My Japanese boss was asking for some materials. I went to his office after I’ve found them but he seems to be busy. How do I ask “May I come in?” in Japanese?


Answer by Professional Japanese Teacher


Excuse me (May I come in?).

Haittemo yoroshiideshooka? 
May I come in?

There are two phrases you can use. The first one is shitsureeshimasu. Literally, it means “excuse me for my rudeness” but we usually say it when entering or exiting someone’s room. In this case, you can say it before entering the room to seek permission.

You can also use the second phrase “Haittemo yoroshiideshooka?” Haitte comes from the verb hairimasu (to enter). The phrase “~temo yoroshiideshooka?” is the polite version of “~temo iidesuka?”. It is used when you want to ask for permission to do something.

Combining the two together means “May I have the permission to enter?” If your boss says “Hai doozo” in response, it means “yes, you may enter”.