“I’m Tired” in Japanese – Expressing your exhaustion

Today, we will learn how to express the phrase “I’m tired” in Japanese. There is a moment in everyday life when we feel tired. Lack of sleep, poor diet, excessive stress, and medical conditions could cause exhaustion.

A tired woman with a low battery signal above her head

Let’s see how we can say “I’m tired” in the Japanese language!

“Tired” in Japanese

The word “tired” in Japanese can be expressed using the verb つかれる (tsukareru). The direct translation of this word is “to get tired.”

This word implies the tiredness or exhaustion a person feels physically and mentally, just like the meaning of this word in English.

How to say “I’m Tired” in Japanese

There are three different ways to convey one’s tiredness or exhaustion in Japanese. They are the following:

  • つかれる (Tsukareru | 疲れる) =  to get tired, to be worn out, to wither
  • つかれている (Tsukareteiru | 疲れている) =  to get tired, being tired
  • つかれた (Tsukareta | 疲れた) = tired, to have got/to have gotten tired

つかれる (tsukareru) is the first and standard form. The words つかれている (tsukareteiru) and つかれた (tsukareta) are the most common ways to say “I’m tired” in Japanese.

It’s also common to have a time-related word when native Japanese speakers express their tiredness and exhaustion. For example, きょう (kyou) which means “today,” and さいきん (saikin), which means “recently.”

Example sentences:

きょうはつかれた (Kyou wa tsukareta | 今日は疲れた)

I’m tired today.

さいきん、ねぶそくでつかれぎみです (Saikin, nebusoku de, tsukare gimi desu | 最近、寝不足で疲れ気味です)

Recently, I’m tired from lack of sleep.

Also, many native Japanese speakers use the second form つかれている (Tsukareteiru | 疲れている) to express their state of being tired or continuous exhaustion.

I'm tired 私は疲れている わたしはつかれているWatashi wa tsukareteiru
I'm tired 私は疲れた わたしはつかれたWatashi wa tsukareta

“Tsukareru” vs. “Tsukareta”

In daily conversations, native Japanese speakers often skip the subjects in a sentence and talk without “I,” “You,” or “It.” This tendency might be confusing to get the actual meaning of what they mean by つかれた (tsukareta), つかれる (tsukareru), and つかれている (tsukareteiru) for some Japanese learners.

To understand better, getting a grasp of the sentence’s meaning would be helpful. Let’s take a quick look.

For example:

わたしはつかれた (Watashi wa tsukareta | 私は疲れた)

I’m tired.

わたしがつかれる (Watashi ga tsukareru | 私が疲れる)

I’m the one who gets tired.

かれはつかれている (Kare wa tsukareteiru | 彼は疲れている)

He is tired.

かれはつかれる (Kare wa tsukareru | 彼は疲れる)

He is tiring.

きょうはとてもつかれた (Kyou wa totemo tsukareta | 今日はとても疲れた)

It was very tiring today.

These slight differences might be a little challenging to handle at first, but you can easily comprehend the meaning of the conversation by paying close attention to the subject or the context of a sentence.

Advanced example:

ゲームをしすぎると、めがつかれる (Geemu wo shisugite me ga tsukareru | ゲームをしすぎると、目が疲れる)

Too much video gaming makes my eyes exhausted.

いま、せいしんてきにつかれています (Ima, seishinteki ni tsukarete imasu | 今、精神的に疲れています)

I’m mentally worn out now.

つかれてねむい (Tsukarete nemui | 疲れて眠い)

I’m exhausted and sleepy.

“I’m Tired” in Japanese – Expressing your exhaustion

How to use “I’m Tired” in Japanese

The Japanese phrase つかれた (Tsukareta | 疲れた) sounds and looks very simple to memorize, but let’s disassemble it to understand it sufficiently for the moment.

