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Oct 21, 2018

Suru, Shimasu - How to say "do" in Japanese


Hello. I'm Kosuke!

Today, let's learn how to say "do" in Japanese!




1. Summary


"Do" is one of the very basic verbs.

In Japanese, the verb "suru" is often used as "do".


Below is the basic forms of "suru"!

Present and FuturePast
normalする
(suru)
した
(shita)
politeします
(shimasu)
しました
(shimashita)



Let's learn how to use "suru"!





2. How to use "Suru"


"Suru" is usually used with a noun.


Below is the basic forms!


Present - Normal
  [Noun] + "wo" + "suru"


Past - Normal
  [Noun] + "wo" + "shita"


Present - Polite
  [Noun] + "wo" + "shimasu"


Past - Polite
  [Noun] + "wo" + "shimashita"


"Wo" is a Japanese particle, which is put right after the object of the sentence.

"Object" is the target of the verb.

If you want to know more about "wo", please check this:
  Particle wo >>


Since "wo" is right after the noun, the noun is the object of the verb "suru", "shita", "shimasu", and "shimashita".


Let's check the examples!




Example:

わたしは まいにち べんきょうを する
wa ta shi wa ma i ni chi be n kyo u wo su ru

Meaning: "I study every day."

  わたし: I
  まいにち: everyday
  べんきょう: study (noun)
  する: do


"べんきょう(benkyou)" is a noun, which means "study".

We say "benkyou wo suru" when we want to say "study" in Japanese.


If you want to know more about "わたし(watashi)", please check this:
  Watashi >>

If you don't know about "は(wa)", please check this:
  Particle wa >>






かれは きのう しゅくだいを した
ka re wa ki no u shu ku da i wo shi ta

Meaning: "He did his homework yesterday."

  かれ: he
  きのう: yesterday
  しゅくだい: homework (noun)
  した: did (past tense)


When we want to say "did", we use "shita" instead of "suru" since it is the past tense.

If you want to know how to say "he" and "she", please check this:
  He and She >>






わたしは よく うんてんを します
wa ta shi wa yo ku u n te n wo shi ma su

Meaning: "I often drive. (polite)"

  わたし: I
  よく: often
  うんてん: drive (noun)
  します: do (polite)


Like the example above, "shimasu" is a polite way to say "suru".






かのじょは せんしゅう けっこんを しました
ka no jo wa se n shu u ke k ko n wo shi ma shi ta

Meaning: "She got married last week."

  かのじょ: she
  せんしゅう: last week
  けっこん: marriage (noun)
  しました: did


Like the example above, "shimashita" is a polite way to say "shita".





From the examples above, we learned the basic forms of "suru".

However, we can sometimes omit "wo".

Let's check in the next paragraph!





3. Necessity of "Wo"


We have already learned the basic forms of "suru".

However, we sometimes omit "wo".


When you use "suru","shita", "shimasu", or "shimashita" you can choose the way to say it, from the 2 options below:

  • Putting "wo" right after the object
  • Not using "wo"



However, to get straight to the point, I don't recommend you to omit "wo".

I recommend you to put "wo" right after the verb, just like the basic forms.


If you WILL NOT omit "wo", you don't need to read this topic.
So if you don't need, please jump to next topic because this is a little confusing!


If you are interested in the deletion of "wo", let's check the examples!




Example:

わたしは まいにち べんきょうする
wa ta shi wa ma i ni chi be n kyo u su ru

Meaning: "I study everyday."

  わたし: I
  まいにち: everyday
  べんきょう: study
  する: do


This is the example sentence I have already explained above.
However, this time, "を(wo)" was deleted from the sentence.


Like the example, we can sometimes omit "を(wo)" in front of "suru", "shita", "shimasu", and "shimashita".


However, when you omit "wo", there are two points to be careful of.





It will be a different verb

As we stated above, the basic form for "study" is:

"benkyou (noun)" + "wo (particle)" + "suru (verb)"


Like this, if you use the basic form, "benkyou" is a noun.



However, if you omit "wo" from the basic form, it will be a new verb:

  "benkyousuru (verb)"



"Benkyousuru" is one word.



So if you use "benkyousuru", the verb of the sentence is not "suru" anymore.

The verb of the sentence is "benkyousuru".



Therefore, "benkyou" is not the object of the verb anymore because it is not a noun.
It becomes the verb "benkyousuru".





Why did I explain about the difference?


Actually, this will cause slightly confusing, and minor changes when you make sentences.



Example:

A. わたしは にほんご  べんきょうを する。
    wa ta shi wa ni ho n go no be n kyo u wo su ru

Meaning: "I do Japanese studies."

  ⇒ "I study Japanese."



