Common Mistakes: Mochiron! Of course!

February 11th, 2013By Category: Uncategorized



“Of course”

You’re of course familiar with the word “Mochiron”. In which of the following situations is “Mochiron” used correctly?


1)On the Oscar night

Friend: Meryl Streep won her third Academy Award for Best Actress!

Me: Mochiron! (Of course!)

2) Your friend corrected a simple kanji mistake that you made.

Friend: This should be “入る”, not “人る”, shouldn’t it?

Me: Mochiron! (Of course!)

3) You were invited to a BBQ by a friend.

Me: Is it okay if my boyfriend/girlfriend comes along?

Friend: Mochiron! (Of course!)


The correct answer is (3). Why, then, are (1) and (2) unnatural?

In Japanese and other languages, the word for “of course” carries the meaning of “naturally” or “surely,” and so by extension the Japanese word “Mochiron” is often used with a meaning of consent or permission. In (1), however, the intended meaning is that the statement is just as one expected (perhaps with irony?!), and (2) aims to express understanding or agreement; thus, using “Mochiron” in these situations feels unnatural.


What, then, should one say in Japanese? Phrases like “Souka” or “Yappari ne” for (1) and a phrase like “Ah, souda” for (2) are a good fit.


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Iidabashi Japanese Language School

The Iidabashi Japanese Language School motto is "Be Unique, Have fun Globally!" We teach classes focused on conversation skills to foreigners living in Japan.

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  • Vamp898 says:

    I think “そだね” is one of the things you’ll hear the most 😀

  • leslie nguyen says:

    Hmmm interesting. Took me by surprise because I would have those all those situations would be natural to use mochiron than just only the third one. Thanks for detailing!