And kanji with manga
Wednesday, April 6, 2022

~ni suru ~にする - Meaning in Japanese

In Japanese, ~ni suru ~にする (ni に adverbial copula plus suru する) means various things: it means "to make X be Y" or "to make X become Y;" "to treat X as if it were Y" or "to use X as an Y;" "to choose X" when there are multiple choices, e.g. X, Y or Z; to use a body part, e.g. "(with eyes) to see;" in the pattern ~you ni suru ~ようにする it may mean "to make it so that X does/can do Y;" in the pattern ~koto ni suru ~ことにする it may mean "to decide to do X" or "to pretend X is true;" in the pattern ~ni shite ~にして it may mean "to be X and also Y."

  • Tarou ga Hanako wo {yome ni} suru
    Tarou will make Hanako [his] bride.
  • {karee ni} suru
    [I] will choose {curry}. (e.g. when deciding what to eat.)
  • hito wo {tate ni} suru
    To treat people as {shields}. (to use them as human shields.)
  • sore wo kuchi ni suru na!
    Don't use [your] mouth with that!
    Don't say that!
    Don't eat that!
  • {{barenai} you ni} shita
    [I] made [it] {so [that] {[it] won't be found}}.
    [I] hid [it] somehow. I did something to ensure it won't be found.
  • {{barasanai} koto ni} shita
    [I] decided {{[I] won't spread [it]}}.
    I decided I won't tell everybody about the secrets that I found out.
  • {saikyou ni} shite saigo no teki
    The {strongest} and last enemy.
    The enemy that is both {the strongest} and the last one.
俺 絶対この夢現実にするよ 「俺」じゃなくて「俺達」ね
Manga: Bakuman. バクマン。 (Chapter 4, 親と子)


See the article about suru する for details about the grammar. This article is mainly about examples.

In summary: for most of its uses, ~ni suru ~にする is a lexical causative verb phrase forming an ergative pair with the unaccusative counterpart ~ni naru ~になる. Anything ~ni naru is "to become X," anything ~ni suru is "to cause Y to become X." Some uses, however, like with body parts, don't have a ~ni naru counterpart.

The pattern ~ku suru ~くする is used with i-adjectives~ni suru is used with na-adjectives and no-adjectives (nouns) only (~i ~い becomes ~ku ~く, da becomes ni に).

The phrase ~you ni suru ~ようにする is used with stative predicates expressed through verbs (stative verbs, habitual sense of eventive verbs). Verbs don't have an adverbial form, but suru requires an adverb, so ~you ni ~ように is used to satisfy this requirement.

The phrase ~koto ni suru ~ことにする means "to make the situation so," depending on the tense of the relative clause qualifying koto こと, it may mean "to make it happen (in the future)" or "to pretend that's what happened (in the past)."

Usage Examples

Manga: Mahoutsukai no Yome 魔法使いの嫁 (Chapter 1)
  • boku wa {kimi wo {boku no oyomesan ni} suru} tsumori demo aru-n-da
    I also intend {to make you {my bride}}.
    • ~tsumori de aru
      To intend to...
    • mo

