Grammar Info

N5 Lesson 9: 4/13

~てもいい (Verb)

It's okay to, It's alright to, Can/may

Structure

Verb[て]+ + いい

Details

  • Part of Speech

    Expression

  • Word Type

    Adjective

  • Register

    Standard

  • 品詞

    表現

  • 単語の種類

    形容詞

  • 使用域

    一般

About Verb + てもいい

Verb + てもいい is a construction in Japanese used to express that something is 'okay', or 'alright'. It can also be used as a question to ask if you 'can', or 'may' do something.
  • その(くつ)()てもいい
    It's alright if you buy those shoes.
  • この(にく)()てもいいです
    It is okay to eat this meat.
  • 明日(あした)(いえ)()てもいいです
    Is it okay if I go to your house tomorrow?
  • ペン()てもいいです
    May I borrow your pen?
This phrase is also regularly used without the , but is considered a bit more direct/casual. It is best to remove the only when talking to people that you know well.
This expression is simply a construction that literally means (verb) (also) いい (is good).
Caution
As this grammar point uses the form of verbs, it is important to remember that some verbs will use instead of .

Examples

  • これ()てもいい

    Is it alright if I look at this?

  • 質問(しつもん)てもいい

    May I ask a question?

  • (あつ)です(みず)()もいいです

    It's hot. Is it alright to drink some water?

  • あそこ(あそ)いいです

    You may play over there.

  • ここ(ほん)()もいいでしょう

    It is okay if I read a book here, right?

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Verb + てもいい – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (21 in total)

  • Unlocked

    Unlocked

    About 2 years ago

    The first example is:
    これを見てもいい?
    Which it says means “is it alright if I look at this?”. However, because the subject isn’t stated, could it also mean “can you look at this?” (as in asking for feedback on something or showing something off), or would that be strange?

  • ljoekelsoey

    ljoekelsoey

    About 2 years ago

    In such a case you would say これを見てもらってもいい?which is far more natural.
    “Can i get you to look at this please?”

  • Unlocked

    Unlocked

    About 2 years ago

    Thanks! Looks like that’s all the way up in N4, so it might have been a while before I reached it normally.

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