Does 顔をする mean to make a face or to have a particular type of face? When I looked at the Japanese dictionary definition for する, it was quite confusing since one had ある状態・性質であることを示す compared to 人や物がある形・色・性質である。また,人がある服装・顔の形・表情である。This gets particularly frustrating when I see a sentence such as 顔していない because I cannot tell if it's progressive or resultave if I don't know whether it means to make an expression or to have an expression. For example, I was watching Saekano episode 6, and at the last minute, there is a scene where the main girl sees a sketch of her and she reacts.


The official translation is "I don't make a face like that at all," but I am not too sure how reliable the translation is. For starters, I don't know whether it is progressive or resultave. If it is resultave and 顔をする means to make a face, then the actual translation would be "I didn't make that face at all." However, if it is progressive, then there are even more possibilities. If 顔をする means "to make an expression" then it could mean that she doesn't make that face habitually, but if 顔をする means "to have an expression" then she could be speaking strictly about the present and not anything habitual (i.e. that's not the face she's making right then and there).

  • 2
    Highly related: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/23234/… I even mentioned the tenses there.
    – user4032
    Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 5:03
  • Well, I don't know how true the statement "You cannot end a sentence with 「~~をした」 when 「する」 is used for the meaning we are discussing" is. I have a feeling ある状態・性質であることを示す is distinctly different than 人や物がある形・色・性質である。また,人がある服装・顔の形・表情である, especially considering 示すis not a stative verb. ejje.weblio.jp/sentence/content/… I'm not too sure how reliable this source is, but there are multiple sentences such as 彼は妙な顔をした.
    – Joe
    Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 5:20

2 Answers 2


Probably the official translation is wrong. 顔をする has two meanings.



I don't look like this (picture) at all.


large dish-faced owl of northern North America and western Eurasia.


He was a long lived deity with white hair and a long red face who liked sake.


S/he is cute.



He made a strange (looking) face.


Mr Yamada frowned on the estimate presented by a travel agency.


S/he pretends to be cute.


顔をする it is close to "make a face"

  • 5
    – chocolate
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 9:06

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