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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody! Hiroko here. Welcome to Absolute Beginner Questions Answered by Hiroko, where I’ll answer some of *your* most common Japanese questions.
The question for this lesson is… What's the difference between O-GENKI and GENKI?
When you ask “how have you been?” to someone you haven’t seen for a while, you can use “o-genki desu ka”, “genki desu ka” and just “genki?”.
The “o” is an honorific prefix and is used for other people only. “O-genki desu ka” is the most polite expression of these three and is used to people you don’t know well or people in higher positions.
“genki desu ka” is more polite than ”genki?” and is used by people in higher positions to people in lower positions. For example, teachers to students and superiors to subordinates.
“genki?” is the most casual and is used among friends.
When you are answering these questions, you should not use ‘o’, even though the question is “o-genki desu ka”. The reason is that you should not use a respectful expression to refer to yourself. When you are answering this kind of question, please say ‘hai, genki desu.’
I hope this makes sense to you and you’re able to use "o-genki” and “genki” correctly from now on!
Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them!


Please to leave a comment.
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JapanesePod101.com Verified
January 26th, 2016 at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
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What Japanese learning question do you have?

June 7th, 2019 at 06:36 AM
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Hi Daryl,

Thanks for the comment!

Watashi mo genki desu! 😄


Miki H

Team JapanesePod101.com

June 5th, 2019 at 08:22 PM
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Hai genki desu


December 13th, 2016 at 09:50 AM
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then... can i use genii like a reply when i say if my teacher is genki? like:

anata no sensei ogenki desu ka

hai.. ogenki desu ;D

or not?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
November 23rd, 2016 at 05:49 PM
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bennet さん、


Thank you for your question.:smile:

However, I recommend you to go the website below.


Yuki 由紀


November 14th, 2016 at 03:45 PM
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I heard there is a Japanese learning book GENKI, any relate to the "genki" here?


JapanesePod101.com Verified
June 20th, 2016 at 05:43 AM
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ヨハン san,


In your case person B should ask person A the same thing, ‘A san wa? (ogenki desu ka)’

Yuki  由紀

Team JapanesePod101.com

June 7th, 2016 at 09:39 AM
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Konnichiwa Hiroko-san,

In all examples I find, person A ask person B for example "Ogenki desu ka?" and person B answer for example "Genki desu". Is it common that person B thereafter ask person A how person A is? If yes, does person B usually use the normal "How are you?" questions or does person B normally use another phrase?


JapanesePod101.com Verified
March 28th, 2016 at 05:04 PM
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Oscar san,


Thank you for your question.

Please refer to the page below.


Yuki  由紀

Team JapanesePod101.com

March 24th, 2016 at 02:52 PM
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How do you use particals in Japanese?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
March 15th, 2016 at 10:14 PM
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Goldfinch さん、


Thank you for your positive feedback.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask us.

Yuki  由紀

Team JapanesePod101.com