various emotions of sadness and similar feelings in Japanese. Here are a few!

  • 落ち込む (ochikomu) – to feel down
  • つらい (tsurai) – painful sadness
  • うつ病 utsubyou – depression
  • 泣きそう(nakisou) – I feel like crying
  • 心が痛い (kokoro ga itai) – my heart hurts
  • 傷ついた (kizutsuita) – I’m upset
  • 失恋 – (shitsuren) – heartbroken

This ultimate guide builds on the above list and explains how to express many different feelings of sadness.

All entries have detailed explanations, examples and audio pronunciation for your reference!

This guide is tailored for beginners and intermediate learners alike.

Sad in Japanese

  • Sad.

The easiest way to express a feeling of sadness in Japanese is to use 悲しい (kanashii).

The word 悲しい (kanashii) is an i-adjective that means “sad”.

You can use it to describe a sad thing, or someone who is sad.

  • それは悲しい。
    sore ha kanashii.
    That’s sad.

Use それは (sore ha) to say “that is” in Japanese. Attach 悲しい (kanashii) to complete the sentence “that is sad”.

Replace それ (sore) with the name of the person to express how someone feeling is sad.

  • [name]は悲しい。
    [name] ha kanashii.
    [name] is (feeling) sad.

We sometimes insert the word “feeling” into sentences when describing someone’s mood in English.

In Japanese, this is already inferred. Therefore you can use the above Japanese phrase to communicate both.

You can also use 悲しい (kanashii) to describe something that is or was sad. For instance,

  • 悲しい時だった。
    kanashii toki datta.
    It was a sad time.

I’m Sad in Japanese

Textbooks will often teach the below phrase as meaning “I’m sad” in Japanese.

  • 私は悲しい。
    watashi wa kanashii.
    I’m sad.

While this is a grammatically correct way to say that you are sad, it can be a little unnatural.

You may have learned that 私は (watashi wa) means “I am” in Japanese. Beginner textbooks frequently include 私は (watashi wa) in the example sentences.

This helps with processing study material because we use pronouns all the time in English.

However, it’s more natural to omit pronouns when speaking Japanese. Consistent use of 私は (watashi wa) is considered redundant and unnecessary.

For that reason using 私は (watashi wa) excessively sounds unnatural.

Therefore, the best way to say “I’m sad” in Japanese is to drop the pronouns and say 悲しい (kanashii).

  • 悲しい。
    I’m sad.

When you speak like this, you will sound much more natural.

With pronouns omitted, you can continue to add words to communicate more detail. For example,

  • 今は悲しい。
    ima wa kanashii.
    I’m sad now.

Perhaps you miss someone and want to express how it makes you sad.

  • [name]に会えなくて悲しい。
    [name] ni aenakute kanashii.
    I’m sad I can’t see you right now.

Related: How to say I Miss You in Japanese [Ultimate Guide].

It’s also important to note that the best way to say “you” in Japanese is to use the person’s actual name. Even when you’re speaking with them directly.

For more information, refer to the above ultimate guide!

Are You Sad? in Japanese

  • Are you sad?
    kanashii no?

The best way to ask someone if they are sad in Japanese is to say 悲しいの (kanashii no) and phrase it like a question.

To reiterate, you don’t need to use pronouns to ask someone if they are sad in Japanese. Phrasing 悲しい(kanashii) like a question is enough.

If you do wish to specify, you can use the person’s name in place of “you”. This is because saying the person’s name is the best way to say “you” in Japanese.

The order of the words in the sentence looks like this.

  • [name]、悲しいの?
    [name], kanashii no?
    Are you sad, [name]?

The inclusion of の (no) is optional and is a way to emphasise the phrase as a question. Moreover, attaching の (no) to the end of sentences can convey more emotion.

Therefore you communicate your concern more effectively when you include の (no).

Whether you include の (no) or not, simply phrasing 悲しい (kanshii) like a question is the most natural way to ask if someone is sad in Japanese.

Refer to the audio pronunciation above to hear how this sounds!

Very Sad in Japanese

  • Very sad.
    totemo kanashii.

To emphasise a feeling of sadness take 悲しい (kanashii), the adjective for “sad” in Japanese and attach とても (totemo) before it.

This makes the expression とても悲しい (totemo kanashii).

