Take the 2-minute tour ×
Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What does する means when it does not mean "do" ?

Like あなたも血のにおいがするな

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

する does not actually mean "do". It's much more generic than that. "to do" is just one way it parses into English.

For your sentence あなたも血のにおいがするな. It would mean "I smell blood on you too"

する in this sense takes on the meaning "to perceive non-visually"

The kanji form of する is 為る. And the kanji 為 represents some objective. So as a verb it means "to act in a way that accomplishes [objective]" If your objective is におい then to "accomplish" it would be to smell.

This is also why ~にする means "to decide on (whatever your choice is)"

And for ~をする since を marks the direct object, it means "do ~" (Because it's a direct object, doing ~ directly accomplishes ~)

する can also be used for describing some attribute:

私は長い足をしている to mean "I have long legs"(stative resultant ている form of する)

To accomplish "long legs", the simplest way is to simply "have" it.

share|improve this answer
5  
Actually even "do" doesn't actually mean "do": "let's do lunch", "do you speak English?" In both languages they are kind of auxiliary verbs with many functions, though not always the same functions. In fact many languages if not most have such auxiliary verbs that nominally translate to "to do"/"to make" in English. –  hippietrail Jul 29 '11 at 10:53
1  
Well, "Aのにおいがする" does sound like "it does(=emits) a smell of A". So I thinks it still maps. –  Axioplase Jul 29 '11 at 13:28
    
@Flaw heys cool, btw you learn jap where? in poly? –  Pacerier Jul 30 '11 at 14:23
    
@Pacerier I've been learning on my own. –  Flaw Jul 30 '11 at 15:10
    
I can't understand, from the description, how Xにする becomes "to decide on X". Actually, I don't even understand how "act in a way that accomplishes an objective" could have an indirect object. A manner of being accomplished, maybe... –  Karl Knechtel Aug 20 '11 at 22:41

In this type of saying, it is almost describing a state of something. In such, it can be used somewhat loosely to describe different things.

血のにおいがする → smells like/of blood
すっぱい味がする → (has) a sour taste / "gives a sour flavour"
あの子は青い目をしている → That girl has blue eyes
友人が消防士をしている → My friend is a firefighter ("He 'does' firefighter-ing for his job")

share|improve this answer
    
btw i was just curious, if i say 青い目をする instead of 青い目をしてる what will the sentence become? –  Pacerier Jul 30 '11 at 14:26
2  
I would say that "she'll have blue eyes", link she's going to put in blue-coloured contacts or something. –  istrasci Jul 31 '11 at 5:18
    
oic thx for the help =) –  Pacerier Jul 31 '11 at 6:52

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.