The phrase is made of:

This “Ta” form of the verb is similar to おなかがすいた (Onaka ga suita | お腹が空いた | I’m hungry) and のどがかわいた (Nodo ga kawaita | 喉が渇いた | I’m thirsty). It’s slightly different from the Japanese verb’s plain past tense, such as たべた (Tabeta | 食べた | ate) or いった (Itta | 言った | said).

When you want to say that you were tired in the past, つかれていた (Tsukareteita | 疲れていた) is the correct form. Here are some useful phrases using the past tense form.

For example:

わたしはつかれていた (Watashi wa tsukareteita | 私は疲れていた)

I was tired.

えいごのべんきょうのせいでつかれた (Eigo no benkyou no sei de tsukareta | 英語の勉強のせいで疲れた)

Studying English made me tired.

あのひは、すごくつかれていてねむかった (Ano hi wa sugoku tsukareteite nemukatta | あの日は、すごく疲れていて眠かった)

I was so tired and sleepy that day.

You can also use つかれる (tsukareta) with an auxiliary verb to alter the meaning of the word.

For example:

つかれる (Tsukareru | 疲れる | to get tired) + させる (Saseru | to let, to make) =

つかれさせる (Tsukaresaseru | 疲れさせる | tiring, exhausting)


つかれる (Tsukareru | 疲れる | to get tired) + ない (Nai | no, not any) =

つかれない (Tsukarenai | not to get tired)


つかれる (Tsukareru | 疲れる | to get tired) + やすい (Yasui | easy to, tends to) =

つかれやすい (Tsukareyasui | 疲れやすい | easy to get tired)

Informal expressions with tense variations

I get tired, I will get tired, It's tiring 疲れる つかれるTsukareru
I'm tired 疲れた つかれたTsukareta
I'm tired, I have been tired 疲れている つかれているTsukareteiru
I was tired, I had been tired 疲れていた つかれていたTsukareteita


10キロはしるとつかれる (Jukkiro hashiru to tsukareru | 10km走ると疲れる |

After running 10km, you’ll get tired.

きょうは、あるきつかれた (Kyou wa, aruki tsukareta | 今日は、歩き疲れた |

I’m tired of walking today.

つかれていたのか、いつのまにかねむってしまった (Tsukareteita no ka, itsunomanika nemutte shimatta | 疲れていたのか、いつの間にか眠ってしまった |

I was probably too tired, I fell asleep without noticing.

Formal expressions with tense variations

I get tired, I will get tired 疲れます つかれますTsukaremasu
I'm tired 疲れました つかれましたTsukaremashita
I'm tired, I have been tired 疲れています つかれていますTsukareteimasu
I was tired, I had been tired 疲れていました つかれていましたTsukareteimashita


つかれたら、きゅうけいをとりましょうか? (Tsukareta ra, kyuukei wo torimashou ka? | 疲れたら、休憩を取りましょうか?)

Shall we take a break when we get tired?

さいきんつかれているようにみえます (Saikin tsukarete iru youni miemasu | 最近疲れているように見えます)

You look tired these days.

How to ask, “are you tired?” and related questions

If you’d like to ask someone if they are tired, here are some ways to do so:

Are you tired? 疲れている? つかれている?Tsukareteiru?
Are you tired? 疲れていますか? つかれていますか?Tsukareteimasuka?
Are you alright? You're not tired? 大丈夫?疲れていない?だいじょうぶ?つかれていない?Daijoubu? Tsukareteinai?
Aren't you a little tired? 何だか疲れていませんか? なんだかつかれていませんか?Nandaka tsukarete imasenka?
Tell me when you get tired 疲れたら教えて つかれたらおしえてTsukaretara oshiete

Tips: Other ways to say “tired” in Japanese

There are other verbs and expressions to describe your tiredness and exhaustion in Japan. Here is the list of other verbs with similar meanings.

Vocabulary related to “to get tired” in Japanese

Aside from つかれる (tsukareru), the following Japanese words are also used to express “to get tired.”

疲労するひろうするHirou suru

Vocabulary related to “to get exhausted” in Japanese

Here are other ways to say “to get exhausted,” which are also used in the sentences below.