B. わたしは にほんご  べんきょうする
    wa ta shi wa ni ho n go wo be n kyo u su ru

Meaning: "I study Japanese."


にほんご: Japanese language



The two Japanese sentences, "A" and "B" have the same meaning.

However, I deleted "wo" right after "べんきょう(benkyou)" from sentence "B".


In addition to the absence of "wo" right after "benkyou", can you see the difference between those two sentences?


Actually, I changed "にほんご (nihongo no)" to "にほんご (nihongo wo)".

I changed it because of grammatical reasons.




Why should "の(no)" be used in sentence "A"?
Why should "を(wo)" be used in sentence "B"?




In sentence "A", "にほんごのべんきょう(nihongo no benkyou)" is a noun clause.


"の(no)" means "of".
So "にほんごの(nihongono)" means "of Japanese".


"にほんごの(nihongono)" is just explaining the noun "べんきょう(benkyou)".


So "にほんごのべんきょう(nihongo no benkyou)" is a noun clause, which means "studies of Japanese", or "Japanese studies".

This clause is treated as a noun in the sentence.




So following the basic form,
  [Noun] + "wo(particle)" + "suru(verb)"
is implemented.




Therefore, the phrase becomes:

にほんごのべんきょう する
ni ho n go no be n kyo u wo su ru

  にほんごのべんきょう: noun clause
  : particle
  する: verb


This is the structure of sentence "A".





On the other hand, regarding sentence "B", "benkyousuru" is one verb, which means "study".


"Benkyou" is not a noun in this sentence because it became a part of the verb "benkyousuru".



When we delete "を", we can't say,
"にほんごの べんきょうする (nihongono benkyousuru)"
because the word right after "の(no)" needs to be a noun.

"べんきょうする(benkyousuru)" is not a noun, but a verb.




In sentence "A", "にほんご の(no)" could explain "benkyou" because "benkyou" was a noun.


However, in sentence "B", "の(no)" can't explain "benkyou" because it is not a noun anymore, but a part of the verb "benkyousuru".



Therefore, we need to find another way to say "study Japanese", not using "の(no)" between "にほんご(nihongo)" and "べんきょうする (benkyousuru)".








In English, if we want to say "study Japanese", the word "Japanese" is an object of the verb "study".


In sentence "B", we should make the sentence, like that.


As I explained above, "benkyousuru" is a verb which means "study".



"Japanese" is translated to the noun "nihongo".

In addition, "wo" is put right after "nihongo" because "nihongo" is an object of the verb "benkyousuru".




Therefore, it becomes:

にほんご を べんきょうする
ni ho n go wo be n kyo u su ru

Meaning: "study Japanese"


Don't you think this is very complicated?

That's one reason why I don't recommend you to omit "wo" when you use "suru"!





Sometimes, we can't omit "wo"

In addition to the reason I explained above, there is another reason why I don't recommend omitting "wo".

The reason is, there are some cases which you can't omit "wo".



For example, when you go fishing, you can say "つりをする (tsuri wo suru)".

"つり (tsuri)" means "fishing".
So "つりをする (tsuri wo suru)" means "fish".



In this case, we can't omit "を(wo)".
So we can't say "つりする (tsurisuru)".


The reason is simple.
It is because there is no verb "つりする (tsurisuru)" in Japanese.



We can omit "を(wo)" in front of "suru" only when there is a verb for it.



Meaning that if you want to omit "を(wo)", you need to know if there is a verb for it in advance.


If you have already gotten used to Japanese, you can judge if the "wo" can be omitted or not, depending on the case.


However, if you are a beginner of Japanese, I recommend you to put "wo" between an object and the verb "suru".





4. Extra info (Yaru)


Actually, there is another common verb to say "do" in Japanese.

It is "やる(yaru)".


However, I also don't recommend you to use "yaru".

It is because "yaru" is not a formal word, and it sometimes sounds impolite.



In addition to that, "yaru" sometimes includes the meanings of "murdering" or "having sex".


Actually, it is not such a good verb.


If you have gotten used to Japanese, it is OK for you to use "yaru".

However, if you are a beginner, it is safe for you not to use this verb, just in case.





5. Conclusion


"Suru" is a Japanese verb, which means "do"!

Please remember the table below!


Present and FuturePast
normalする
(suru)
した
(shita)
politeします
(shimasu)
しました
(shimashita)




Please remember the basic forms of "suru" below!


Present - Normal
  [Noun] + "wo" + "suru"

Past - Normal
  [Noun] + "wo" + "shita"

Present - Polite
  [Noun] + "wo" + "shimasu"

Past - Polite
  [Noun] + "wo" + "shimashita"

I hope this article helps you study Japanese!
Thank you for reading!

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