Japanese Lesson – する verbs

Hello Everyone,

In today’s post we are going that the combination of some nouns or adverbs with the verb する creates what is called a する verb. Let’s go!

The する verb

The Japanese verb する is the equivalent of the English / to do, to make /.

Note also that する is one of the two Japanese irregular verbs.

Refer to: Japanese verbs and the following lessons.

する verbs

Like in English, where for instance you have verbs such as “to do the laundry” which is basically the combination of a noun with the verb to do, there exists in Japanese some verbs which are composed of a noun plus the verb する and express the notion of to do/to make <something>.

する verbs are frequent with nouns originating from Chinese and with recent loawords (American/English), and can also be used with some adverbs.


  • 洗濯 (せんたく) / laundry / ⇒ 洗濯する (せんたく する) / to do the laundry /

The congugation of the verb then consists in the conjugation of the verb する:

  • 洗濯します / I do | I will do the laundry / – polite present/future
  • 洗濯しません / I don’t do the laundry /
  • 洗濯した / I did the laundry / – casual past
  • 洗濯しています / I am doing the laundry /


Find the する verbs corresponding to the following nouns/adverbs, as well as their meaning:

  • 勉強 (べんきょう) / study /
  • 心配 (しんぱい) / worry, concern /
  • 結婚 (けっこん) / marriage /
  • 連絡 (れんらく) / contact, connect /
  • 質問 (しつもん) / a question /
  • キス / a kiss / – loanword
  • コピー / a copy / – loanword
  • ワクワク / trembling, excited / – adverb


  • 勉強 (べんきょう) / study / ⇒ 勉強する (べんきょう する) / to study /
  • 心配 (しんぱい) / worry, concern / ⇒ 心配する (しんぱい する) / to worry for something/someone /
  • 結婚 (けっこん) / marriage / ⇒ 結婚する (けっこん する) / to marry someone /
  • 連絡 (れんらく) / contact, connect / ⇒ 連絡する (れんらく する) / to contact, to get in touch with someone /
  • 質問 (しつもん) / a question / ⇒ 質問する (しつもん する) / to ask a question /
  • キス / a kiss / ⇒ キスする / to kiss /
  • コピー / a copy / ⇒ コピーする / to make a copy of something /
  • ワクワク / trembling, excited / ⇒ ワクワクする / to be excited /

This should not have been too complicated, the aim is more to give you the reflex to consider the form noun/adverb + する as a verbal form.

Be cautious!

The use of する to make a verb from a noun is not systematic, though. Many nouns require the use of a particle to be grammatically correct, even if casual speech tends to drop them:

  • テニスする。/ “to play tennis” / – casual and understandable
  • テニスをする。/ tennis / {object} / to do / – grammatically correct

Some other words can also be used with either a particle, or not, with a subtle change in meaning:

  • 日本語を勉強してます。 (にほんご を べんきょう してます。) / I am studying Japanese language. /
  • 日本語の勉強をしてます。 (にほんご の べんきょう を してます。) / I am studying Japanese language. (I am doing Japanese language study.) /

In the first sentence we stress the word 日本語 / Japanese language / making the fact of studying more contextual, whereas in the second sentence we stress 日本語の勉強 / the study of Japanese language /, also highlighting the fact of studying itself.


This is the joy of the Japanese language and what makes it interesting to study. Many tend to use straightforward, pre-constructed, translations between Japanese and their mother tongue, but this comes most of the time with the loss of these subtleties which are key to really understanding Japanese and their culture.

よく べんきょう して ください。

/ well / study / to do / please / . /


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Japanese Resources – Breaking into Japanese Literature

Hi Everyone,

If you are an intermediate Japanese learner (JLPT 3 or 4) and are interested in getting further into knowing Japan and Japanese literature, here is a cool book for you!

The book provides a selection of classical stories from famous Japanese authors (Souseki and Ryuunosuke) , with for each of them some information on the author, the background of the stories, and a side by side view of the orignal text and its translation, in addition to a quite complete vocabulary list.
A note though: you will find really little grammar, that’s the reason why I advise it for people having a minimal grammar background.
Also, be warned that these stories, in quite traditional Japanese spirit, are quite gloomy/strange and might not be to the taste of everyone.
But for those who are loving that kind of stories, or are willing to try, this book is great! So do not hesitate to have a look at it!

One more point, audio version of teh stories are available on the publisher’s web site!


Do not hesitate if you have questions or want some more details (page captions, stories…)


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