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Grammar detail: the many uses of 気(き)

the many uses of 気(き)
320 words
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, which is often translated literally as 'spirit', 'atmosphere', 'essence' etc, represents an extremely versatile concept, and forms the root of many useful daily phrases in Japanese. In Chinese the same kanji is typically transliterated to Qi, which (as well as being a handy Scrabble word) has come to be used in English to represent something similar.
On this page we have collected several of the most useful phrases based on 気 along with examples. For a list of all 250+ expressions in Japanese based on 気, use expression search: expression:気.

気になる

To become (passively) worried about or interested in something as a result of something external. Depending on context the translation could be 'interested', 'concerned', 'worried' etc.
わたし
かのじょ
彼女
びょうき
病気
こととても
なる
I'm very concerned about her illness.

気にする

To pay attention to, to take notice of, to care about etc. Not dissimilar to 気になる, but implies 'worry' whereas 気にする implies more 'attention'.
きのう
昨日
えきしゃ
易者
うらな
なんか
にする
ことない
What that fortuneteller said yesterday is nothing to be concerned about.
A very common use of this expression is in the negative imperative form, either as 気にしないで or 気にするな, meaning 'don't worry about it' (and as in English, the 'worry' doesn't necessarily imply actual 'worry', but just 'consideration' etc).

気に

To like, to be pleased with, to suit. This expression is usually used intransitively in the pattern: 〜が気に入る (to like ~). This expression carries no emotional connotations (whereas 〜が好き often will).
わたし
じぶん
自分
しごと
仕事
っている

I am very pleased with my job.

(に)気がつく

To notice, to become aware.
かれ
がつく
こうえん
公園
よこ
なっていた
When he came to, he was lying in the park.

気を
ゆる

To let one's guard down; to gradually become comfortable with (someone).
まるで
おくびょう
臆病
しょうどうぶつ
小動物
ほんの
すこ
しずつ
あいて
相手
ゆる
していく
みたい
Just like a cowardly small animal gradually comes to let its guard down.

気をとる

To take care. Often used in the form
なお
す, indicating the idea of doing something again carefully.
とりなおしてもう
いちど
一度
やってごらん
Take heart and do it again.

気が小さい

Timid.
ごらんの
とお
わたし
ちい
さい
です
As you can see I'm a timid person.

気まずい

Uncomfortable.
ひと
かいわ
会話
とぎれて
まずい
じかん
時間
できた
The conversation was interrupted, and an uncomfortable pause ensued.

気がある

Game for something, having an interest in something.
わたし
その
ある
I'm game for it.

気が

To get excited about something, to get worked up about something.
みんな
っている

They are all irritable.

気が
なが

Patient, willing to stick it out. (As here, any 気が expression can be turned into an adjective by replacing the が with の.)
それずいぶん
なが
はなし

It's a very slow business.

気が
ける

Feel awkward or embarrassed.
みなさま
皆様
はなぶさ
マスター
おお
のでこういうところ
かいとう
回答
する
ける
のです。。。
There are so many people with excellent English here I feel awkward answering this ...

More expressions

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Words used in this grammar

0
expression, 'su' godan verb
to let one's guard down
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Kanji used in this grammar

キ   ケ    spirit   
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ニュウ   い to enter   はい to enter   いれる to put in   
コウ   この    す to like   
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キョ   ゆる to permit, allow, forgive   
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シュ   と to take   
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チョク   ジキ    honest; direct   ただちに immediately   なお to correct   なお to be cured   
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ショウ   こ-    お-    ちいさい small   
リツ   リュウ   た to stand   たてる to build   
チョウ   なが long   
イン   ひ to pull   ひける to be over   
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シ   わたくし    わたし I, myself   
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ヒ   かれ he   
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ジョ   ニョ   ニョウ   woman; female   おんな woman   め woman   
ヘイ   ビョウ   やまい illness   や to fall ill   
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サク    yesterday   
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ニチ   ジツ   sun; day   ひ    -か    
イ   エキ   やさしい easy   
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シャ   もの person, someone   
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セン   しめる to occupy, hold   うらな to tell fortunes   
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ジ   シ   みずか self   
ブン   ブ   フン   わける to divide, to distinguish   わかる to understand   わかれる to be divided   わかつ to share, distribute   
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シ   ジ   つかえる to attend to   
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ジ   ズ   こと thing; matter   
コウ   おおやけ official, public   
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エン   その garden, park   
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オウ   よこ side   
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オク    timid   
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ドウ   うご to move, to stir   うごかす to shift, to move   
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ブツ   モツ   もの thing   
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ショウ   すこ a little   すくない few   
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ソウ   ショウ    minister   あい- mutual   
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シュ   hand   て    た-    
イチ   イツ   ひと    ひと- one   
ド   ト   タク   degree   たび occasion, time   
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ツ   ツウ   とお to pass through   とお to let pass   かよ to commute   
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ジン   ニン   ひと person   
カイ   エ   あ to meet   
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ワ   はな to talk   はなし talking   
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ジ   とき time, occasion   
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カン   ケン   あいだ interval, between   ま space, room   
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カイ   みな everyone   
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ヨウ   さま Mr / Mrs   
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エイ    England; hero; flower   
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ゴ   かた to talk, relate   かたらう to talk together, chat   
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タ   おお many   
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カイ   エ   まわ to revolve   まわ to make turn   
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トウ   こた an answer   こたえる to answer   
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