In elementary Japanese, you are taught to say you dislike something with が嫌いです. For example:


I've also seen 嫌う used to express dislike, like:


Are they both interchangeable? Does 嫌う represent the action of disliking something, implying you might show signs, but 嫌い just mentions a state of being, a presence of dislike that may or may not be substantiated?

Also with verbals, is there a difference between:




  • Now all we need is for someone to post the same-ish question all over again with 好き and 好く...
    – Will
    Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 7:33
  • 2
    @Will It exists
    – Flaw
    Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 10:02

1 Answer 1


I think your understanding is sufficient.

To answer your second question....嫌う can also imply willingness to avoid. So for example, ゴブリンは闇を嫌わずに行きつづけた。

Literally it translates to:

Goblin, not disliking the darkness, kept going.

Maybe it actually likes it dark, or maybe it was just brave for the moment.

Nevetheless, It had no willingness to avoid the darkness at all. Similarly, 彼は優しい娘を嫌う。 also implies that he avoids kind girls for whatever the reasons. Maybe because that's actually his type and he gets nervous?

Who knows whether he actually dislikes them or not, but his unwillingness is known.

On the other hand, 彼は優しい娘が嫌い is much more definitive in expressing a displeasing feeling toward kind girls, instead of just aversion.That is the difference.

So for the difference between 読むのを嫌っている and 読むのが嫌いです, the former(嫌う) expresses a willingness to avoid. Whether he actually dislikes reading or avoid it for other reasons is unclear. In contrast, the latter(嫌い) is clearly stating that he doesn't like to read.

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