I recently started rewatching Naruto and there's one opening song by Little by Little with the lyrics:


It is supposed to mean something like "turning sadness into kindness, your uniqueness (?) into strength". But I just wonder if that still makes sense when separated from the rest of the song. I mean, there's no verb (like turn). Would it be okay to say it as a quotation without the context that the rest of the song carries?

  • 1
    It is common for the verb to be implied, especially in songs.
    – Blavius
    Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 0:49
  • Thank you for the answer. :> But what I am especially curious about is the fact that you can understand the meaning of the song even when the verb is omitted because you are about to hear the rest of it. Do you think that it is still understandable when we cut out that particular fragment of the song when the verb is only implied?
    – Raura
    Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 0:58

1 Answer 1


Japanese is a contextual language. Many elements of a sentence are omitted if they should be clear or are irrelevant. Verbs, although technically the only thing required grammatically, sometimes are omitted as well if it's obvious what it should be. This is especially true if they are short and have broad meanings.

These phrases make sense without explicitly stating the verb or knowing the rest of the song because it's clear what it is: する. It's clear because that's really the only thing it can be. In the context of not only the song, but of what we're given from the sentences themselves, it's the only verb I can think of that makes sense and works grammatically.

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