So I found this sentence


Looking at jisho, びりびり got translate as torn (adj) and 破く to tear (v). Its the first time I'm seeing both of these words but I don't understand why it is written like that. Do I need びりびり with 破く to say that I have torn something if I can just use the verb 破く.

Is it simply a way of speech?

Thanks, Or

2 Answers 2


As you can probably guess by its appearance, びりびり is an onomatopoeia that describes how a sheet of paper is torn to pieces. In other words, it's the sound of paper being torn apart. This びりびりに before 破く is optional, but with it, the sentence sounds more emphatic or vivid. In English, something like "into pieces" would be the closest translation of びりびりに.

By the way, びりびり is basically an adverb, and it almost never works as a na-adjective. I often see jisho.org making mistakes regarding word class...

See also: Why are there so many sound symbolic words?


びりびり is an adverb and refers to the sound of paper being torn.

You could simply say 破いた, but using びりびり makes the sentence more emphatic.

  • 1
    So.. what new info does this post add to naruto's answer?
    – chocolate
    Oct 7, 2018 at 2:11

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