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Postby ess_jay_arr » Fri 01.11.2008 6:33 am

I was thinking about this word recently because it seems to be really versatile, so I thought it'd be a good one to try and fully understand. So, here's some of the uses that I know (or think I know)...

気をつける
This is probably the first instance of the word that I learned, where it basically means to 'take care'. I think I'm okay with this one.

気に入る
I think this means 'to like' something, with a shade of 'being interested' in it...?

気になる/気にする
I get the impression that these both mean 'to worry', but I'm not sure how to decide which to use in any given context. Oh, apart from that 気になる can also mean 'to be interested/curious', I think.

気を使う
I'm sortof beginning to guess here, but I'd say this is like taking care over something specific, not just as a matter of course but because something bad might happen if you don't.

Hmm, I thought I knew more usages of it than that. Ah well, if anyone knows of some other common/useful phrases that use 気, or if anyone can correct/clarify the uses I've mentioned above, I'd be very interested to read about it. Thanks!
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RE: 気

Postby katafei » Fri 01.11.2008 6:38 am

One of my favourite words, 気.
If you pitch into this dict you get a lot more interesting combinations.
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RE: 気

Postby Shirasagi » Fri 01.11.2008 7:13 am

ess_jay_arr wrote:
I was thinking about this word recently because it seems to be really versatile, so I thought it'd be a good one to try and fully understand. So, here's some of the uses that I know (or think I know)...

気をつける
This is probably the first instance of the word that I learned, where it basically means to 'take care'. I think I'm okay with this one.


This is part of a transitive/intransitive pair: 気をつける - to take heed, be careful, watch out, and 気が付く or 気付く, meaning "realize, notice".

気に入る
I think this means 'to like' something, with a shade of 'being interested' in it...?


It's a bit stronger than that - the Japanese translation for "Bookmarks/Favorites" is お気に入り. If you are shopping, and you see something you like, in English you might say "Oh, I love this jacket," or (if you're a guy), "Hey, I like this shirt." In Japanese you wouldn't use 好き, but rather 気に入った.

気になる/気にする
I get the impression that these both mean 'to worry', but I'm not sure how to decide which to use in any given context. Oh, apart from that 気になる can also mean 'to be interested/curious', I think.


With 気になる, you're passive. Something's on your mind. 気にする is much more active -- you're proactively worrying/caring about something. 気にしないで! is a common response when someone seriously apologizes for being late, or making a faux pas, and things like that. If you come to Japan, you'll hear it a lot as you make language and cultural mistakes and end up apologizing for them. Also, you hear it in sports 気にするな! along with ドンマイ!, a Japanese borrowing based on "Don't mind!"

I like 気になる because it describes the point when you've noticed someone, you're attracted, but you don't really like them yet -- you're certainly not at that point where you could 告白. But...you're all too aware when they're in the room.

気を使う
I'm sortof beginning to guess here, but I'd say this is like taking care over something specific, not just as a matter of course but because something bad might happen if you don't.


Actually, it's 気を遣う, not 使う. In a sense it means to "worry about, fret over, fuss over". It is very often what makes foreigners leave Japan, both having to 気を遣う and being 気を遣われる. It's a state of heightened awareness and attention to social cues, and it can exhaust Japanese people -- and they're used to it! The best thing about going home to the States is not having to 気を遣う, or at least only needing to do it on a much lower level than here in Japan.

Hmm, I thought I knew more usages of it than that. Ah well, if anyone knows of some other common/useful phrases that use 気, or if anyone can correct/clarify the uses I've mentioned above, I'd be very interested to read about it. Thanks!


Check this out. Some others that I like and/or use often:

気がする - describing how something feels. 今日は雨が降る気がする - I have the feeling it's going to rain today. Or simply, "I think it's going to rain today." (Very different meaning from 今日は雨が降ると思う, which suggests you may have heard something about the weather report.)

気が利く・気を利かす -- Uh, hard to explain. The first is like "be on the ball" or "works well". The latter is like being tuned in into a situation, knowing just what to do and how to do it.

気が済む -- Be content and satisfied.