The word とても (totemo) means “very” or “awfully” in Japanese. Use it to describe something to a high degree.

Hence, use とても悲しい (totemo kanashii) to emphasise that you or something is/are very sad.

As it’s natural to omit pronouns when speaking Japanese, you can use this phrase to communicate that it is you who is feeling exceedingly sad.

  • なんとなく今日はとても悲しい
    nanotonaku, kyou wa totemo kanashii.
    For some reason, I’m very sad today.

Just like in the above example sentence, we don’t need to use pronouns. This is because it’s already obvious from context that it’s you, the speaker who is feeling very sad.

You can emphasise how much you’re really feeling sad even further by repeating how many times you say とても (totemo).

This is the same as repeating “very” multiple times in English.

  • とてもとても悲しい。
    totemo totemo kanashii.
    I’m very very sad.

That was Sad in Japanese

You can also use とても (totemo) to emphasise how something is or was very sad.

  • とても悲しい映画だった。
    totemo kanashii eiga datta.
    That was a very sad movie.

Sadness in Japanese

  • Sadness.

The word for “sadness” in Japanese is 悲しさ (kanashisa).

悲しさ (kanashisa) is a conjugation of the i-adjective for “sad”; 悲しい (kanashii). Textbooks often teach this conjugation as the “sa-form”.

Use the “sa-form” to conjugate an adjective into a noun. It involves replacing the final い (i) of an adjective with さ (sa).

Therefore 悲しい (kanashii), an adjective meaning “sad”, becomes 悲しさ (kanashisa), a noun meaning “sadness”.

You use 悲しさ (kanashisa) to express misery, despair, anguish or any situation that causes emotional upset or pain.

  • 彼女は大きな悲しさを耐えてる。
    kanojo wa ookina kanshi sa wo taeteru.
    She’s enduring immense sadness.

I Feel Sad in Japanese

  • I feel kind of sad.
    nanka kanashii.

Say なんか悲しい (nanka kanashii) to express that somehow you feel kind of sad or unhappy in Japanese.

For instance, to specify that you feel somewhat unhappy today you can say:

  • 今日なんか悲しい。
    kyou nanka kanashii.
    I feel kind of sad today.

Preceding 悲しい (kanashii), the word for “sad” in Japanese is なんか (nanka).

なんか (nanka) is a fairly complex word with a multitude of meanings and nuances.

I highly recommend this excellently composed video by Misa. She explains なんか (nanka) in detail while providing plenty of examples to illustrate the nuances.

I Was Sad in Japanese

  • I was sad.

To describe a time in the past when you were sad in Japanese, use 悲しかった (kanashikatta).

The word 悲しかった (kanashikatta) translates as “I was sad” in Japanese. It is the past tense of 悲しい (kanashii), the adjective meaning “sad”.

To reiterate, you do not need to use pronouns to specify that it’s you who was sad.

Saying the word 悲しかった (kanashikatta) will convey that you were sad in Japanese.

You can be more precise and specify when you were sad, as well.

For example:

  • 昨日は悲しかった。
    kinou wa kanashikatta.
    I was sad yesterday.

You can also use 悲しかった (kanashikatta) to state how something was sad in Japanese.

For instance:

  • それは悲しかった。
    sore wa kanashikatta.
    That was sad.

How Sad in Japanese

There are a few ways to agree with someone who is feeling sad and communicate “how sad”, “how terrible” and “that sucks in Japanese.

Firstly, if you feel something bad has happened and it’s sad or a pity you can say:

  • 残念。
    That’s a shame/that’s unfortunate.

There are multiple ways to exaggerate your response too, such as saying something along the lines of “no way! That’s a shame”.

For example,

  • うそ!残念。
    uso! zannen.
    No way! That’s a shame/that’s unfortunate.

Take a glance at the below ultimate guide for more in-depth details and explanations.

Related: How to say No Way in Japanese [Ultimate Guide].

  • 最悪。
    That’s awful.

Responding with the word 最悪 (saiaku) to someone’s statement is the same as saying “that’s terrible”, “that’s awful”, or “that’s horrible” in Japanese.

When you perceive something as devasting you can say:

  • なんて悲しい。
    nante kanashii.
    How sad.

This is the closest to an exact translation of “how sad” in Japanese.

