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Friday, September 2, 2022

よう - Meaning in Japanese

In Japanese, you よう (or yoo, yoo with a long vowel) may mean various different things depending on context, specially as there are multiple homonyms so it may spell different words. For disambiguation:

  • you, literally "appearance," used in "the way it is," homograph with ~sama ~様. It's an auxiliary (like a light noun that conjugates as a na-adjective) that's normally spelled in hiragana, and has various different uses.
    • henji ga nai. tada no shikabane no you da
      There's no response. It seems to be just a corpse.
    • nige-you ga nai
      There's no way of escaping.
    • {{yuurei ga mieru} you ni} naru
      To become {in such way [that] {is able to see ghosts}}.
      To become able to see ghosts.
    • {{anata wo damasu} you na} mane wa shinai
      [I] wouldn't do something {like {deceiving you}}.
    • dono you na?
      What sort of? What sort of [thing is it]? The thing you're talking about is like what?
    • {{sekai ga owatta ka no} you ni} kanjite-ita
      [It] felt {as if {the world had ended}}.
    • {{okane wo nusumu} you na} hito janai
      [He] isn't a person {the sort [that] {would steal money}}.
    • {{hayaku} naorimasu} you ni
      [Let it be so that] {[it] heals {quickly}}. (used when making wishes, praying for things.)
  • you, literally "business," "use." Sometimes spelled in hiragana.
    • nani ka you?
      [Do you have] any business [with me]?
      Do you have something to discuss with me?
    • nan'no you da?
      What business [do you have with me]?
      (same meaning, basically.)
    • omae ni you ga aru
      [I] have business with you.
    • jissen-you no katana
      A sword for real-battle. (as opposed to for training.)
  • ~you ~よう is the ending of some verb types in volitional form.
  • you 要 means "necessity" or "necessary."
    • you suru ni
      In summary. (i.e. to say only what's necessary.)
    • you wa kateba ii-n-da
      In summary, [I] just need to win. (nevermind the details, that's all that's necessary.)
  • you 陽 means "sunshine," or the spot where the sun hits. Also "yang." Meanwhile "ying" is in 陰. Related words are taiyou 太陽, "sun," and kage 陰, "shade."
    • you-kyara (or you-kya)
      陽キャラ (陽キャ)
      "Sunshine character." Slang for a character with "cheerful," youki 陽気, personality. An extrovert. A riajuu リア充. Etc.
    • in-kyara (or in-kya)
      陰キャラ (陰キャ)
      "Shade character." Slang for a character with "gloomy," inki 陰気, personality. An introvert. A hikikomori 引きこもり. Etc.
  • you 良う means "good," "well," a variant of yoku 良く, adverbial form of yoi 良い.
    • youkoso
      • yoku zo kita
        Well done coming [here].
  • you 酔う means "to get drunk." Although you're more likely to see it in the te-iru form: yotte-iru 酔っている, "[he] is drunk."

Ironically, you よう doesn't mean "you," the second person pronoun. For that, yuu ユー would be the katakanization, e.g. ai rabu yuu アイ・ラブ・ユー, "I love you."

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

you 様 - Meaning in Japanese


In Japanese, you よう, also spelled you 様, homonymous with ~sama ~様, has several different meanings: it refers to the way something is "like," to say one thing is like another; to say that it's like something that isn't true were true; it can be used to say someone is or isn't the sort of person that would do something, also works for sorts of things; it's used to make future-tensed certain phrases (verbal statives) that would otherwise be present-tensed; it can refer to the desired way things should be that you attempt to cause by doing a certain thing; it's used to say that you have been making yourself do, or not do, something, trying to gain a habit or lose it; it's used in sentences that express wishes, specially in prayers; it's used to say there doesn't seem to be a way to do something; and it's used to express you have made a conclusion based on some evidence but you aren't certain the conclusion is true, you're merely proposing it based on available evidence.

  • marude {tenshi no} you da
    [She] is just like an angel.
    It's as if [she] is an angel.
    (comparison with noun.)
  • {{tori no} you ni} sora wo tobu
    To fly {like {a bird}}.
    (adverbial comparison.)
  • {sekai ga owatta ka no} you da
    [It] is as if {the world ended}.
    (counterfactual analogy.)
  • {{uso wo tsuku} you na} hito janai
    [He] isn't a person {the sort [that] {would lie}}.
    (sort of person.)
  • Tarou ga {{yasai wo taberu} you ni} natta
    Tarou became {in such way [that] {eats vegetables}}.
    Tarou started eating vegetables.
    (future tense auxiliary.)
  • {{nigerarenai} you ni} doa ni kagi wo kaketa
    {So that {[he] couldn't escape}}, [I] put a lock on the door.
    (desired end result.)
  • {{uso wo tsukanai} you ni} shite-imasu
    [I] have been [trying to] {{not spew lies}}.
    (habit enforcement.)
  • yuki ga furimasu you ni
    [Let it be so that] it snows.
  • naoshi-you ga nai
    There's no way to fix [it].
  • douyara {muda no} you da
    It seems {it is futile}.
    (uncertain conclusion.)
Sunday, July 10, 2022

