I thought that "suru" was used with english verbs to create japanese verbs (ie ドライブする) or with japanese nouns to create japanese verbs (ie denwa suru 電話する)

Can "suru" be also added to japanese verbs? If so, what's the purpose of adding "suru" to a word that is already a verb. For example, 運転, according to Google translator (which I dont know if it works properly) both 運転 and 運転する means to drive. Is this so? If so is there any nuance in both?

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  • 1
    Just to clarify you're claiming 運転 by itself (without する) is a verb???
    – virmaior
    Sep 20, 2018 at 14:39
  • I'm not claiming that Google does. I just updated the post btw.
    – Pablo
    Sep 20, 2018 at 15:00
  • 4
    Regardless of whether the translation is correct, it doesn't look like a claim about the lexical class of 運転 in Japanese to me. If someone asked you to translate ○○のことが好き into English, you'd probably use a verb to translate 好き, but that doesn't mean 好き itself is a verb.
    – user1478
    Sep 20, 2018 at 16:11
  • @snailboat I second this. There are a lot of words that could be considered noun-class, or adjective-class, that would be expressed in a verb format in other languages, where in Japanese they are descriptions of a state of being, instead.
    – psosuna
    Sep 20, 2018 at 17:46

1 Answer 1


運転, by itself, is a noun, just like most of these 2-kanji words. The construction is thus the same as with 電話する, you add する to the noun to turn it into a verb.

NEVER use Google translate as a dictionary. Instead, use a dictionary, such as https://jisho.org/search/%E9%81%8B%E8%BB%A2

Although, I must add that Google translate translates this correctly for me, i.e. into "operation" or "driving".

  • you have to check Google's suggestion box to see what I said
    – Pablo
    Sep 20, 2018 at 14:53
  • 5
    I did, your problem is that you are translating Japanese to Spanish, via Google Translate. If you are going to use it, at the very least, translate to English, always to/from English. The problem is that Google translate only has language pairs with English, so whatever you translate, it will always pass by English and be distorted twice instead of just once.
    – a20
    Sep 20, 2018 at 15:07
  • @Pablo I find that jisho.org is much more reliable than Google is.
    – ajsmart
    Sep 20, 2018 at 16:29

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