Saying なんて悲しい (nante kanashii) is a strong way to express how you think something is truly sad.

なんて (nante) is N3 grammar used to emphasise what’s being said.

Hence, when you pair なんて (nante) with 悲しい (kanashii) you stress how sad you feel something really is.

I don’t Feel Like It in Japanese

  • I don’t feel like it.
    sono kibun janai.

The above is a casual expression you can use to communicate how you don’t feel like doing something in Japanese.

Use it to express a lack of desire for something or a lack of interest in something.

When you don’t feel in the mood for something, say その気分じゃない (sono kibun janai).

You can also use this expression as a very direct way to turn down someone’s offer in Japanese and tell them “no”.

Related: How to say No in Japanese [Ultimate Guide].

For instance, perhaps a friend suggests you play some video games together. You don’t feel like it and say:

  • 今あまりその気分じゃない
    ima amari sono kibun janai.
    I don’t really feel like it right now/I’m not in the mood for it right now.

The expression その気分じゃない (sono kibun janai) has three components.

  1.  その (sono) means “that” in Japanese.
  2. 気分 (kibun) means “mood” or “feeling” in Japanese.
  3. じゃない (janai) means “not” or “is not” in Japanese. It is a casual variant of ではない (dewanai) and ではありません (dewarimasen). These are the negative versions of です (desu).

For that reason, when you use その気分じゃない (sono kibun janai) you express literally how you are not feeling up to something right now. You are not in the mood.

Let’s remember that omitting pronouns is more natural. Hence you do not need any pronouns when speaking this expression.

Don’t Be Sad/Cheer Up in Japanese

Cheer up in Japanese

  • Don’t be sad/cheer up.
    genki dashite.

Use 元気だして(genki dashite) to communicate the words “cheer up” in Japanese.

If someone is feeling sad, down or out of energy, you can use this expression to encourage them that things will get better.

元気 (genki) is a noun that means “energetic” and “lively” in Japanese. だして (dashite) is the te-form of the verb だす (dasu), meaning “to take out” or “release”. One of the functions of the te-form is to transform verbs into light requests.

In essence, 元気だして (genki dashite) can be literally translated to “take out your energy”. Therefore when you tell someone 元気だして (genki dashite) you’re encouraging them to cheer up and be more energetic.

You can add more to this expression to encourage them further. Adding extra words of reassurance is one way to do this. For instance,

  • 元気だして。きっと大丈夫だよ。
    genki dashite. kitto daijoubu dayo
    Cheer up. Everything will surely be okay.

For a full list and explanation on how to ask if someone is okay and reassure them in Japanese, refer to the below ultimate guide.

Related: How to say Okay and I’m Okay in Japanese [Ultimate Guide].

Perhaps someone has just experienced an intense ordeal. You can reassure them that it’s over now.

  • 元気だして。もう終わったよ。
    genki dashite. mou owatta yo.
    Cheer up. It’s all over now.

There are plenty of ways to reassure someone in Japanese, refer to the ultimate guide above for a more detailed explanation.

Are You Feeling Sad? in Japanese

There are a few ways to ask someone if they are feeling sad in Japanese.

The first is:

  • Are you feeling sad?
    genki nai no?

Use the above expression to ask someone if they are feeling sad, unhappy or depleted of energy.

The word 元気 (genki) is the same as the one in 元気だして(genki dashite), meaning “cheer up” explained above.

元気 (genki) is a word that means “energetic”, “lively”, and “full of spirit”.

This word can refer to a person’s state of well-being. Therefore asking someone if they are 元気 (genki) is the same as asking “how are you” in Japanese.

Related: How to say How Are You in Japanese [Ultimate Guide].

It’s common to ask what’s called negative questions when seeking an answer from someone in Japanese.

In this expression, ない (nai) is a modifier that changes the question from an affirmative, to a negative one.

Therefore the expression 元気ないの? (genki nai no?) can be literally translated as “don’t you have much energy?”.

While, you can use 元気ないの? (genki nai no?)to ask if someone is feeling sad, you can also use it to ask if they are feeling out of energy or in low spirits.

This PDF by the National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics does an excellent job breaking down the nuances with negative questions.

