The meaning of itsumo (いつも) in Japanese and how to use it

This article will give you all of the knowledge you need on the Japanese word itsumo, including its Japanese definition and translation, usage, example sentences, related expressions and more!

Learn Japanese with

What does itsumo mean?

The Japanese word itsumo (いつも) means always or usually. The first meaning of always is the most common, but itsumo wa (いつもは) stands for usually when it is being contrasted with something.

For example,itsumo wa isogashii kedo, kyou wa hima” (いつもは忙しいけど、今日は暇) can be translated as “I’m usually busy, but I have free time today”.

Below, we take a look at some more examples of how to use itsumo in Japanese.

To make it easier for you, I have written each sentence in full Japanese kanji on the first line, followed by roman letters (romaji), and hiragana, with the English meaning coming last. I have also highlighted the new word in bold.

Example sentences using itsumo

The Japanese word itsumo means always or usually.

Kono heya wa itsumo kurai.
This room is always dark.

Gakkou no toki wa itsumo nemui.
I’m always sleepy at school.

Tomodachi to asobu toki wa itsumo tanoshii.
It’s always fun when I hang out with my friends.

Itsumo wa denki wo kesu kedo, kinou wa wasureta.
I usually turn off the lights, but I forgot to yesterday.

Itsumo wa yume wo minai ga, konkai wa sugokatta!
I don’t usually have dreams, but this time was amazing!

What does itsumo arigatou mean?

Itsumo arigatou (いつもありがとう) means thanks as always or thanks for everything (you do). It is basically a show of gratitude for what someone does for you on a regular basis, rather than thanking them for one specific thing. I appreciate you might be another good way to translate this phrase.

Otousan, itsumo arigatou.
Thanks for everything you do, Dad.

Itsumo arigatou ne (いつもありがとうね) means the same thing, but the “ne” particle makes the phrase sound softer or friendlier.

Itsumo arigatou gozaimasu (いつもありがとうございます) is the polite version of this expression that you might use toward your boss or workmates.

What about itsumo doori?

Itsumo doori (いつも通り) means as usual or as always. On its own, doori means way or manner, so itsumo doori literally stands for in the usual way. You can use this expression to talk about something that happens regularly or an activity that is part of your everyday routine.

Itsumo doori, kaisha ni itta.
I went to work as usual.

Watashi wa itsumo doori, hachiji sugi ni hoomu ni tatta.
As usual, I stood at the platform just after 8.

Related vocabulary

Mainichi (毎日, まいにち): Every day (full lesson here)