See also: ずる



Etymology 1

Alternative spelling

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. to exist; to come up (of inanimate objects)
      inabikari ga suru
      Lightning occurred.
      nioi ga suru
      There is a smell.
    2. to exist (in someone or something) (of a specified state; of a specified quality)
      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. to pass; to elapse (of time)
      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 (used as the suppletive causative form of なる (naru))
      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 alone
      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
      ī ko ni shinasai ne
      Be a good boy.
    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.
    7. (informal) to do it; to have sex
      Synonyms: see Thesaurus:性交する
  3. (auxiliary)
    1. "Adverb + する", forming predicates or attributives from adverbs.
      いらいら (iraira, (adverb) irritated) - いらいらする()() (iraira suru kimochi, feeling of irritation)
    2. "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.
    3. "Volitional form of verb + + する": to be about to; to incline to
      hi ga shizumō to shite iru
      The sun is about to set.
    4. " / + 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.
    5. (humble) "()/() + verbal noun + する", a humble form of the verb.
      Antonym: なる
      Synonym: 致す
      (とど)ける (todokeru, to deliver)(とど)します (o-todoke shimasu, to deliver, humble)
      (とも) (tomo, company)(とも)します (o-tomo shimasu, to accompany, humble)
      (あん)(ない)する (annai suru, to guide)(あん)(ない)します (go-annai shimasu, to guide, humble)
Usage notes
  • 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”)
    • アップロード (appurōdo, upload)アップロードする (appurōdo suru, “to do uploading” → “to upload”)
Most verbal nouns are Sino-Japanese words (usually two-kanji), but some are of native (和語 (wago)) or foreign origin (外来語 (gairaigo)). Most verbal nouns can be separated from the ending する (suru) by inserting (o, object particle); in addition to 日本語勉強する (Nihongo o benkyō suru, to study Japanese) you can say 日本語勉強をする (Nihongo no benkyō o suru, to do the studying of Japanese). (You cannot say *日本語勉強をする (Nihongo o benkyō o suru, literally to [do studying]verb Japanese), despite Korean 일본어 공부 하다 (ilboneo-reul gongbu-reul hada). Modern Japanese cannot have multiple direct objects.) However, some verbal nouns are bound to the ending する (suru) and treated as single words in dictionaries:
Such verbs can be thought of as morphologically instead of syntactically derived. Sometimes further shape changes may take place:
  • The potential form of する (suru) is the suppletive verb できる (dekiru). Verbal nouns that are not bound to the する (suru) can form potential forms by changing the する (suru) to できる (dekiru) directly: 理解できる (rikai dekiru, to be able to understand).
  • In headlines and enumeration of events, the ending する (suru) can be dropped, leaving the verbal noun at the end of the sentence provided that it is not bound:
    ()()()()(とう)(ちゃく)Gogo niji ni tōchaku.Arrived at 2 PM.
See also

Etymology 2


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;[5] 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. ^ ”, in 日本国語大辞典 [Nihon Kokugo Daijiten]‎[1] (in Japanese), concise edition, Tokyo: Shogakukan, 2000
  2. 2.0 2.1 Matsumura, Akira, editor (2006), 大辞林 [Daijirin] (in Japanese), Third edition, Tokyo: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  3. ^ Uwano, Zendo (2002 October 31) “見島方言の用言のアクセント調査報告 [A Report on the Accentual Surveys of Verbs and Adjectives in the Mishima Dialect]”, in 環太平洋の「消滅に瀕した言語」にかんする緊急調査研究 [Endangered languages of the Pacific Rim]‎[2], →ISSN, archived from the original on 25 September 2022
  4. ^ NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute, editor (1998), NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 [NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary] (in Japanese), Tokyo: NHK Publishing, Inc., →ISBN
  5. ^ Shōgaku Tosho (1988) 国語大辞典(新装版) [Unabridged Dictionary of Japanese (Revised Edition)] (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan, →ISBN