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
    太郎花子にする
    Tarou will make Hanako [his] bride.
  • {karee ni} suru
    カレーにする
    [I] will choose {curry}. (e.g. when deciding what to eat.)
  • hito wo {tate ni} suru
    人を盾にする
    To treat people as {shields}. (to use them as human shields.)
  • sore wo kuchi ni suru na!
    それを口にするな!
    Don't use [your] mouth with that!
    Don't say that!
    Don't eat that!
  • {{barenai} you ni} shita
    バレないようにした
    [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
    バラさないことにした
    [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
    最強にして最後の敵
    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)

Grammar

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

僕は君を僕のお嫁さんにするつもりでもあるんだ
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
    僕は君を僕のお嫁さんにするつもりでもあるんだ
    I also intend {to make you {my bride}}.
    • ~tsumori de aru
      ~つもりである
      To intend to...
    • mo

      Also. Even.
この男を・・・私の新しい執事にする。
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.
    この男を・・・私の新しい執事にする
    [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
     絶対この夢現実にする
    I'll definitely make this dream {reality}.
  • "ore" janakute "ore-tachi" ne
    「俺」じゃなくて「俺達」ね
    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
    じゃあ不老不死にしてください
    Then, please make [me] {immortal}.
  • waku
    わく
    *excited*
    (psychomime.)
  • hai!
    はい!
    Okay!
  • don
    ドン
    *bam*
  • {sonna assari dekiru} mono nanoka
    そんなあっさりできるものなのか
    It's something [that] {can be done so easily}?
  • subarashii
    素晴らしい
    Marvelous.
  • dewa karada no naka wo mana ga guruguru guruguru junkan shite {{oiru} koto no nai} karada ni itashimashou!
    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
    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
      マナ
      Common term for magical energy in role-playing games. Also known as MP, magic points, magic power.
    • oiru
      老いる
      To age. To grow old.
    • ~koto ga nai
      ~ことがない
      To never [do something]. (to never age).
    • ~koto no nai
      ~ことのない
      (same as above, see: no の subject marker.)
    • ~ni itashimasu
      ~にいたします
      (humble variant of ~ni suru.)
  • guruguru
    ぐるぐる
    *swirling motion*
  • hoka niwa?
    他には?
    [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
    金髪にしてパーマをかけてください
    Make [my hair] {blonde} and apply a perm.
  • {hontou ni} ii no? koukousei desho
    本当にいいの?高校生でしょ
    Is that {really} alright? [You] are a high schooler, aren't you?
  • ii-n-desu. gaikoku niwa takusan imasu kara
    いいんです。外国にはたくさんいますから
    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
    ガツガツ
    *eating noise*
    (onomatopoeia.)
  • ponpon
    ポンポン
    *tap tap*
    (mimetic word for the head patting.)
  • {{ii} ko ni} shitero yo, Naporeon
    良い子にしてろよ、ナポレオン
    Make [yourself] be {a {good} [pig]}, Napoleon.
    Be {a {good} [pig]}, Napoleon.
  • Harima Kenji leaves Napoleon behind.
  • buhi?
    ブヒ?
    *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!!
    あ・・・ありがとうございました!!
    T... thank you [for everything]!!
    • Past tense of arigatou gozaimasu.
  • sensee sayounara
    せんせーさようなら
    Good bye, teacher.
  • sayounara
    さようなら
    Good bye.
  • otonashii kara chotto dake shinpai datta kedo
    おとなしいからちょっとだけ心配だったけど
    [She's] quiet so [I] was a bit worried, but
  • Rin-chan {{tottemo ii} ko ni} shitemashita yo
    りんちゃんとってもいい子にしてましたよ!!
    Rin-chan made [herself] be {a {very good} [girl]}, [you see]!!
    Rin-chan was {a {very good} [girl]}, [you see]!!
アンタらいい加減にしなさいよっ!!面倒見きれないって!!
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'!!
    アンタらいい加減にしなさいよっ!!
    You [two], stop it already!!
  • mendou mi-kirenai tte!!
    面倒見きれないって!!
    I can't take care of all the trouble you make!!
    • mendou
      面倒
      Trouble.
    • mendou wo miru
      面倒を見る
      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
      ~きる
      Completely. (auxiliary verb.)
    • mendou wo mi-kiru
      面倒を見きる
      To completely take care.
    • mendou wo mi-kireru
      面倒を見きれる
      To be able to completely take care.
      (potential form.)
    • mendou wo mi-kirenai
      面倒を見きれない
      To not be able to completely take care.
      (negative potential form.)
    • Vignette can't handle all this trouble.
いい加減にしやがれこの野郎!!!
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
    ちーーーん
    *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...
    毒キノコの帽子を布団にしたそうです・・・
    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
      布団
      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?
    もしかしてバカなのか?
    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...
    馬鹿にしないでください・・・・・・
    [Don't take me for an idiot.]
  • konna kodomo-muke no mondai
    tokete touzen desu...
    こんな子供向けの問題
    解けて当然です・・・
    A question [made] for kids like this,
    solving [it] is [only] natural...