      Also. Even.
Manga: Hayate no Gotoku! ハヤテのごとく! (Chapter 3, 状況説明とメイド服の構造に関する考察)
  • Context: the story of an ojousama お嬢様 and her butler begins.
  • kono otoko wo... {watashi no {atarashii} shitsuji ni} suru.
    [I] will make this man into {my {new} butler}.
俺 絶対この夢現実にするよ 「俺」じゃなくて「俺達」ね
Manga: Bakuman. バクマン。 (Chapter 4, 親と子)
  • Context: a main character speaks of his aspirations to his best friend, who shares the same aspirations.
  • ore φ, zettai kono yume φ {genjitsu ni} suru yo
    I'll definitely make this dream {reality}.
  • "ore" janakute "ore-tachi" ne
    Not "I," "we."
じゃあ不老不死にしてください(わく) はい!(ドン) そんなあっさりできるものなのか 素晴らしい では体の中をマナがぐるぐるぐるぐる循環して老いることのない体にいたしましょう!(ぐるぐる) 他には?
Manga: Slime Taoshite 300-nen, Shiranai Uchi ni Level Max ni Nattemashita スライム倒して300年、知らないうちにレベルMAXになってました (Chapter 1, レベルMAXになっていた)
  • Context: an angel is granting any desires to a soul about to be reincarnated.
  • jaa {furou-fushi ni} shite-kudasai
    Then, please make [me] {immortal}.
  • waku
  • hai!
  • don
  • {sonna assari dekiru} mono nanoka
    It's something [that] {can be done so easily}?
  • subarashii
  • dewa karada no naka wo mana ga guruguru guruguru junkan shite {{oiru} koto no nai} karada ni itashimashou!
    Then, let's make the mana circulate around and around through inside of [your] body, and turn [it] into a body [that] {never {ages}}.
    • wo を particle - marks the medium through which movement happens.
    • mana
      Common term for magical energy in role-playing games. Also known as MP, magic points, magic power.
    • oiru
      To age. To grow old.
    • ~koto ga nai
      To never [do something]. (to never age).
    • ~koto no nai
      (same as above, see: no の subject marker.)
    • ~ni itashimasu
      (humble variant of ~ni suru.)
  • guruguru
    *swirling motion*
  • hoka niwa?
    [Anything else]?
金髪にしてパーマをかけてください 本当にいいの?高校でしょ いいんです。外国にはたくさんいますから
Character: Mitsuhashi Takashi 三橋貴志
Anime: Kyou kara Ore wa!! 今日から俺は!! (Episode 1)
  • Context: Takashi decides to become a delinquent, starting with a change in image.
  • {kinpatsu ni} shite paama wo kakete kudasai
    Make [my hair] {blonde} and apply a perm.
  • {hontou ni} ii no? koukousei desho
    Is that {really} alright? [You] are a high schooler, aren't you?
  • ii-n-desu. gaikoku niwa takusan imasu kara
    It's alright. Because there are a lot [of blonde people] in foreign countries.
ガツガツ ポンポン 良い子にしてろよ、ナポレオン ブヒ?
Manga: School Rumble, スクールランブル (Chapter 81)
  • Context: Harima Kenji 播磨拳児 feeds Napoleon, ナポレオン.
  • gatsu gatsu
    *eating noise*
  • ponpon
    *tap tap*
    (mimetic word for the head patting.)
  • {{ii} ko ni} shitero yo, Naporeon
    Make [yourself] be {a {good} [pig]}, Napoleon.
    Be {a {good} [pig]}, Napoleon.
  • Harima Kenji leaves Napoleon behind.
  • buhi?
    *concerned pig noise*
あ・・・ありがとうございました!! せんせーさようなら さようなら おとなしいからちょっとだけ心配だったけど りんちゃんとってもいい子にしてましたよ!!
Manga: Usagi Drop, うさぎドロップ (Chapter 2)
  • Context: guy comes take his child from a "nursery school," hoikuen 保育園.
  • a... arigatou gozaimashita!!
    T... thank you [for everything]!!
    • Past tense of arigatou gozaimasu.
  • sensee sayounara
    Good bye, teacher.
  • sayounara
    Good bye.
  • otonashii kara chotto dake shinpai datta kedo
    [She's] quiet so [I] was a bit worried, but
  • Rin-chan {{tottemo ii} ko ni} shitemashita yo
    Rin-chan made [herself] be {a {very good} [girl]}, [you see]!!
    Rin-chan was {a {very good} [girl]}, [you see]!!
Manga: Gabriel DropOut, ガヴリールドロップアウト (Chapter 5)
  • Context: Vignette learns the harsh realities of doing group projects.
  • anta-ra {ii-kagen ni} shinasai yo'!!
    You [two], stop it already!!
  • mendou mi-kirenai tte!!
    I can't take care of all the trouble you make!!
    • mendou
    • mendou wo miru
      To see trouble.
      To take care of trouble.
      To take care of someone, which is trouble, in the sense of it may cause trouble to you to do it.
    • ~kiru
      Completely. (auxiliary verb.)
    • mendou wo mi-kiru
      To completely take care.
    • mendou wo mi-kireru
      To be able to completely take care.
      (potential form.)
    • mendou wo mi-kirenai
      To not be able to completely take care.
      (negative potential form.)
    • Vignette can't handle all this trouble.
Manga: Zatch Bell!, Konjiki no Gash!! 金色のガッシュ!! (Chapter 5, 道具か人間か!?)