Are You Feeling Sad in Japanese #2

The second way to ask someone if they are feeling sad in Japanese is:

  • Are you feeling sad?
    kanashinderu no?

Use 悲しんでるの? (kanashinderu no?) to ask someone if they are feeling sad or unhappy. The の (no) is an optional addition that emphasises the phrase as a question, and your concern for the other person.

悲しんでる (kanashinderu) is the casual progressive verb form of the adjective 悲しい (kanashii), meaning “sad”.

The verb for “sad” in Japanese is 悲しむ (kanasimu). In the progressive form, it becomes 悲しんでいる (kanashindeiru).

This is already a casual expression, meaning it’s best suited for use between friends, family and those you are personally close with. However, you can remove the い (i) to make it more casual.

This makes it 悲しんでる (kanashinderu).

When you ask someone if they are sad, you ask in the continuous tense. You’re asking if they are still and are continuing to feel sadness at the very moment you ask them.

Hence, when you ask them if they are feeling sad in Japanese using a verb, it needs to be in the progressive form.

I Feel Down in Japanese

  • I feel down.

Use 落ち込んでる (ochikonderu)to express that you’re feeling down in Japanese.

When you feel unhappy or in low spirits, saying 落ち込んでる (ochikonderu) will communicate that.

As it’s more natural to omit pronouns in Japanese, you do not need to specify that it’s you who is feeling down. You can simply say 落ち込んでる (ochikonderu) by itself.

When you say 落ち込んでる (ochikonderu), you’re saying “I feel down” in Japanese. Add more to this expression to slightly alter what you convey. For instance,

  • ちょっと落ち込んでる。
    chotto ochikonderu.
    I feel a little down.

You can ask someone if they feel down in Japanese as well. To do this, you simply phrase the expression as a question. When you do this, pronouns are again, not necessary!

  • 落ち込んでるの?
    ochikonderu no?
    Are you feeling down?

The addition of の (no) attached to the end of the expression is optional. This の (no) is a sentence-ending particle. Including it communicates slightly more feeling and concern and emphasises the question being asked.

落ち込んでる (ochikonderu) is the progressive form of the verb 落ち込む (ochikomu), meaning “to feel down” or “to feel depressed”.

As being in a state of unhappiness is an emotion that you’re continuing to feel when you say this expression, you need to use the progressive form 落ち込んでる (ochikonderu).

Sulking in Japanese

悲しい (kanashii) Meaning

  • Sulking.

The word for sulking in Japanese is すねってる (sunetteru). Use it to describe silent, moping behaviour.

You can say すねってる (sunetteru) to communicate “I’m sulking” in Japanese. Or, you can phrase it like a question, similar to the 落ち込んでる (ochikonderu), explained above.

Once again, you do not need pronouns when speaking this expression. For example,

  • すねってるの?
    sunetteru no?
    Are you sulking?

You may also wish to ask someone why they are sulking in Japanese, too. To do this, insert どうして (doushite) before the expression. This makes the expression:

  • どうしてすねってるの?
    doushite sunetteru no?
    Why are you sulking?

There are many different ways to say “why” in Japanese. Which one you use will change the exact nuances you convey. Take a glance at the below guide for more details.

Related: How to say Why in Japanese [Ultimate Guide].

Why Are You Sad? in Japanese

  • Why are you sad?
    doushte kanashii no?

Use the above phrase to ask someone the reason why they are sad in Japanese. 

The first word in the phrase, どうして (doushte) is one of the many ways of saying “why” in Japanese. 

The second word is the adjective 悲しい (kanashii), which means “sad”. Attached to 悲しい (kanashii) is の (no).

This is an optional addition to emphasise the phrase as a question. You also convey more emotion and concern when you include の (no). 

As explained earlier, it’s more natural to omit pronouns in Japanese. Hence, the Japanese translation of “why are you sad” does not include the pronoun “you”. 

It’s also worth knowing that to some people this phrase might be considered to be direct. 

Therefore rather than asking someone if they are sad, you might be better off asking if they are okay instead. 

One of the ways you can do this is to use 大丈夫 (daijoubu). 

  • 大丈夫? 
    Are you okay?

Take a glance at this ultimate guide for more details on saying okay in Japanese

Related: How to say Okay in Japanese [Ultimate Guide].

I’m Not Sad in Japanese

  • I’m not sad.

