512 - がする

They love nouns in Japanese.

Case in point: Talking about senses.

In English, we might say, "This bread tastes like coffee."

In Japanese, though, we'd go with, "This bread does coffee taste."

Actually, if you live in Japan for more than a year or two and use English frequently while there, I can almost guarantee that you will hear a Japanese person incorrectly use the noun "taste" when they should use the verb "taste."

From a Japanese perspective, it simply makes more sense to say, for example, "This beer has good taste" rather than "This beer tastes good."

The grammar point in this lesson can give us some insight into this linguistic difference...


JLPT N4: がする (feel; hear; smell; taste)


このパン、コーヒーのがする
この パン、 コーヒー の あじ がする。
This bread tastes like coffee.
Literally: “this + bread, + coffee + の + flavor + が + does.”


It's almost like we're saying, "This bread, it does the flavor of coffee."

Kind of makes sense... I guess.

You'll find that when we're using がする to describe various senses, the word coming before it is, not surprisingly, a sense-related NOUN like "taste," "smell," "feeling," "sound," etc.


Another example:


このビールは、果物のようなにおいがします
この ビール は、 くだもの の ような におい がします。
This beer smells like fruit.
Literally: “this + beer + は, + fruit + の + ような (=like) + smell + が + does.”


So does する mean, like, EVERYTHING?!

Pretty much.

It's one of the most versatile words in Japanese, partly because it can connect to nouns to make verbs (i.e. する-verbs), while also meaning "to make; to do; to decide on," etc.

Look up する in a Japanese-English dictionary, and you're likely to find all kinds of translations listed. (Jisho.org has 17!)


👷 Construction 👷

I already mentioned this earlier, but the word coming directly before がする will always be a NOUN.

Specifically, we'll see...

がする
あじ が する
to taste [like]
Literally: “flavor + がする."

においがする
におい が する
to smell [like]
Literally: “smell + がする."

感じがする
かんじ が する
to feel [like]
Literally: “feeling + がする."

がする
おと が する
to sound [like]
Literally: “sound + がする."

泣き声がする
なきごえ が する
to hear a crying sound
Literally: “crying voice + がする."



水に潜って目をつぶると、不思議な感じがします
みず に もぐって めを つぶると、 ふしぎな かんじ がします。
When I go under water and close my eyes, I get a strange feeling.
Literally: “water + に + go under (and) + eyes + を + shut + と, + strange / mysterious + feeling + が + does.”



最近、膝を曲げると変ながします
さいきん、 ひざ を まげる と へんな おと がします。
Lately, my knee has been making a weird sound when I bend it.
Literally: “lately / recently, + knee + を + bend + と + strange + sound + が + does.”



上の階で赤ん坊の泣き声がする
うえ の かい で あかんぼう の なきごえ がする。
I can hear a baby crying on the floor above us.
Literally: “above + の + floor + で + baby + の + crying voice + が + does.”


What did you think?

This is one of the simpler N4 grammar points. So if it's still not making sense to you, maybe my explanation isn't so great. ^^

Happy studies, yo.




Noticed any typos we've missed or other issues?
Report them here at this link.

Have questions about something in this lesson? Something not quite clicking yet? Join our discord community and discuss any questions / comments with us and fellow students.
You can join by heading to this link.