I am studying vocabulary and I came across the word 然る, either read as さる or しかる (usually written in Kana) and means "A Particular/A Certain" noun. However, there was only one example sentence on there and it wasn't marked as a Common Word, which seems to be a red flag for me in terms of learning the correct vocabulary.

How can I use さる/しかる to express "a particular/a certain" thing? Secondly, is there a better or more natural way to express this phrase?

Example idea:

In order to graduate, you must take a certain class.

1 Answer 1


It's always read as さる when it means "a certain ~". You can think of it basically as a literary version of ある meaning "a certain ~" or "one ~". In relatively casual situations, さる sounds more or less "serious", and it sometimes has a nuance of "don't pry into this".

  • ある授業を取らないといけません → sounds natural and neutral
  • さる授業を取らないといけません → uncommon; may sound like this class is somehow special/problematic when used in a casual blog article or such
  • ある会社 → neutral
  • さる会社 → maybe the speaker does not want to disclose the name of the company
  • Ah, I always forget about ある. Thanks for the response.
    – dattebane
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 10:11

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