I'm a bit confused on what the に particle is doing here in this sentence, まじめに して下さい. I know that the sentence means, "Please take this seriously" but I'm not sure why に is used here. I've seen it used most often as a time or target marker but I'm not sure what it is doing here nor can I think of another particle that would be better used here. If anyone could let me know its usage in this scenario, I'd really appreciate it.


1 Answer 1


~にする is an extremely common grammar structure that indicates decision. Check out this page for an in-depth description of how the grammar works.

Basically ~にする indicates that the subject makes a decision to do whatever comes before the に, where in the case of this sentence, it is まじめ. As such, the following linear translation from Japanese to English may sound clunky:

Please decide to be serious.

You will commonly see a similar grammar point ~になる, which is very much the same. The difference, is that some party outside of the subject is making the decision. You will find information about this grammar principle in the same link above.

  • I'm planning on editing this post in a couple hours to better describe how to use the grammar principle, I just don't have my personal resources on hand.
    – ajsmart
    Commented Aug 5, 2019 at 22:39
  • No need to worry. I've understand perfectly now. Thanks! Commented Aug 5, 2019 at 22:47

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