This question is about the meaning of する in phrases like 偉そうにする, 幸せそうにする, and 楽しそうにする 

Is this usage used to describe the way they do things/act, as opposed to doing a specific verb such as in the cases of 美味しそうに食べる。So for example, 偉そうにする could describe the way the person talks, walks, their body language etc. The given example of もっと楽しそうにしたらどうなの in full was せっかくの旅行なんだからもっと楽しそうにしたらどうなの which was said to someone who was complaining whilst they had come here to enjoy themselves. Now from context it clearly means something like "how about you/why don't you try to enjoy yourself more(or I'd phrase it "at least try to enjoy yourself"), but I don't quite see grammatically which usage of する this would come under.

Edit: Just adding some of my thoughts. Would it be like 幸せそうにする > act happily > be happy?

  • I think you probably want to type おいしそうにする and 楽しそうにする, not おいしそうにする or 楽しそうにする.
    – user1478
    Jun 18, 2015 at 18:48
  • Ok I just fixed that
    – instinctiv
    Jun 18, 2015 at 18:51
  • Is the ら in らどうなの at the end of the example sentence a pluralizing suffix ら, or something else; and what does どうなの mean in the above context? (I've been searching for a meaning that would equal a na-adjective or a noun, but I could not find one for どう.)
    – Toyu_Frey
    Mar 5, 2019 at 19:46

1 Answer 1


In the phrases you have listed, 「する」 roughly means "to behave" or "to conduct oneself" in a certain manner said from the perspective of another person. The true intentions or emotions of the person in question is not being considered here.

Thus, a definition like "to appear to be behaving" might actually be more fitting.

To give a rather common real-life example, some of the people who get labeled as 「えらそうにしている」 by others may indeed have no intention of acting like a big shot. It is just that they look like they do to some people.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .