fbpx Skip to Content

5 Ways to Say “You can do it!” in Japanese

5 Ways to Say “You can do it!” in Japanese

Sharing is caring!

“You can do it!” is a useful sentence to know in any language.

It’s also often linguistically simple, meaning it’s an easy expression to add to your vocabulary.

In this article, we’ll take a look at five ways you can encourage people with this or a similar expression in Japanese.


How do you say “you can do it” in Japanese?

You can say「出来る!」(dekiru) or「出来ます!」(dekimasu), which both literally mean that someone can do something. You can add on to this with a word for “you” and the word なら, to place more emphasis on the specific person.

For instance,「君ならできる!」(kimi nara dekiru) means “If it’s you, you can do it.”

Another way to say “you can do it” in Japanese is with the verb「やれる。」(yareru), a less polite verb meaning “to be able to do.”

Finally, the expressions 「頑張れ!」 (ganbare, “good luck!”) or 「ファイティング!」 (faitingu) can both be used in a similar way to give someone encouragement.


1. 出来る (dekiru)

The most basic way to say “you can do it” in Japanese is with the verb 出来る (dekiru).

This verb literally means “to be able to do something,” so it makes perfect sense here.

As an added bonus, you can pretty much just say the word itself and get your idea across. No need to memorize complicated grammar patterns or remember additional words.

That’s because Japanese is a high-context language, which means you can imply a lot of what would technically be required for a grammatically correct sentence.

If you need to encourage someone in a slightly more formal setting, you could use 「出来ます。」. If you want to emphasize what you’re saying you can add よ on the end of either form: 「出来るよ!」




“This question is hard…”

“You can do it!”



“I wonder if I’ll do okay on the driving test…”

“You can do it, definitely!”

These examples show the high-context structure of Japanese well.


2. 「~ならできるよ!」 (nara dekiru yo)

This way to say “you can do it” in Japanese builds off the previous method.

The verb is still 出来る, so that part hasn’t changed. What has is the addition of なら (kimi nara) on the beginning. The よ at the end, as with the previous option, is optional and simply provides emphasis.

Note that you can’t use this option as is, either. You will need to add an appropriate word for “you” or a specific person’s name in front for this to mean “you can do it.”

なら (nara) is a neat little word that basically means “if.” When a “you” word is added to the start of this particular sentence, the meaning is something like “If it’s you, you can do it!”

This is a nice way to provide a little more focus on the person doing the task, and your faith in them in particular.

A plain 出来る also shows you think they can do a specific task, but with this one you’re really letting someone know that you think they’ve got this even if other people might not be able to pull it off.

What word you use for “you” will depend on your familiarity with the person you’re talking to and other factors, but options include 君 (kimi), あなた (anata), someone’s title, such as 先生 (sensei, “doctor” or “teacher”) or お母さん (okaasan, “mother”) or even somebody’s name and an appropriate name-ending like さん (san), 君 (kun) or 様 (sama).




“I’m worried about my job interview.”

“If it’s you, Ms. Tanaka, you’ll do fine!”



“I don’t know if I’ll be able to climb Mount Fuji or not.”

“It’s fine, it’s fine! If it’s you, big brother, you can do it.”

Notice how, just like with 出来る by itself, more context is not needed for these sentences to be grammatical or unambiguous.


3. 「やれる。」 (yareru)

The word やれる (yareru) is the potential form of the verb やる (yaru), a versatile verb that means “to do” in just about any situation.

Fans of the Street Fighter series of video games might be familiar with this verb already, as one character shouts 「やった!」 (yatta) or “I did it!” after winning a battle.

While that uses the past tense, in this case we want to use the potential form of the verb, a conjugation which implies ability to perform the verb.

In Japanese, the potential is formed by adding ーれる (reru) to the end of a verb ending in る and by changing the last character from an ‘u’ sound to an ‘e’ sound and adding る for other verbs.

For instance, “to read” is 読む (yomu). To form the potential, we would change む (mu) to め (me) and add a る, leaving is with 読める for “to be able to read.”

Interestingly, する (suru), the more standard verb for”to do,” is the biggest exception to this rule.

Instead of すれる (sureru), the potential form of する is actually 出来る!

There are more details about the potential form, but we won’t get into them here.

It’s enough to know that やる (yaru) is a -ru verb and that we can form the potential by changing it to やれる (yareru), meaning “to be able to do.”

Just like 出来る, you can customize this “you can do it” by using やれます (yaremasu) instead, although it’s worth noting that やる is casual speech and may be considered rude in some settings, like a workplace environment.




“I’m tired, but I gotta go to work…”

“You can do it.”

Note the relatively casual speech in the first sentence here, suggesting that this is a conversation between friends.



“I wanna audition, but…”

“You can do it!”

Again, this is a casual conversation, making やれる appropriate.


4. 「頑張れ!」 (ganbare)

The fourth way to say “You can do it” in Japanese is to use the phrase 「頑張れ!」 to give encouragement.

This option is actually closer in meaning to “good luck” or “hang in there,” but it definitely suggests that the person you’re saying it to can do the thing they’re struggling with, as well.

As written above, 頑張れ (ganbare) is the imperative form of the verb 頑張る (ganbaru). That means it’s technically a command, which may not be appropriate in some settings.

A less forceful way to say this is with the te-form, 「頑張って!」(ganbatte), and in situations where you need to be more formal you could consider「頑張りましょう。」(ganbarimashou).

Another option for 頑張れ is to use the grammatical form ~なくてならない (nakutenaranai), meaning something like “you have to ~.”

You can say 「頑張れなくてならないですよ!」 (ganbarenakutenaranaidesuyo) to show that you believe a person has to keep trying in order to succeed.

This form is a mouthful, and that’s no lie. In a casual setting, you can reach for the easier-to-pronounce 頑張れなくちゃ (ganbarenakucha) or 頑張れなきゃ (ganbarenakya), which are preferred in regular speech for reasons that are probably obvious.




“I’m anxious about tomorrow’s test.”

“Good luck!”



“I’m going to work, but I’m tired…”

“Good luck!”

Both of these responses could also be interpreted as “you can do it,” or at least as giving the same kind of encouragement to the listener.


5. 「ファイティング」 (faitingu) or 「ファイティン」 (faitin)

This is a fun option that’s regularly heard in the world of high school sports, but it’s definitely not appropriate in a more formal setting.

It’s also a fine example of 和製英語 (wasei eigo), or “Japanese-style English.”

「ファイティング」(faitingu) and「ファイティン」(faitin) are both more or less the English word “fighting.” Unlike in English, though, where shouting “fighting!” at someone would either confuse them or make them think you’re looking for a brawl, in Japanese these expressions offer nothing but good cheer.

If that seems weird, you might think of this as a shorthand version of “Let’s keep fighting!” or “You have to keep fighting!”

It can also mean “I won’t give up!” if you’re using it to refer to yourself.

This expression is also very popular in anime and in Korean TV dramas, so it’s an easy one to listen for if you watch either of those.

Although it’s often used by female characters in popular media, it can be used by men just as well, making it a great option if you’re friendly with the person you’re trying to encourage and want to highlight your closeness as well as tell them they can do the thing.