you 用 - Meaning in Japanese

In Japanese, you means various things: it refers to something you have to do, a "task" or "business" you have to care of; the "use" of a thing in doing a task; "for what task" is a thing suitable, its "purpose;" and to refer to the usefulness of a thing in the sense of how many uses it has, what tasks it can do, its "purposefulness."(日本国語大辞典:用)

  • you ga aru
    [I] have business to do [with you].
    I have something to discuss with you.
  • you ni tatsu
    [This thing] "stands up" to the task.
    [This thing] is useful for doing this task.
  • yourei

    Usage example. Example of use.
  • keiko-you no katana
    A sword for use in sparring. A training sword. (e.g. a "wooden sword," bokutou 木刀.)
Sentence examples of you 用.
Manga: Shadows House, シャドーハウス (Chapter 13)
Manga: Shijou Saikyou no Deshi Ken'ichi 史上最強の弟子ケンイチ (Chapter 7)
Manga: Fullmetal Alchemist, Hagane no Renkinjutsushi 鋼の錬金術師 (Chapter 2)
Manga: Holy Land, ホーリーランド (Chapter 6)
Manga: Goblin Slayer, ゴブリンスレイヤー (Chapter 5)
Wednesday, July 6, 2022

wa yo わよ - Meaning in Japanese

In Japanese, wa yo わよ is a combination of two sentence-ending particles: wa, generally used by women, used to voice one's decision, surprise, conclusion, or opinion, and yo, used when correcting someone or informing, alerting them of something. In manga and anime, it's typically used by "rich girl," ojousama お嬢様 characters speaking in polite language: desu wa yo ですわよ, ~masu wa yo ますわよ, ~masen wa yo ませんわよ.

負けませんわよ 時期生徒会副会長になるのはこのわたくしですわ! わ 私だって負けないもん! というか向日葵には負けないからっ うぐぐっ 相変わらず生意気な子ですわ
Manga: Yuru Yuri ゆるゆり (Chapter 7, 長期連載への布石)
Thursday, June 30, 2022

よ Particle


In Japanese, yo is a particle generally used to call for the listener's attention. It can be used in various ways: as a sentence-ending particle when alerting, correcting, asking, ordering, forbidding, or inviting the listener; as an interjection after someone or something's name to call for them, or mid-sentence to add an emphatic pause after a phrase.

  • chigau yo!
    [That's wrong]!
    [You got the wrong idea]!
  • kiite yo!
    Hear [me]!
  • ore wa yo, tsuyoi-n-da yo
    I (insert pause here) am strong.
  • kami yo, douka wareware wo o-sukui kudasai!
    God, please save us!
ん よだれたれてるよ ん ああ 制服でしちゃ
Manga: Hinamatsuri ヒナまつり (Chapter 3, 授業参観は突然に)
Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Word Arrows Piercing Characters Through The Chest

In manga and anime, sometimes a character is pierced by arrows symbolizing something harsh that's being said about them, or told them directly. Typically, the arrows go through their chest, and it's just a visual representation of a figure of speech, so nobody dies from being pierced by these, although they may cough blood or bleed or appear to have died temporarily for the sake of comedy..

Left: Hanako 花子
Right: Yashiro Nene 八尋寧々
Anime: Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun 地縛少年花子くん (Episode 7)
  • Context: Nene tells Hanako something that pierces through his very core.
  • sore de omotta no, Hanako-kun tte shoujiki chotto mendou-kusai na tte
    それで思ったの 花子くんって正直ちょっと面倒くさいなって
    [So I thought]... Hanako-kun, honestly [you] are a bit of a pain in the ass, [aren't you].
    • mendou-kusai - literally "smells of trouble," in the sense it feels like it takes (too much) effort to handle.
Thursday, April 21, 2022

~koto wo suru ~ことをする - Meaning in Japanese

In Japanese, ~koto wo suruことをする (koto こと, marked by wo, plus suru する) means "to do something that is X" or "to do an X thing," what sort of thing we're doing depends on the adjective or relative clause qualifying koto. It effectively lets you create suru-verbs out of random phrases describing acts so you can conjugate the description like a verb. When the description already ends in a verb to begin with, sometimes the phrase ~koto wo suru just makes the sentence longer.

