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61. The word ちょっと

Learn Japanese
Lesson 61: The word ちょっと

ちょっと is one of the most commonly used words in the Japanese language. It essentially means a little bit; however, it is also regularly used to soften one's tone when making a request or to refuse a request in a polite manner.

English Japanese
She did a little shopping. かのじょはちょっとものをしました。
kanozyo ha tyotto kaimono wo simasita.
You speak Japanese a little. あなたはちょっとほんはなします。
anata ha tyotto nihongo wo hanasimasu.
This umbrella was a little expensive. このかさがちょっとたかかったです。
kono kasa ga tyotto takakatta desu.
A: What about tomorrow?
B: Tomorrow is a little ...
A:したは?B:したはちょっと…
A: asita ha? B: asita ha tyotto

In the last example, A proposes tomorrow to B (as a date to do something). B politely refuses by uttering the incomplete sentence したはちょっと… The o sound at the end of ちょっと is a bit extended.

Lesson contributors

Denholm Nahon
Erik