お気に召すまま -- "As you like". Not really heard in everyday conversation, but I sing ラブラブ一直線 by ウルフルズ everytime I go to karaoke.
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RE: 気

Postby ess_jay_arr » Sat 01.12.2008 2:53 am

Hey, thanks guys.

katafei, I put 気 into that dict and it didn't actually return anything at all... maybe it's not working today or something. :|

Shirasagi... wow, what a reply! Thankyou very much! I'm not sure I really understood how to use 気が利く or 気を利かす very well, but I'll remember them in case I hear them in context.

About the other usages though, how do you use them in a sentence? Do 気に入る・なる・する all take を?

As in... このジャケットを気に入った... 友達の妹を気になった... 明日のテストを気にしてる... ?

And do 気をつける・遣う take に?

Like... 階段に気をつける... 会社の人への挨拶に気を遣う... ? Kinda reaching with that last one, but nonetheless. :P
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RE: 気

Postby Shirasagi » Sat 01.12.2008 11:50 am

ess_jay_arr wrote:
Shirasagi... wow, what a reply! Thankyou very much! I'm not sure I really understood how to use 気が利く or 気を利かす very well, but I'll remember them in case I hear them in context.


I've always liked this line from ラブラブ一直線

つもる話は ロイホで All night long
友達は帰れ 気を利かせろ

The sense is wanting a friend to get a clue, take a hint, and leave so that the singer can be alone with this girl. A good wingman will always 気を利かせる.

About the other usages though, how do you use them in a sentence? Do 気に入る・なる・する all take を?

As in... このジャケットを気に入った... 友達の妹を気になった... 明日のテストを気にしてる... ?

And do 気をつける・遣う take に?

Like... 階段に気をつける... 会社の人への挨拶に気を遣う... ? Kinda reaching with that last one, but nonetheless. :P


気に入る takes が. Ditto with 気になる. In your example, though, the implication is that the friend's sister is no longer thought of that way. If you want to say, "I'm kinda interested in my friend's little sister," it'd be 友達の妹が気になる. Another common expression is 〇〇が気になる存在. Used of potential loves, as well as rivals of various stripe.

気にする takes を.

気に付ける takes に, so that example's good. 気を遣う also takes に. It's most commonly used of people, but there's probably a context where your example works.

Throw these up on Google or Yahoo and look at the various examples that come up. You should get a pretty wide cross-section of usage.
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RE: 気

Postby AJBryant » Sat 01.12.2008 12:35 pm

ess_jay_arr wrote:
I put 気 into that dict and it didn't actually return anything at all... maybe it's not working today or something. :|


That's why I recommend PAPER dictionaries.

That *never* happens with a paper dictionary.


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RE: 気

Postby katafei » Sat 01.12.2008 12:53 pm

ess_jay_arr wrote:
katafei, I put 気 into that dict and it didn't actually return anything at all... maybe it's not working today or something. :|

the dict is very picky, true ^_^ If there are blank spaces or a combination of kanji it doesn't know, it'll give zilch.
So if you make sure you only insert 気, you'll get something for sure. Of course, you won't get any of the great extra info Shirasagi gave!
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RE: 気

Postby Oracle » Sat 01.12.2008 12:56 pm

Shirasagi wrote:
気が利く・気を利かす -- Uh, hard to explain. The first is like "be on the ball" or "works well". The latter is like being tuned in into a situation, knowing just what to do and how to do it.


To me 気が利く has a meaning closer to "thinking of others", in the sense that someone make arrangements or does little things that show thoughtfulness (small details and touches are a big deal in Japanese culture).

The transitive/intransitive pairs of 気 expressions can be difficult to use as they often don't have quite the same meaning. For example 気が回る (positive. similar in meaning to 気が利く) vs 気を回す which has a negative nuance (being suspicious of others).
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RE: 気

Postby Shirasagi » Sat 01.12.2008 5:02 pm

Oracle wrote:
Shirasagi wrote:
気が利く・気を利かす -- Uh, hard to explain. The first is like "be on the ball" or "works well". The latter is like being tuned in into a situation, knowing just what to do and how to do it.


To me 気が利く has a meaning closer to "thinking of others", in the sense that someone make arrangements or does little things that show thoughtfulness (small details and touches are a big deal in Japanese culture).

Yeah, like I said, it's hard for me to explain. "Thoughtful, considerate" is very close, but of course doesn't apply to things like 気の利いたメニュー or 気の利いたファッション.
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