  • {warui} koto wo suru
    To do something [that] {is bad}.
    To do a {bad} thing.
  • sonna koto shitara
    If [you] do something like that...
  • {fudan shinai} koto wo suru
    To do something [that] {[you] normally don't do}.
    To do things [you] {normally don't}.
  • {mahou wo tsukau} koto ga dekiru
    To be able to do the thing [that is] {to use magic}.
    To be able to {use magic}.
    • mahou ga tsukaeru
      To be able to use magic.
      (same meaning.)

The phrase ~koto ga dekiruことができる is the irregular potential form of ~koto wo suru. The phrase ~koto wo itashimasuことをいたします is a humble speech (kenjougo 謙譲語) variant, while ~koto wo nasaruことをなさる is a honorific speech (sonkeigo 尊敬語) variant. The phrases ~koto suruことする, ~koto dekiruことできる, ~koto itashimasuこといたします, and ~koto nasaruことなさる are null-marked (φ).

Sunday, April 17, 2022

~ku suru ~くする - Meaning in Japanese

In Japanese, ~ku suruくする (~ku ~く adverbial copula plus suru する) means "to make X become Y," "to turn X into Y" when the ~ku morpheme is attached to the stem of an i-adjective; when it's attached to the negative form of a verb (~naku suru ~なくする) it means "to make X stop being Y," or "to make X stop doing Y," in the sense of "X used to do Y, but you made it so X won't do Y anymore." The phrase ~ku dekiru ~くできる is its potential form, and ~ku itashimasu ~くいたします is a humble speech (kenjougo 謙譲語) variant.

  • sora wo {akaku} suru
    To make the sky become {red}.
    • akai 赤い, i-adjective meaning the color "red."
  • {koukoku wo hyouji shinaku} suru
    To make [it] so [that] {[it] doesn't display advertisements}. (it used to show ads, then you did something so that it doesn't show ads anymore.)
    • hyouji shinai 表示しない, "to not display," negative form of the suru-verb hyouji suru 表示する, "to display."
  • {nemurenaku} suru
    To make [it] so [that] {[one] can't sleep}.
    • nemurenai 眠れい, "to not be able to sleep," negative form of nemureru 眠れる, "to be able to sleep," potential form of nemuru 眠る, "to sleep."
実は私・・・ブレンドコーヒーには少し自身があってね 味や香りを良くするために5種類のコーヒー豆を使っているんだ それぞれの持ち味を生かせるように工夫を重ねたのが当店のブレンドでね
Manga: Gabriel DropOut, ガヴリールドロップアウト (Chapter 17)
Friday, April 15, 2022

~ku naru ~くなる - Meaning in Japanese

In Japanese, ~ku naruくなる (~ku ~く adverbial copula plus naru なる) means "will become X" or "will be X" when ~ku is attached to the stem of an i-adjective; when it's attached to the negative form a verb (~naku naru ~なくなる), it means "will stop being" or "will stop doing," in the sense of "used to do it, but won't do it anymore" instead.

  • {akaku} naru
    To become {red}.
    • akai 赤い is an i-adjective for the color "red."
  • {awanaku} naru
    To stop {meeting}. (in the sense of we used to meet, but we won't be meeting anymore.)
    • au 会う, "to meet."
  • {arukenaku} naru
    To stop being {able to walk}.
    • arukeru 歩ける, "to be able to walk," potential form of aruku 歩く, "to walk."
まあ そうかたくなるな 言った通り手伝ってほしいだけなのだ 我が輩の食事を
Manga: Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro 魔人探偵 脳噛ネウロ (Chapter 1, 手【て】)

~ku ~く Adverbial Copula

In Japanese, ~ku is the ending of i-adjectives when conjugated to their ren'youkei 連用形, i.e. the ~ku suffix is the adverbial form of the ~i ~い copula. It's similar to the "~ly" suffix that turns adjectives in adverbs in English, e.g. if sugoi すごい means "incredible," then sugoku すご means "incredibly," although it may translate to the bare form when it expresses the final state of a process. It can also be used to connect multiple adjectives to each other. In rare cases, ~ku is used in a manner similar to a noun describable by the adjective. For example:

