10 Verbs You Probably Didn’t Know in Japanese :Hey, all of you future Japanese masters! Today, we’re going to do some more vocabulary expansion by giving a list of 10 Japanese verbs you probably didn’t know. The theme of this lesson is learning words about dealing with people. These will help you to express yourself when talking about emotional topics. Let’s get started!
1. 信用する (Shinyou suru)
Our first word is one of the most important attributes when dealing with people, whether or not you can trust them. 信用 (shinyou, trust) by itself is a noun, but by adding する (suru) we turn it into a verb. Also, in the sentence, the particle を (wo) follows the direct object (the person or thing being trusted). An alternative verb for 信用する is 信頼する (shinrai suru), which has the same meaning “to trust.”
Kare wo shinyou shimasu.
I trust him.
Kanojo wa mou otoko wo shinyou dekimasen.
She can’t trust men anymore.
2. 疑う (Utagau)
The opposite meaning of the above “to trust” is 疑う (utagau), which means “to doubt.” As with the above, the particle を follows the direct object.
Keisatsu wa kare no keppaku wo utagatte imasu.
The police doubt his innocence.
Saibankan wa yougisha no douki wo utagatte imashita.
The judge questioned the suspect’s motives.
3. いじめる (Ijimeru)
いじめる (Ijimeru) means “to bully.” While bullying is an issue among children regardless of country, this is an especially big problem in Japan and can sometimes lead to mental illness or even suicide.
Shounen wa kurasumeeto ni ijimerareru.
The boy is bullied by his classmates.
Gakkou ga owatte kara, kanojo wa shoujo wo ijimete iru.
She bullies the girl after school.
4. やっつける (Yatsukeru)
If you’re watching a fight or about to get into one, eventually someone will lose. やっつける (yattsukeru) means “to defeat; attack; finish off.” For some reason Mortal Kombat comes to mind!
Bokusaa wa aite wo yattsukemashita.
The boxer defeated his opponent.
Shounen wa mushi wo mitsukete, yattsuketa.
The boy found a bug and killed it.
5. からかう (Karakau)
“Quit teasing your little sister!”
からかう (karakau) means “to tease.” This one has more of a playful nuance to it (unlike いじめる above) and is less hurtful. It’s like boys and girls on the playground who tease each other because they like each other!
Ojii-san wa yoku mago wo karakatte imasu.
The grandpa is always teasing his grandkids.
Tomu wa igirisu-jin dakara, maiku ni kotoba no namari wo karakawarete iru.
Thom is British, so Mike teases him about the way he speaks.
6. バカにする (Baka ni suru)
If the above is teasing in a light or joking way, then this one is in a negative way. It means something more along the lines of ridiculing or mocking someone and looking down on them. Nobody likes to be made fun of in this way!
Baka ni shinaide!
Don’t make fun of me!
Kare wa imoto wo itsumo baka ni shite iru.
He is always making fun of his little sister.
7. 裏切る (Uragiru)
裏切る (uragiru) means “to betray.” And if anyone pulls a Benedict Arnold on you, you can call them an 裏切者 (uragirimono). Traitor!
Kare wa ore no shinyou wo uragitta.
He has betrayed my trust.
Doushite ore wo uragiru no?
Why do you betray me?
8. 責める (Semeru)
責める (semeru) means “to blame.” Pikachu, I blame you!
Subete wo fukumete omae wo semeru.
I blame you for everything.
Tanin no ketten wo semeru mae ni jibun no ketten wo shire!
Know your own faults before blaming others for theirs!
9. 従う (Shitagau)
従う (shitagau) means “to obey” or “to follow” things such as instructions, orders, or rules. The particle に (ni) is used after the thing that is being followed. “Yes, Drill Sergeant!”
Heishi-tachi wa sono meirei ni shitagau koto wo kyohi shita.
The troops refused to obey the command.
Kimi wa sensei no shiji ni shitagau beki da.
You should follow your teacher’s instructions.
10. 逆らう (Sakarau)
And to finish off the list, we have the word that means the opposite of 従う, which is 逆らう (sakarau). This means “to go against” or “to disobey.” As with 従う, the particle に is used to denote what is NOT being obeyed or followed.
Kisoku ni sakarau na.
Don’t disobey the rules.
Hankouki no kodomo ni totte oya no chuukoku wa mimi ni sakarau mono da.
Children at a rebellious age are likely to reject the advice of their parents.
Congratulations, you’ve just learned 10 new Japanese words that involve dealing with people! The next step is to get out there and practice what you’ve learned! Who do you know that is trustful? How about untrustworthy? Do people ever tease you, or has someone ever betrayed you? Adding depth to your conversation will help you improve your language skills and even deepen your friendship with your speaking partner!