疲れ果てるつかれはてるTsukare hateru
疲弊するひへいするHihei suru
憔悴するしょうすいするShousui suru
ばたんきゅーBatan kyuu****
体に堪えるからだにこたえるKarada ni kotaeru*****


**adverb, quasi-adjective



*****also means to take a toll on one’s health

Example expression:

まだへばるな!がんばれ!(Mada hebaru na! Ganbare! | まだへばるな!頑張れ!)

Don’t get worn out yet! Hang in there!

つかれはててねむい (Tsukarehatete nemui | 疲れ果てて眠い)

I’m too tired and feeling sleepy.

もうへとへとであるけない (Mou hetoheto de arukenai | もうへとへとで歩けない)

I’m exhausted and can’t walk anymore.

このあつさはからだにこたえる (Kono atsusa wa karada ni kotaeru | この暑さは体に堪える)

This heat makes me exhausted.

Tips: つかれる’s another meaning

The word つかれる (tsukareru | 疲れる) can also describe the state of someone getting tired or something getting worn out. Together with the following verbs, つかれる (tsukareru) can mean something more than “to get tired.”

the quality or function of an object weakens due to long-term use 疲れる つかれるTsukareru
to become old and shabby, to wilt 草臥れる くたびれるKutabireru
to get shabby, to become finer or softerくたくたKutakuta

For example:

つかれたくつした (Tsukareta Kutsushita | 疲れた靴下)

a pair of worn-out socks

ティーシャツがくたびれてきた (Tii shatsu ga kutabirete kita | Tシャツがくたびれてきた)

My T-shirt is getting worn out.

くたくたににたにくはおいしい (Kutakuta ni nita niku wa oishii | くたくたに煮た肉はおいしい)

Tenderly boiled meat is tasty.

Learn vocabulary: words and idioms with 疲

Japanese native speakers use the Kanji 疲 (Hi | ひ) in various everyday life situations. つかれる (Tsuka-reru | 疲れる) is the Japanese style reading called くんよみ (Kun-Yomi | 訓読み) followed by おくりがな (Okurigana | 送り仮名 | Kana suffixes following a Kanji).

Words with 疲 :

tiredness, exhaustion, fatigue 疲れ つかれTsukare
fatigue, exhaustion 疲労 ひろうHirou
fatigue, exhaustion 疲弊 ひへいHihei
physical fatigue 肉体疲労 にくたいひろうNikutai Hirou
mental fatigue 精神疲労 せいしんひろうSeishin Hirou
total exhaustion 疲労困憊 ひろうこんぱいHirou Konpai
mental fatigue, worry 気疲れ きづかれKizukare
travel fatigue 旅疲れ たびづかれTabizukare
indefatigable, tireless 疲れ知らず つかれしらずTsukare Shirazu
to get washed out 精疲力尽 せいひりきじんSeihi Rikijin

Learn vocabulary: Greetings with 疲

If you have learned some Japanese greetings already, you might know おつかれ (Otsukare | お疲れ). This phrase has several meanings in Japanese but is common to use instead of “Hello,” “Thank you for your hard work,” and “Goodbye.” It’s a widely spoken greeting among friends and co-workers.

Greetings variation:

お疲れ様おつかれさまOtsukare sama
お疲れ様ですおつかれさまですOtsukare sama desu

Feeling tired or sleepy? Let’s say it in Japanese!

When do you feel exhausted and need to have some rest? The answer may vary from person to person, but it can be at any moment in our daily life.

Even spending too much time learning a language can be tiring, or just having a long day is enough to make us feel exhausted. Next time you feel this way, why don’t you express it in Japanese? In that way, you’ll remember what we’ve learned today. And, of course, give yourself a break, lie down, and rest.

We hope you learned a lot today! If you’re not yet tired and want to know more about Japanese, how about learning the Japanese Onomatopoeia next? These are words that represent how certain things sound in Japanese.

がんばってください (Ganbatte kudasai)! ^^

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