= “Yoku” no tsukaikata ga yoku wakaranai node oshiete kudasai.
= I don’t know how to use “yoku” well. Can you teach me?
= Yoku kikareru shitsumon desu ne.
= I get the question often.
Hi everyone! Happy New Year!! 明けましておめでとう！( = Akemashite omedetou)
This is your 初レッスン ( = hatsu lesson) the first lesson of the year
We have the cute guest teacher, Suzu! We just had a question in the comment section and she will explain the usage of よく ( = yoku).
みなさん、はじめまして！ = Minasan, Hajimemashite! = Nice to meet you! すずです。= Suzu desu. = I am Suzu!
Maggie Sensei always tells me,
= Kono saito ni kuru minna wa nihongo no benkyou wo hontou ni yoku ganbatte iru yo.
= All the people who come visit this site study Japanese really hard.
She recently got a question about the usage of よく ( = yoku).
You may say, “I know that! よく ( = yoku) is an adverb form of いい ( = ii), right?”
(Check my いい ( = ii) lesson.)
Yes, it’s true. It is an adverb of いい ( = ii). But the meaning is not just “well”. It can be used in a negative way.
★よく ( = yoku)
1) to do something well, nicely, kindly, carefully
= Yoku yatta!
= Well done! / Nicely done!
= Kono senzai wa shimi ga yoku ochiru.
= This detergent removes the stains well.
= Kono e wa yoku kakete iru.
= This painting is nicely done.
= Yoku kangaete kara mono wo ii nasai.
= Think carefully before you speak.
= Kono geimu wa yoku dekite iru.
= This game is nicely done.
= Hoomu sutei no kazoku wa mina, watashi ni totemo yoku shite kureta.
= Everybody in my host family was very nice to me.
=” Kagi wo nakushichatta.”
= I lost my key.
= “Yoku sagashita no?”
= Are you sure you looked everywhere (carefully)?
= “JLPT ni ukatta no? Sugoi! Yoku ganbattane!”
= Did you pass JLPT? Wow! Good job!
= Kanojo ga inakute sabishii (or samishii) kimochi wa yoku wakarukedo nanka, tabetara?
= I understand you miss your girlfriend (or you feel lonely because you don’t have a girlfriend) but you should eat something.
= Wasure mono ga nai ka yoku mite kudasai.
= Look around carefully to see if you have everything.
* in a negative sentence: not ~ well
= Yoku kikoemasen.
= I can’t hear what you said well.
2) to do something/ something happen often, frequently
= Kono mise yoku kuru no?
= Do you come here/this place often?
= Kodomo no koro wa, chichi to kyacchibooru wo yoku shita monoda.
= When I was a boy I would play catch with my father.
= Kono goro, kare to yoku kenka wo suru.
= I’ve been fighting with him a lot recently.
= Saikin, maji 卍（manji）toiu kotoba wo yoku kiku.
= I’ve been hearing the word, “maji manji” a lot recently.
Note: 卍 (manji) is a slang word among teen girls. Originally the symbol of 卍 is a temple which is called “manji”.
It doesn’t have a specific meaning and you use it to express emotions or describe one’s state when you feel sad, happy, angry, OK or see something cute, cool, etc.
It is like another slang word ヤバい ( = yabai) and it can be used both positive and negative meanings.
= “ Maggie tte kirei dane.”
= You are pretty, Maggie.
= “Un, yoku sou iwareru no.”
= Yeah, I get that often.
3) a lot
= Yoku nomu ne.
= You drink a lot, don’t you.
= Kanojo wa yoku shaberu.
= She talks a lot.
= Yoku warai, yoku neru koto wa kenkou ni ii.
= Good laugh and good sleep are the keys to staying healthy.
= Watashi wa chichi ni yoku nite iru.
= I look a lot like my dad.
= Kare wa yoku hataraku.
= He works hard. or He works a lot.
= Saikin, kanojo to yoku LINE ( = rain) de hanasu.
= I’ve been talking to her a lot on LINE.
4) to show one’s gratitude
= Tooi tokoro kara yoku kite kuremashita.
= Thank you for coming all this way.
= Yoku irasshaimashita.
= Thank you for coming!
= “Yoku (zo) itte kuremashita.
= Well said. / Thank you for saying that.
Note: * When you stress the meaning, you add ぞ ( = zo) よくぞ ( = yokuzo) )
= Yoku (zo) kono shigoto wo hikiukete kuremashita.
