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Shirasagi wrote: 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.[/quote]

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 [i]like[/i] 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 [i]like[/i] 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.[/quote]

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