The word 悲しくない (kanashikunai) is the negative form of the adjective 悲しい (kanashii), meaning sad. 

Thus, 悲しくない (kanashikunai) directly translates as “not sad” in Japanese. 

You can use 悲しくない (kanashikunai) to specifically state that you are not sad as a response to something, or as a general comment. 

If someone asks you if or why you are sad you can reply with 悲しくない (kanashikunai) to communicate that you are not at all feeling unhappy.

I’m Not Sad Anymore in Japanese

If you were sad at one point in the past, but those feelings have now dissipated, you can say:

  • I’m not sad anymore.
    mou kanashikunai.

As discussed in the entry above, 悲しくない (kanashikunai) means “not sad” in Japanese. 

Preceding this word is もう (mou) which translates as “already”.

In essence, the full phrase もう悲しくない (mou kanashikunai) can be understood as meaning “already not sad”. 

Hence, when you say もう悲しくない (mou kanashikunai) you express how your previous feelings of sadness have already disappeared. You no longer feel unhappy and therefore are not sad anymore. 

An example sentence may look like this:

  • まだ悲しいの? 
    mada kanashii no?
    Are you still sad?

The reply:

  • いや、もう悲しくない 。 
    iya, mou kanashikunai.
    Nope, I’m not sad anymore.

Related: How to say No in Japanese [Ultimate Guide].

It Makes Me Sad in Japanese

  • It makes me sad.

One of the most natural ways to express that something makes you sad in Japanese is to use 悲しくなる (kanashikunaru).

When something or someone is the reason why you are feeling sad, use 悲しくなる to express “it makes me sad” in Japanese.

You can specify what makes you sad as well. For instance, if you hear something that makes you feel unhappy you can express:

  • それを聞くと悲しくなる。 
    sore wo kikuto kanashikunaru.
    Hearing that makes me sad.

Likewise, if you’re told something that makes you feel in low spirits use this phrase:

  • そういう言われると悲しくなる。 
    souiu iwareru to kanashikunaru.
    Being told that makes me sad.

You Make Me Sad in Japanese

If the reason why you’re sad is because of another person, you can tell them directly as well.

  • [name]のせいで悲しくなる。 
    [name] no seide kanashikunaru.
    You make me sad.

When you want to tell someone “you make me sad” in Japanese, remember that the most natural way to address the person is by their actual name. In other words, the best way to say “you” in Japanese is to say the person’s name instead.

Say 悲しくなる (kanashikunaru) by itself to say “it makes sad” generally. Alternatively, extend the phrase and specificy to give more context.

悲しくなる (kanashikunaru) is formed of two components. Firstly, 悲しい (kanashii), which is the i-adjective for sad in Japanese.

This i-adjective is then conjugated with the grammar point なる (naru).

なる (naru) means “become” in Japanese. Therefore, conjugating 悲しい (kanashii) with なる (naru) changes the meaning to literally “become sad”.

To conjugate with なる (naru), take the last い (i) of the i-adjective and replace it will く (ku). Finally, attach なる (naru) after く (ku).

悲しい (kanashii) becomes 悲しく (kanashiku) and then finally 悲しくなる (kanashikunaru).

As pronouns are dropped in Japanese, when you say 悲しくなる (kanashikunaru) you express that you will become sad as a result of something.

When the context is already understood by the speaker and listener, saying 悲しくなる (kanashikunaru) is enough to communicate that something makes you sad.

So Sad it’s Painful in Japanese

つらい (tsurai)

  • So sad, it hurts.

A very powerful way to communicate that you or someone feels sad in Japanese is つらい (tsurai).

The word つらい (tsurai) is an i-adjective that you can use to describe an emotion that’s painful, heartbreaking or cruel.

To describe how you’re feeling an immense sadness you can say つらい (tsurai) without any pronouns.

You can emphasise the emotional pain further by extending your sentence. If you’re feeling devasted after having your heart broken you can say

  • つらい。こころが痛い。
    tsurai. kokoro ga itai.
    It’s painful. My heart hurts/aches.

Suggested: How to say Soul in Japanese [Ultimate Guide].

You can also use つらい (tsurai) to emphasise how something is emotionally painful.

