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See also: ずる


Etymology 1[edit]

Alternative spelling 為る

From Old Japanese root verb (su, to do).[1][2] Cognate with Okinawan すん (sun).

As with all verbs, during the Middle Japanese stage in the Kamakura and Muromachi periods, the 終止形 (shūshikei, terminal or sentence-ending form) was gradually lost as the 連体形 (rentaikei, attributive form) came to be used for both the attributive and terminal grammatical roles, realigning the conjugations.


  • Tokyo pitch accent of conjugated forms of "する"
Source: Online Japanese Accent Dictionary
Stem forms
Terminal (終止形)
Attributive (連体形)
する [sùrú]
Imperative (命令形) しろ

Key constructions
Passive される れる [sàrérú]
Causative させる せる [sàsérú]
Potential できる [dèkíꜜrù]
Volitional しよう [shìyóꜜò]
Negative しない ない [shìnáí]
Negative perfective しなかった かった [shìnáꜜkàttà]
Formal します [shìmáꜜsù]
Perfective した [shìtá]
Conjunctive して [shìté]
Hypothetical conditional すれば [sùréꜜbà]


する (surutransitive or intransitive suru (stem (shi), past した (shita))

  1. (intransitive)
    1. (of inanimate objects) to exist; to come up
      inabikari ga suru
      Lightning occurred.
      nioi ga suru
      There is a smell.
    2. (of a specified state; of a specified quality) to exist (in someone or something)
      gasshiri shita honegumi
      a rigid structure
    3. to be worth; to have the value of
      gooku en mo suru e
      a painting worth 500 million yen
    4. (of time) to pass; to elapse
      ichinen mo sureba wasureru darō
      It will be forgotten after one year.
  2. (transitive)
    1. to do; to perform an action
      Nani o shite imasu ka.
      What are you doing?
    2. to act as; to play a role of
      watashi ga shikai o suru
      I am the anchorman.
    3. to render; to make become
      Usually "A B / + する ", to make A become B.
      musuko o sensei ni suru
      He is training his son to become a teacher.
      hitori ni shinaide
      please don't leave me to be alone by myself
      heya o kirei ni suru
      to clean up one's room
    4. (to be in a specified state; to have a specified quality) to be
      kowai metsuki o suru
      to have an intimidating glare
    5. to wear (accessories)
      Nekutai o suru.
      I wear a necktie.
    6. to decide; to choose or to make a judgment
      mā, kore de yoshi to shiyō
      Alright, let's go with that.
      shutsujō o toriyame ni suru
      I decided to quit the competition.
  3. (auxiliary)
    1. "Verbal noun + emphatic particle (e.g. , , こそ, さえ) + する ", emphasizing the verb.
      yuki wa furi wa shita ga tsumoranakatta
      It did snow, but the snow did not pile up.
    2. "Volitional form of verb + + する ": to be about to; to incline to
      hi ga shizumō to shite iru
      The sun is sinking.
    3. " / + する ", to give a condition or standpoint, either real or hypothetical: if / since; assuming that / now that
      shūsaku to sureba jōjō no deki da
      It is of a considerably good quality as for a practice writing.
      oya to shite wa shinpai suru no wa tōzen da
      It's inevitable to worry about that if you were the parent.
      donna ni isoida ni shite mo ma ni awanakatta darō
      It would never have been done in time no matter how hard we had worked.
    4. (humble) " ()/() + verbal noun + する ", a humble form of the verb.
      Antonym: 成る
      Synonym: 致す
      (とど)ける (todokeru, to deliver)(とど)する (o todoke suru, to deliver, humble)
      (とも) (tomo, company)(とも)します (o tomo shimasu, to accompany, humble)
      案内(あんない)する (annai suru, to guide)案内(あんない)します (go annai shimasu, to guide, humble)
Usage notes[edit]
  • The verb する (“to do”) is seldom written in kanji (為る).
  • It is common to use する after certain nouns to indicate that the noun is being done; this is highly productive, meaning many nouns can be used as verbs in this way. Some examples are:
    • 勉強 (benkyō, studying)勉強する (benkyō suru, “to do studying” → “to study”)
    • 旅行 (ryokō, journey)旅行する (ryokō suru, “to do journey” → “to travel”)
    See Category:Japanese suru verbs.
  • (to do): (), () (nasu) (somewhat archaic, usage is more limited)
  • (to do): (おこな) (okonau, to carry out)
  • (used to make a verb): 〜る (-ru), a much less productive suffix for turning a noun into a verb
See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Reading for various kanji spellings.


する (suru

Various verbs deriving from senses similar to “to slide” or “to rub”:

  1. 刷る, 摺る: to print something (from the way the paper would be placed on the printing block and rubbed)
  2. 掏る: to pick someone's pocket (possibly from the way a pickpocket must slide along unnoticed;[1] compare English slick)
  3. 擦る, 摩る, 磨る, 擂る: to slide, to rub, to chafe, to strike (as in a match, by rubbing); to lose or waste money
  4. 剃る: irregular reading for 剃る (soru, to shave)


  1. 1.0 1.1 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  2. ^ 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  3. ^ 1998, NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 (NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: NHK, →ISBN