Functional Treatment

ちーん 毒キノコの帽子を布団にしたそうです・・・ もしかしてバカなのか?
Manga: Maoujou de Oyasumi 魔王城でおやすみ (Chapter 7, 夢みる毒キノコ)
  • Context: the princess is dead. The demon cleric tells the demon lord how she died.
  • chiiin
    *ring of a bell* (sound effect used when a character dies or is defeated, probably originates from the bell used in a butsudan 仏壇, a "Buddhist altar" for a deceased family member.)
  • doku-kinoko no boushi wo futon ni shita sou desu...
    It seems that [she] made a poisonous-mushroom's cap into a bed.
    • In other words, she used the cap (the top part) of the mushroom as if it were a bed.
    • She treated it as a bed.
    • futon
      Traditional Japanese bedding, typically placed on a tatami floor. The term refers to both the mattress and the duvet, but just "bed" is a good enough translation most of the time..
  • moshikashite baka na no ka?
    Could it be that [she] is an idiot?
馬鹿にしないでください・・・・・・ こんな子供向けの問題解けて当然です・・・
Manga: Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai ~Tensai-Tachi no Ren'ai Zunousen~ かぐや様は告らせたい~天才たちの恋愛頭脳戦~ (Chapter 4, 白銀御行は答えたい)
  • Context: Kaguya is asked a quiz question that's too easy for a genius like her, and congratulated after getting it right.
  • baka ni shinaide kudasai...
    [Don't take me for an idiot.]
  • konna kodomo-muke no mondai
    tokete touzen desu...
    A question [made] for kids like this,
    solving [it] is [only] natural...


おかえりなさいあなた♡ お風呂にする? ご飯にする? それとも・・・わ♡た♡し♡?
Manga: Sunohara-sou no Kanrinin-san すのはら荘の管理人さん (Volume 1, Chapter 9, Page 80)
  • Context: Yukimoto Yuzu 雪本柚子 imagines herself as a bride who would support her future husband.
  • okaerinasai anata ♡
    [Welcome home, dear.]
    • anata
      You. (second person pronoun.)
      Sometimes used by a wife to refer to her husband.
  • ofuro ni suru?
    gohan ni suru?
    soretomo... wa... ta... shi...?

    [What do you want to do]?
    [Eat]? [Take a] bath? Or... me?
一人称「俺」はやめた方がいい あ゙? 特に目上の人の前ではね 天元様に会うかもしれないわけだし 「私」最低でも「僕」にしな
Manga: Jujutsu Kaisen 呪術廻戦 (Chapter 66, 壊玉‐弐-)
  • Context: Gojou Satoru 五条悟, who doesn't like to obey rules, is told to obey societal norms.
  • ichininshou "ore" wa {yameta} hou ga ii
    [It] would be better if {[you] stopped} [using] the first person pronoun "ore."
  • a´?
    (a with dakuten 濁点.)
    • What did you just say to me???
  • toku ni {me-ue no} hito no mae dewa ne
    Specially in front of [your] superiors, [alright].
    • {me-ue no} hito
      People [who] {are above you}.
      [Your] superiors.
  • {Tengen-sama ni au kamoshirenai} wake dashi
    {[We] might meet Tengen-sama}, [after all].
    • In this series, Tengen-sama is an important person, as hinted by the fact the ~sama suffix is used with their name.
  • "watashi", saitei demo {"boku"} ni shi na
    [Use] "watashi," or at very minimum use {"boku"}, [okay].
    • Here, "to choose" a pronoun translates to "to use" it.


はぐれないように勝手な行動はしないこと! はいっ! 他の子とケンカしないこと! はいっ!! GPIbとかをちゃんと使って飛ばされないようにすること!
Manga: Hataraku Saibou はたらく細胞 (Chapter 4, すり傷)
  • Context: "platelets," kesshouban 血小板, drawn as cute anime girls, receive their marching orders.
  • {hagurenai} you ni {katte na} koudou wa shinai koto!
    Do not [act on your own] as {to not stray away}!
    • katte
      (refers to doing things without consulting others.)
    • hagureru
      To stray away [from a group]. To lose sight of [one's group].
  • hai'!
    Yes, [ma'am]!
  • hoka no ko to kenka shinai koto!
    Do not fight with other kids!
  • hai'!
    Yes, [ma'am]!
  • jiipiiwanbii toka wo chanto tsukatte {{tobasarenai} you ni} suru koto!
    Do use GPIb, etc. properly, making [it] {so that {[you] don't get sent flying away}}!
    • GPIb, Glycoprotein Ib, allow platelets to adhere at sites of injury.
    • tobu
      To jump. To fly.
    • tobasu
      To make [something] fly.
      (ergative verb pair.)
    • tabasareru
      To be made fly [by something]. (e.g. to be sent flying away by the wind.)
      (passive form.)
何でしたら入り次第お宅へお届けいたしましょうか そうしてくれる? 代金はその場で払うようにしとくから
Manga: Historie, ヒストリエ (Chapter 6, 図書室・2)
  • Context: a boy wants to buy a book, but it's out of stock.
  • nandeshitara hairi shidai otaku e otodoke itashimashou ka
    [If you want] [I] will deliver [it] to [your] house [as soon as] [it] enters [stock].
    • shidai
      Depending on. In this case, when he delivers the book depends on when it enters stock. As soon as.
  • sou shite kureru?
    [You] will do so for [me]?
  • daikin wa {{sono ba de harau} you ni} shitoku kara
    As for the payment, [I] will make [it] {so [that] {[it] is paid there}}.
    • i.e. the payment will be ready at his home for when it arrives.
    • shitoku - contraction of shite-oku しておく.