For example, if your job is extremely taxing and is taking a toll on you mentally, you can say

  • 仕事はつらい。
    shigoto wa tsurai.
    Work is emotionally draining/painful.

Use this template to say express how something is emotionally painful in Japanese.

Replace the word 仕事 (shigoto) with a noun of your choice to communicate how you feel incredibly unhappy with it.

Miserable in Japanese

  • Miserable.

惨め (mijime) is a na-adjective that you can use to describe someone or something that is miserable.

Use it when something or someone is in a wretched state of despair or distress.

For instance:

  • 惨め人生。
    mijieme na jinsei.
    Miserable life.

This word is a na-adjective. Therefore, when 惨め immediately follows a noun, you need to insert な (na) in between 惨め and the following noun.

Another example:

  • 惨め人。
    mijieme na hito.
    Miserable person.

You can use 惨め (mijime) as an adverb as well. To make it an adverb attach に (ni) to 惨め (mijime).

This makes it 惨めに (mijime ni), meaning “miserably”. Finally, place 惨めに (mijimeni) before a verb.

  • 惨め失敗した。
    mijime ni shippai shita.
    I failed miserably.

Upset in Japanese

There are a few ways to express upset in Japanese. Which one you use depends on what kind of upset emotion you are feeling.

If you’re feeling upset and angry, use this expression.

  • Upset (angry).

If you’re feeling upset and sad because your feelings have been hurt use this expression.

  • Upset (hurt feelings).

怒ってる (okotteru) Explained #1

When using the first expression, 怒ってる (okotteru), you communicate that you’re upset and angry.

怒ってる (okotteru) is the progressive form of the 怒る (okoru), the verb for “angry”.

This verb needs to be in the progressive form as when you express you are upset and angry you continue to feel those emotions when you’re speaking. You are already frustrated and the emotion is continuous.

Whereas saying 怒る (okoru) to someone will instead communicate “I’ll get angry” in Japanese. This is because 怒る (okoru) is used to refer to an event that is going to happen.

Use 怒ってる (okotteru) as a response or statement to express you are angry, disappointed, unhappy about something and/or upset.

For instance, if someone asks how you are, you can say:

  • 今起こってる。
    ima okotteru.
    I feel angry/upset right now.

傷ついた (kizutsuita) Explained #2

Upset in Japanese

Use 傷ついた (kizutsuita) to express your feelings have been hurt and you feel upset.

For example, if someone has said something to you that has made you feel upset you can say 傷ついた (kizutsuita) to communicate it.

The difference between 怒ってる (okotteru) and 傷ついた (kizutsuita) is that 怒ってる (okotteru) conveys anger more than 傷ついた (kizutsuita).

Therefore use 傷ついた (kizutsuita) when you feel generally upset and 怒ってる (okotteru) when you are upset and angry.

The kanji in 傷ついた (kizutsuita) is 傷.

This kanji means “wound”, “injury”, “hurt”, or “pain”. Hence, 傷ついた (kizutsuita) infers that your feelings have been hurt.

You can use 傷ついた (kizutsuita) in situations such:

  • どうして無視をしたの?傷ついた。
    doushte mushu wo shita no? kizu tsuita.
    Why did you ignore me? I’m upset.

Furthermore, 傷ついた (kizutsuita) can be used to refer to both emotional and physical pain.

Hence, when using it to refer to physical pain, it translates as “hurt”.

I Feel Like Crying in Japanese

  • 泣きそう。
    I feel like crying.

When you feel so sad you feel like bursting into tears you can use 泣きそう (nakisou).

Saying 泣きそう (nakisou) will communicate “I feel like crying” in Japanese.

Therefore when you say 泣きそう (nakisou) to someone you are telling them that you feel like you are going to cry.

Heartbroken in Japanese

Heartbroken in Japanese

The word for heartboken in Japanese is 失恋 (shitsuren).

The kanji for 失恋 (shitsuren) is 失 and 恋, meaning “lose” and “romance” respectively.

Therefore the meaning of 失恋 (shitsuren) is literally “lose romance”. Use this word to describe or state a feeling of unrequited love or brokenheart.

  • 失恋に耐えてる。
    shitsuren ni taeteru.
    I’m enduring a broken heart.

However, 失恋 (shitsuren) is a word that is found more so in stories. Such as those from books and movies, rather than in general conversation. It can sound somewhat poetic.

