Wednesday, May 1, 2019

yaru やる

WIP: this article is incomplete and might change in the unforeseeable future.
In Japanese, yaru やる means a bunch of things. It can mean "to do" in a dozen ways. It can mean "to give [something]," or be used as an auxiliary verb to say "to do [something] for [someone]," just like ageru 上げる. It can mean "to work [a profession]." It can mean "to murder [someone]". And it can mean "to have sex with [someone]."

Depending on its meaning, it's sometimes written with different kanji.

For reference, some examples of how it's used:
  • yatta!
    [I] did [it]!
    [We] did [it]!

Sometimes, yaru is interchangeable with the suru する verb, for example:
  • yaritai koto
    Something [you] want to do.
    • shitai koto したこと
      (same meaning.)
  • yatta koto nai
    [I've] never done it.
    • shita koto nai したことない
      (same meaning.)
  • yatta koto aru?
    Have [you] ever done it?
    • shita koto aru? したことある?
      (same meaning.)
  • nani wo yatta?
    What did you do?
    • nani wo shita? 何をした?
      (same meaning.)

In particular, both yaru and suru can mean "to work as" something.
  • kyoushi wo yatteiru
    "To be doing a teacher."
    • To be working as a teacher.
    • kyoushi wo shiteiru
      (same meaning.)

In such cases, yaru やる can be spelled with kanji, as yaru 遣る, except it's normally spelled with hiragana. By the way, suru する, "to do," can also be spelled suru 為る.

Sometimes, yaru is interchangeable with ageru あげる, both as a verb and as auxiliary, for example:
  • banana wo yaru
    [I']] give [you] a banana.
    • banana wo ageru バナナをあげる
      (same meaning.)
  • oshiete yaru
    [I'll] teach [you].
    [I'll] tell [you]. (some information.)
    • oshiete ageru 教えてあげる
      (same meaning.)

The difference between ageru and yaru is that yaru やる is generally used toward someone who's inferior, while ageru あげる is used toward someone who's equal. By the way, sashiageru 差し上げる is toward something who's superior. (inferior normally means someone younger, or in a low position in a company, a kouhai, etc.)
  • esa wo yaru
    To give food [to an animal].
    • esa
      Animal food. Pet food. Fodder. Lure.

Like everything in Japanese, this also means sashiageru is more likely to be used between complete strangers in a business setting, while yaru is more likely to be used in anime.

Also note that both yaru and ageru can be used as normal verbs or auxiliary verbs (after te-form of another verb). In particular, yaru can be auxiliary for ageru, and vice-versa, and they can even be auxiliary for themselves. For example:
  • yatteyaru やってやる
    yatteageru やってあげる
    [I'll] do it [for you].
  • ageru 上げる
    To raise. (normal verb meaning.)
  • ageteyaru 上げてやる
    ageteageru 上げてあげる
    [I'll] raise it [for you].

Furthermore, another word that can be used this way is kureru くれる. Normally, kureru is always used when someone else is giving something to you, however, technically, it also means just "to give."

In particular, the following phrase is basically only seen in anime:
  • kureteyaru くれてやる
    [I'll] give it [to you].
    • yatteyaru やってやる
      (same meaning.)
  • hoshii nara kurete yaru
    [If you] want it then [I'll] give it [to you].

When yaru やる means "to murder," it's sometimes spelled with with the kanji for korosu 殺す, "to kill."
  • nan'nin mo yatta
    [He] killed even an unknown number of people. (literally.)
    [He] killed a lot of people.
    • nan'nin mo yatta
      (same meaning, gikun.)

When yaru やる means "to have sex with," it's sometimes spelled with the kanji for okasu 犯す, "to do something you shouldn't do," e.g. "to violate [a law, a rule]," or "to rape [someone]," in which case the meaning changes greatly.
  • nan'nin mo yatta
    [He] had sex with a lot of people.
    • nan'nin mo yatta
      [He] raped a lot of people.

This yaru 犯る spelling can also be used when "to do" something means "to commit [a crime]."[「やる」について 意味なんですけど 「犯る」 -, accessed 2019-05-02]

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