How would I express a verb acting upon another verb? For example, 'I love to dance', or 'I hate to fight!' Would you say:


Are any of these correct? If not, how would you say it? Are there variations to choose from, or only one correct way to do it.

  • 1
    as per kanji damage: "戦う usually refers to an ongoing struggle rather than a single barroom punch-up." けんかする is a more common equivalent for your usage of "fight", I believe.
    – yadokari
    Jul 31, 2013 at 19:29
  • @yadokari Thanks, I looked it up and you're right ^^ edited accordingly
    – crayondraw
    Jul 31, 2013 at 19:35

1 Answer 1


I'm not precisely sure what you mean by one verb "acting" on another because that could potentially means many things. Also, it seems your examples just deal with liking/hating something, so I'll answer according to that. In that case, the third one is correct. You first have to nominalize the verb by adding or こと to the dictionary form (辞書形).

  • 踊るが大好きです! → I love to dance
  • 戦うが嫌い! → I hate to fight
  • 映画を見ることが趣味【しゅみ】です → Watching movies is a/my hobby

However, one verb can "act" on another with simply the 〜て form (and possibly various, "set" endings).

  • チキンを焼いて食べる → I grill the chicken then eat it / I eat chicken by grilling it
  • やってみる → Do something and see how it turns out - それ、やってみよう! → "Let's do it" (with some uncertainty)
  • 本やペンを机の引き出しにしまっておく → Put away my books, pens, etc. in the desk drawer (so they'll be ready for next time)

Or different types of compound verbs

  • 着替える → Change your clothes ("redo your dressing")
  • 雨が降り出す → Begin raining
  • 仕始める → Start doing

So I think "a verb acting upon another verb" could really cover a lot of different situations.

See also What is the difference between the nominalizers こと and の?

  • By act upon I meant that the verb makes a word it's object. Like in the sentence 'I threw the ball', 'threw' acted upon 'ball'. I'm sorry for the like/hate example (I should have remebered that you don't always have to use a verb with those). So does this apply with verbs as well? Like with 踊るのを試した, or 戦うことをやめて
    – crayondraw
    Jul 31, 2013 at 19:31
  • 1
    @Koasamitsu Yes, your examples are fully correct, although 踊ってみた might be a more straightforward translation of "I tried to dance".
    – dainichi
    Aug 1, 2013 at 23:13

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