"And" にして

魔王 悪魔の支配者にしてすべてを牛耳る悪魔の王
Manga: Mairimashita! Iruma-kun 魔入りました!入間くん (Chapter 5, 問題児アブノマールクラス)
  • Context: an explanation of what the king is.
  • maou, {{makai no shihaisha ni} shite} {subete wo gyuujiru} akuma no ou
    魔王 悪魔の支配者にしてすべてを牛耳る悪魔の王
    Demon-king: [he] {is {the lord of the demon world}, and} the king of demons [that] {rules over everything}.
    • Here, we're saying the maou is the makai no shihaisha on top of also being subete wo gyuujiru akuma no ou.
高貴な者よ、これはそなただけに伝える言葉。 これより先、そなたは王と創造主の地に入る。 その敷居を越え、我らの法に従うがいい。 そして目撃者となるのだ。 最後にして唯ひとつの文明、永遠なる王国、”ハロウネスト”の。
Game: Hollow Knight, ホロウナイト (Before Entering Hallownest)
  • Context: text of lore tablet as seen in Hollow Knight's Japanese translation.
  • {kouki na} mono yo, kore wa {sonata dake ni tsutaeru} kotoba.
    {Noble} one, these are words {to convey to you alone}.
    Higher beings, these words are for you alone. (original English)
  • kore yori saki, sonata wa ou to souzoushu no chi ni hairu.
    Beyond this point, you'll enter the land of the king and creator.
    Beyond this point you enter the land of King and Creator. (original English)
  • sono shikii wo koe, ware-ra no hou ni shitagau ga ii
    Cross its threshold and obey our laws.
    Step across this threshold and obey our laws. (original English.)
  • soshite mokugekisha to naru no da.
    And become witness.
  • {{saigo ni} shite} tada hitotsu no bunmei, {eien naru} oukoku, "Harounesuto" no.
    The culture [that] {is {the last} and} the only one, the kingdom [that] {is eternal}. Of Hallownest.
    The {{last} and} only culture, the eternal kingdom. Of Hallownest.
    Bear witness to the last and only civilisation, the eternal Kingdom. Hallownest. (original English.)
    • The Japanese version ends with a no-adjective that qualifies mokugekisha of a previous sentence.
    • Harounesuto no mokugekisha to naru no da.
      Become witness of Hallownest.
      Become Hallownest's witness.


私はなにも聞かなかった事にするわ! ま またね源蔵さん!
Manga: Kemono Michi けものみち (Chapter 4)
  • Context: a furry declares his love for a married kemono character who apparently wears only an apron. Unsure of what to do, she runs away.
  • watashi wa {nanimo kikanakatta} koto ni suru wa!
    I'll pretend {[I] didn't hear anything}!
    (>//w//< *blushes through fur*)
    I'll pretend you didn't tell me this!
    • I won't even tell my husband about it!
    • Let's forget this happened, okay?!
  • ma, mata ne, Genzou-san!
    [Goodbye], Genzou-san!
    • mata - "again," as in "see you again," can be used to say bye.

Body Part

不特定多数が目にするメディアに顔写真を掲載してはならない決まりでして オゥ~顔出しNGトイウやつデスか
Manga: Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai ~Tensai-Tachi no Ren'ai Zunousen~ かぐや様は告らせたい~天才たちの恋愛頭脳戦~ (Chapter 100, 生徒会は撮られたい)
  • Context: Shinomiya Kaguya 四宮かぐや tells Adolphe Pescarolo アドルフ・ペスカロロ why she can't take photos.
  • {{futokutei-tasuu ga me ni suru} medhia ni kao-jashin wo keisai shite wa naranai} kimari deshite
    [My family made] a decision [that] {[I] shouldn't publish face-photos on media [which] {a large number of unspecified people see}}.
    • ~jashin
      (rendaku 連濁.)
    • shashin
  • ou~~ {kaodashi enu-jii toiu} yatsu desu ka
    Ooh~~ is [this that thing] {called kaodashi NG}?
    • Adolphe Pescarolo is a foreigner. His Japanese is accented. This is represented orthographically by spelling words with katakana.
    • kaodashi NG - phrase typically used by people who want to remain anonymous on the internet despite appearing in photos, videos. It means:
    • kao wo dasu no wa dame
      Exposing [one's] face is Not Good. (is not okay, not permitted.)

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