  • {karuku} takaku
    To hit [something] {lightly}.
    To hit [something] {in a way that is light}.
    (process modification.)
    • karui
      Light. As in not "heavy," omoi 重い. Not to be confused with a sparkling "light," hikari 光.
  • {karuku} naru
    To become {light}.
    (final state.)
  • {{takaku} hayai} kuruma
    A car that {{is expensive and} fast}.
    (connective copula.)
    • takai
      High. (height.)
      Expensive. (price.)
  • tooku φ e nigeru
    To escape to [a place that] is far away.
    (noun-like usage.)
    • tooi
      Far. Antonym of chikai 近い, "near."
Examples of the ~ku ~く suffix in Japanese that's the ren'youkei 連用形 of i-adjectives.
Manga: Boku no Hero Academia, 僕のヒーローアカデミア (Chapter 204)
Manga: Doll-Kara, どるから (Chapter 1)
Manga: Jahy-sama wa Kujikenai!, ジャヒー様はくじけない! (Chapter 0.1)
Tuesday, April 12, 2022

~i ~い Copula

In Japanese, ~i is a suffix that functions like a copula, which is found in i-adjectives, giving them their name. For example: kawaii かわいい doesn't mean just "cute," it means "to be cute," and we can separate the morphemes into the stem kawai~ meaning "cute," and ~i meaning "to be." This ~i ~い is sometimes suffixed to random stuff to create new adjectives, and, in rare cases, used adverbially:

  • tekui
    Skilled. (as in having "technique," tekunikku テクニック)
  • erai muzukashii
    Extremely difficult.
    (adverbial usage.)
Manga: One Punch Man, Wanpanman ワンパンマン (Chapter 10)
Monday, April 11, 2022

-u Verbs

In some Japanese textbooks, the term -u verb (or u-verb) means the same thing as a godan verb. Such verbs always end in the ~u vowel in their nonpast form (or dictionary form, shuushikei 終止形), however, they aren't the only ones to do so: ALL Japanese verbs end in the ~u vowel, including, for example, ichidan verbs (-ru verbs), which aren't -u verbs, so not all verbs that end in the ~u vowel are actually -u verbs, making the term extremely confusing for lots of people trying to learn Japanese.(Steffanick, 2010:20)

-ru Verbs

In some Japanese textbooks, the term -ru verb (or ru-verb) means the same thing as an ichidan verb. Such verbs always end in ~ru ~る in their nonpast form (or dictionary form, shuushikei 終止形), however, they aren't the only ones to do so: godan verbs (or -u verbs) can also end in ~ru in nonpast form, which means not every verb that ends in ~ru is a "ru verb," making the term extremely confusing for lots of people trying to learn Japanese.(Steffanick, 2010:20)

-masu Stem

In some Japanese textbooks, the term -masu stem (or masu-stem) refers to what you get when you conjugate a verb to its polite form, which ends in ~masu ~ます, and then remove the ~masu suffix, leaving you with the stem of the conjugation. It refers to the same thing as the term ren'youkei 連用形, except that adjectives don't have a ~masu form, so they don't have a masu-stem. Usually the term is used when talking about adding a different suffix to the masu-stem (ren'youkei). For example:

ichidan verb godan verb
Dictionary form kiru
To wear.
To cut.
Polite form kimasu
or ren'youkei.
(masu-stem + ~tai)
To want to wear.
To want to cut.


In linguistics, stem (and sometimes root, or base) is the word or part of the word (morpheme) you get when you remove all its suffixes, prefixes, etc., e.g. if you remove ~ing from "dying," you get "die," so "die" is the stem of "dying." What the term means exactly seems to vary from author to author, and these three similar-sounding terms—stem, root, and base—may mean slightly different things when used by the same author. Usually it's used to say that you get the stem by removing suffixes, then you add new suffixes to the stem. In Japanese, some notable stem-related terms are:

  • The term "masu-stem" refers to the ren'youkei 連用形, which is what you get when you remove the ~masu ~ます suffix from a word, e.g.: tabe is the masu-stem of taberu 食べる, "to eat," because it's tabe-masu 食べます without ~masu. You can add ~tai ~たい, for example, to this stem: tabe-tai 食べたい, "[I] want to eat."
  • The stem of i-adjectives is an i-adjective without its ~i ~い suffix, e.g.: sugo~ すご~ from sugoi すごい, "incredible." You can add ~sugiru ~すぎる to this stem: sugo-sugiru すごすぎる, "too incredible."
  • The term consonant-stem verb refers to a godan 五段 verb, because such verbs' stems always end in a consonant. Also called "consonant verb," or "-u verb" because you remove the "-u" vowel to get the vowel-less consonant stem.
  • The term vowel-stem verb refers to an ichidan 一段 verb, because such verbs' stems always end in a vowel. Also called "vowel verb," or "-ru verb" because you remove the "-ru" syllable to get the vowel-ending stem.