A statement by North Korea:

The result of the discussions was that we agree with the views of South Korea and are satisfied.

I understand 満足する to mean 'to be satisfied', but I'm struggling to understand how it works in the potential form, especially in this sentence.

I'm also not really sure what particle to use with 満足する nor how best to conjugate it. If I want to say "I am satisfied with this" would it be


Are they both correct? Do they have different meanings? Why would I use the potential form?

2 Answers 2


As far as grammar goes, the sentence literally means:

As the result of the discussion, we agreed with (the views of) South Korea, and we could be satisfied / we were able to be satisfied.

Why would I use the potential form?


Both are grammatically okay, 満足できた and 満足した both often translate to "we were satisfied/happy", but I think the former would be preferred in this case since it can have a nuance of "the result was satisfying", not just stating the fact that you were satisfied, but that the result was good enough to satisfy you.

If I want to say "I am satisfied with this" would it be
Are they both correct?

I think both are correct. I think I'd use the former to say I'm satisfied with a situation (like "I'm satisfied, with the situation being that"), and the latter to talk about something more concrete/tangible. I also think that ~満足する sounds like you're fully happy with something, while ~満足する might sound like "I (will) settle for that" with a slight nuance of compromise.


(1-1) 話し合いの結果、韓国と意見が合って満足できた。
(1-2) 話し合いの結果、韓国と意見が合って我々(=北朝鮮)は満足できた。

Since there is no subject in (1-1) it will become a sentence like (1-2) if I supplement the subject by judging from the context.

(1-3) 話し合いの結果、韓国と意見が合って我々(=北朝鮮)は満足することができた

(1-2) could be written as (1-3) with keeping the meaning of (1-2).

満足することができた is natural and we sometimes use 満足できた instead of 満足することができた.

(2-a) それ満足している。
(2-b) それ満足している。

If we are still talking about the first example, "それ" means "合意したこと".
Then (2-a) and (2-b) become (3-a) and (3-b) respectively.

(3-a) 合意したこと満足している。 We are satisfied because we agreed.
(3-b) 合意したこと満足している。 We are satisfied with our agreement.

I think you could understand the functional difference between で and に in (2-a) and (2-b).

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