I was watching a movie where a guy was texting his friend. One of the text messages he sent was 「友達出来た?」 The subtitles translated it to be "Made any new friends?"

From the context of the movie the translation made sense, but I thought 作る{つくる} was used when referring to making friends, isn't it?

Also checking jisho.org for 出来{でき} doesn't yield anything similar to making friends. So right now I'm confused, it seems like both are valid ways of asking if someone made friends. Is one more formal than the other? Or what's the difference?

3 Answers 3


According to this post, the difference lies in what we are emphasizing.

With 友達ができる, or in your case, its question form, we are focusing on the result. That is, did you or did you not get any friends.

With 友達を作る, we are emphasizing the action or process of making friends.

Based on this explanation, I would conclude that in a question form できた would be more common, which is confirmed by a corpus search.


できる can mean to come to being, or rather, it is the original meaning of できる.
In jisho.org for 出来る, the 6th and 7th meaning seem to be the same as できる of ''友達(が)できる''.

''友達ができた'' is more natural, and used more often than ''友達を作った''.
It gives a hint that you didn't desire someone to be a friend, or didn't make efforts for making friends. ''It became 'I have friends.' '' is the nearest expression to 友達ができた in English, even though it's wrong English.

''友達を作った'' gives an impression that you made great efforts for that. Although it's never strange expression, if someone hears that, s/he may even think that you can't become friends with anyone through daily plain talk.


出来る, dekiru, means to be able to do something. 出来た, dekita, is the past tense and means to have been able to do something which translates as having accomplished something. "Yuushoku ga dekita" means to have accomplished dinner which means to have made dinner and is the same usage as "made a friend". [dekiru is intransitive so "wo" cannot be used after yuushoku .]

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