Hence to describe that you have a broken heart without sounding super poetic, there is another expression you can use.

  • 心を傷つけたんだ
    kokoro wo kizutsuketanda.
    You broke my heart.

If somebody breaks your heart and you want to express that feeling to others, you can say:

  • [name]は私の心を傷つけた
    [name] wa watashi no kokoro wo kizutsuketa.
    [name] broke my heart.

Replace [name] with the name of the person who broke your heart to personalise the sentence.

That’s Sad (pathetic) in Japanese

  • That’s sad/pathetic.

To refer to something or someone as being sad or tragic in the pathetic sense, use the i-adjective なせけない (nasekenai).

Say なせけない (nasekenai) to describe something or someone as pitiful, shameful or pathetic.

For instance, if you are appalled at someone’s performance on something you can say (sarcastically or not):

  • さっきは何だ?なせけなかったね
    sakki wa nanda? nasekenakatta ne.
    What was that? That was pathetic.

As なせけない (nasekenai) is an adjective, you can use it to describe nouns as pathetic or shameful directly.

For example:

  • なせけない状態。
    nasekenai joutai.
    Pathetic state.

You can also use it to describe yourself.

  • 私はなせけない人だった。
    watashi wa nasekenai hito datta.
    I was a pathetic (sad) person.

Depression in Japanese

Japanese Word for Depression

  • Depression.

The word for depression in Japanese is うつ病 (utsubyou).

Use the word うつ病 (utsubyou) to express that you are or feel depressed.

There are a few ways you can use うつ病 (utsubyou) to communicate levels of depression.

For example, to state that you are depressed, you can use:

  • 私はうつ病だ。
    watashi wa utsubyou da.
    I am depressed.

To emphasise the pain you feel you can say:

  • つ病だに苦しんでる。
    utsubyou ni kurushinderu.
    I’m suffering from depression.

As うつ病 (utsubyou) is a noun, you can use verbs to state that you “suffer from” or “feel” depressed.

Happy in Japanese

  • Happy.

The word for happy in Japanese is the i-adjective 嬉しい (ureshii).

嬉しい (ureshii) is the opposite of 悲しい (kanashii), like how “happy” is the opposite of “sad” in English.

You can say 嬉しい (ureshii) by itself to say “I am happy” in Japanese.

Alternatively, you can use it to describe something or someone else as happy.

For a comprehensive explanation of how to say “happy” in Japanese refer to the below ultimate guide.

Suggested: How to say Happy in Japanese [Ultimate Guide].

Not Happy in Japanese

  • Not happy.

嬉しくない (ureshikunai) is an adjective that means “not happy” in Japanese.

It is the negative form of 嬉しい (ureshii), which means “happy”.

Use 嬉しくない (ureshikunai) to express that you or someone is unahppy.

To communicate that you are unhappy in Japanese you simply say 嬉しくない (ureshikunai). You do not need any pronouns to state that it is you who is unhappy.

For example, if someone asks how you are, you may reply with:

  • ちょっと嬉しくない。
    chotto ureshikunai.
    I’m a little unhappy.

Related: How to say How Are You in Japanese [Ultimate Guide].

To express that someone else is unhappy use the following template.

  • [name]は嬉しくない。
    [name] wa ureshikunai.
    [name] is unhappy.

Simply replace [name] with the name of the person who is not happy.

Use this next phrase to express that it seems like someone is sad. 

They appear unhappy or at least give off that impression.

  • [name]は嬉しくないみたい
    [name] wa ureshikunai mitai.
    [name] seems unhappy.

みたい (mitai) is a grammar point to say how something seems like something in Japanese. By attaching みたい (mitai) to the end of 悲しくない (kanashikunai), the meaning changes from “unhappy” to “seems unhappy”.

I’m Sad There’s No More!

  • I’m sad there’s no more.
    mou nai no wa kanashii.

When you’re sad that there is no more of something use the above phrase.

Perhaps you’re disappointed or sad that there is no more of your favourite food left in the fridge.

Or, Maybe you’re sad that you’ve reached the end of this guide!

But there’s no need to be sad! 元気出して!(genki dashite!).

Take a look at the collection of Ultimate How-To Japanese guides for more. [View All Ultimate Guides].