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Grammar detail: the many uses of 気(き)

the many uses of 気(き)
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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 plan to collect all the most useful phrases based on . If you run into a phrase and you'd like it explained here, please let us know using the Contact link below!

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.

にする

To pay attention to, to take notice of, to care about etc. Not dissimilar to になる, but implies 'worry' whereas 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 にしないで or 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).

To like, to be pleased with, to suit. This expression is usually used intransitively in the pattern: 〜がる (to like ~). This expression carries no emotional connotations (whereas 〜がき 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)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.

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.
Source: ねじまきクロにカル(

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.

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.

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.

がある

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

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

They are all irritable.

なが

Patient, willing to stick it out. (As here, any 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.

More expressions

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Words used in this grammar

expression, 'su' godan verb
to let one's guard down
(click the word for examples and links)
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Kanji used in this grammar

キ   ケ    spirit   
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1
ニュウ   い to enter   はい to enter   いれる to put in   
1
コウ   この    す to like   
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3
キョ   ゆる to permit, allow, forgive   
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3
シュ   と to take   
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3
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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3
ショウ   こ-    お-    ちいさい small   
1
リツ   リュウ   た to stand   たてる to build   
2
チョウ   なが long   
1
シ   わたくし    わたし I, myself   
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2
ヒ   かれ he   
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3
ジョ   ニョ   ニョウ   woman; female   おんな woman   め woman   
1
ヘイ   ビョウ   やまい illness   や to fall ill   
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2
サク    yesterday   
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3
ニチ   ジツ   sun; day   ひ    -か    
1
イ   エキ   やさしい easy   
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3
シャ   もの person, someone   
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2
セン   しめる to occupy, hold   うらな to tell fortunes   
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4
ジ   シ   みずか self   
2
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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1
シ   ジ   つかえる to attend to   
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2
ジ   ズ   こと thing; matter   
2
コウ   おおやけ official, public   
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2
エン   その garden, park   
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3
オウ   よこ side   
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3
オク    timid   
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5
ドウ   うご to move, to stir   うごかす to shift, to move   
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2
ブツ   モツ   もの thing   
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2
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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3
シュ   hand   て    た-    
2
イチ   イツ   ひと    ひと- one   
1
ド   ト   タク   degree   たび occasion, time   
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2
ツ   ツウ   とお to pass through   とお to let pass   かよ to commute   
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2
ジン   ニン   ひと man   
1
カイ   エ   あ to meet   
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2
ワ   はな to talk   はなし talking   
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1
ジ   とき time, occasion   
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1
カン   ケン   あいだ interval, between   ま space, room   
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