Choice

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 ♡
    おかえりなさいあなた♡
    [Welcome home, dear.]
    • anata
      あなた
      You. (second person pronoun.)
      Sometimes used by a wife to refer to her husband.
  • ofuro ni suru?
    gohan ni suru?
    soretomo... wa... ta... shi...?

    お風呂にする?
    ご飯にする?
    それとも・・・わ♡た♡し♡??
    [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
    一人称「俺」はやめた方がいい
    [It] would be better if {[you] stopped} [using] the first person pronoun "ore."
  • a´?
    あ゙?
    Ah?
    (a with dakuten 濁点.)
    • What did you just say to me???
  • toku ni {me-ue no} hito no mae dewa ne
    特に目上の人の前ではね
    Specially in front of [your] superiors, [alright].
    • {me-ue no} hito
      目上の人
      People [who] {are above you}.
      [Your] superiors.
  • {Tengen-sama ni au kamoshirenai} wake dashi
    天元様に会うかもしれないわけだし
    {[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
    「私」最低でも「僕」にし
    [Use] "watashi," or at very minimum use {"boku"}, [okay].
    • Here, "to choose" a pronoun translates to "to use" it.

~ようにする

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!
    はぐれないように勝手な行動はしないこと!
    Do not [act on your own] as {to not stray away}!
    • katte
      勝手
      (refers to doing things without consulting others.)
    • hagureru
      逸れる
      To stray away [from a group]. To lose sight of [one's group].
  • hai'!
    はいっ!
    Yes, [ma'am]!
  • hoka no ko to kenka shinai koto!
    他のとケンカしないこと
    Do not fight with other kids!
  • hai'!
    はいっ!!
    Yes, [ma'am]!
  • jiipiiwanbii toka wo chanto tsukatte {{tobasarenai} you ni} suru koto!
    GPIbとかをちゃんと使って飛ばされないようにすること!
    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
      飛ぶ
      To jump. To fly.
    • tobasu
      飛ばす
      To make [something] fly.
      (ergative verb pair.)
    • tabasareru
      飛ばされる
      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
    何でしたら入り次第お宅お届けいたしましょうか
    [If you want] [I] will deliver [it] to [your] house [as soon as] [it] enters [stock].
    • shidai
      次第
      Depending on. In this case, when he delivers the book depends on when it enters stock. As soon as.
  • sou shite kureru?
    そうしてくれる
    [You] will do so for [me]?
  • daikin wa {{sono ba de harau} you ni} shitoku kara
    代金はその場で払うようにしとくから
    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.
    高貴な者よ、これはそなただけに伝える言葉。
    {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.
    これより先、そなたは王と創造主の地に入る。
    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
    その敷居を越え、我らの法に従うがいい。
    Cross its threshold and obey our laws.
    Step across this threshold and obey our laws. (original English.)
  • soshite mokugekisha to naru no da.
    そして目撃者となるのだ。
    And become witness.
  • {{saigo ni} shite} tada hitotsu no bunmei, {eien naru} oukoku, "Harounesuto" no.
    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。
    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.
      ハロウネスト目撃者となるのだ
      Become witness of Hallownest.
      Become Hallownest's witness.

~ことにする

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!
    私はなにも聞かなかった事にする
    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!
     またね源蔵さん!
    [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
    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
    [My family made] a decision [that] {[I] shouldn't publish face-photos on media [which] {a large number of unspecified people see}}.
    • ~jashin
      ~じゃしん
      (rendaku 連濁.)
    • shashin
      写真しゃしん
      Photo.
  • ou~~ {kaodashi enu-jii toiu} yatsu desu ka
    オゥ~顔出しNGトイウやつデスか
    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
      顔を出すのはだめ
      Exposing [one's] face is Not Good. (is not okay, not permitted.)

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