= Thank you for taking on this work.
Note: It shows more gratitude than just saying
= Kono shigoto wo hikiukete kurete arigatou.
Also よく ( = yoku) implies taking on that job is not an easy thing to do.
5) carefully, closely
= Yoku kangaete mitara ryokou ni iku okane nado nakatta.
= Come to think of it, there was no way that I could afford to go traveling anyway. (I don’t have the money.)
= Katta bakari no sara wo yoku mitara hibi ga haitte ita.
= When I examined the plate that I had just bought carefully, there was a crack in it.
= Yoku kiitara, shiken wa, ashita datta.
= I found out the exam was tomorrow after all. (←When I asked about the exam more carefully, I found out that it’s tomorrow.)
Note: You also use よくよく ( = yokuyoku) very carefully, very closely to emphasize the meaning.
All the above sentences can be replaced with よくよく ( = yokuyoku)
Another usage of よくよく ( = yokuyoku): for special reason / in the last extremity
= Yokuyoku no koto ga nai to jikka ni wa kaeranai.
= I don’t go my home (my parents’ house) unless there is a special reason.
= Kare ga watashi ni okane wo karini kuru nante yokuyoku no koto da.
= He must be in a bad state if he’s coming to me to ask for money.
6) to express one’s admiration/ surprised feelings/disbelief
= Yoku sonnani taberareru ne.
= Wow, you eat a lot, don’t you?
= Ano futari, yoku tsuzuite irune.
= They (referring to a couple) have been together for a long time, haven’t they?
Note: You also say
よくもまあ ( = yoku mo maa) to stress the meaning
= Yoku mo maa kono samui naka, kooto mo kinai de arukeru ne.
= How can you walk aroudn without wearing a coat in this cold weather. ( I can’t believe it.)
* よくもまあぬけぬけとここに来られたな。(male speech/rough)
= Yoku mo maa nukenuke to koko ni koraretana.
= You have a lot of nerve to come here.
Note: ぬけぬけと( = nukenuke to) = brazenly
な ( = na) suffix here is for male speech. (rough)
7) When you accuse someone who has done something bad for you.: How dare you + verb/ How could you ~
As we saw in 6), you can express your admiration/surprised feelings with よく ( = yoku)
For example, if you see someone is bungee jumping, you can say:
= Yoku sonna koto ga dekirune.
= Wow! How could you do something like that?
It implies that you are very impressed. It’s a compliment.
But this sentence can be used when you accuse someone as well.
You just find out your friend was cheating on his girlfriend when she was away.
You can also say
= Yoku sonna koto ga dekirune.
= How could you do that (to her)?
= How dare you do such a thing.
So you have to know the context well.
= Nani mo shinai noni yoku monku ga iemasu ne.
= You don’t do anything. How could you complain?
= Yoku iu yo.
= Oh that’s funny (sarcastic) / Yeah, right. / Look who’s talking!
This is another expression that you have to change the translation depending on the context.
Ex. 「自分で言うのもなんだけど、 僕は、頭がいいだけじゃなくてかっこいいよね。」
= Jibun de iu nomo nan dakedo, boku wa, atama ga ii dake ja nakute kakko ii yone.
= It may sound strange to say this about myself but I am not just smart. I’m also pretty cool, right?
= Yoku iu yo.
= Haha! / Yeah, right. (being sarcastic)
In Kansai area, they say 「ようゆうわ！」= You yuu wa
= Kore ijou, taberu to buta ni naruyo.
= Don’t eat anymore. You are going to be like a pig.
= Yoku iu yo. Jibun datte raamen nihai tabeta kuseni.
= Look who’s talking. You had two ramen, too!
＊よくも ( = yokumo)
When you emphasize your feelings, you add も ( = mo)
→よくも ( = yokumo)
It sounds much stronger.
(1) to express your exasperations or frustration towards someone:
= Yoku mo sonna hidoi koto ga ieru ne.
= How dare you say such a horrible thing./ How could you say such a horrible thing?
= Yoku mo sonna koto shite kureta na.
= How dare you do things like that. / How could you do that to me?
= Yoku mo damashita na.
= How dare you trick me / How could you trick me?
= Suzu sensei, arigatou!
= Thank you, Suzu sensei!
= Mada chiisai no ni yoku ganbatte ressun shite kuremashita!!
= I know you are still little but you did a good job making this lesson!
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