The expressions/phrases that involve 気 (ie: 気になる, 気にする, 気がついた, etc) are pretty well documented online. However, it seems difficult to find how to use 気 outside of these. For example, I recently encountered:


(saying that Yuuki seems to be running away with the game)


(asking "what will you become?" after another character says they will lose their human form)

In the first example, 気 to be functioning a bit like みたい or よう, while in the second, I'm not exactly sure what it is doing.

While I'd like an answer addressing what is being expressed in these examples, I would also like a more general coverage of how 気 is used outside of expressions.

1 Answer 1


In the examples that you gave:




気 here has a sense of inclination or feeling. So, in the first example, it could be more literally translated as

You're feeling like running away, right.

The last example you could translate as

What do you want to become?

want is a bit strong. 気 has a much more vague meaning. If you said something like


You might say that in English as "I got it into my head to do..."

Generally, 気 has a very broad range of meanings.

I find online dictionaries rather clunky at times. If you know what you're looking for, they work. But if you want to get a better feel for the nuance of things, they're just not very well organized for that purpose.

I would suggest digging out an old paper [和英辞典]{わえいじてん} and looking at the examples listed. Even though my Obunsha dictionary is over 30 years old, it's still pretty good for perusing and getting a feel for the variety and shades of meanings for more idiomatic words, particularly words like 気.

  • Thank you! I really need to buy a paper dictionary it seems. So do you suggest the Obunsha one in particular?
    – MegaZeroX
    Mar 10, 2021 at 17:24
  • 1
    @MegaZeroX I'm not recommending any particular brand. Obunsha is what I have on my desk along with Kadokawa (but my Kadokawa is just a 国語辞典, meaning it's a dictionary for native speakers). But, while I do like my Obunsha, I don't know whether there are better options out there now. My Obunsha is written for native Japanese speakers learning English. I've always been frustrated with dictionaries written for non-native speakers.
    – A.Ellett
    Mar 10, 2021 at 17:29

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