Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 3: 16/18


To feel, To think, To act as if, To want, To desire

がる is used in たがる construction, which is simply + がる.


[い]Adjective[+ がる
[な]Adjective + がる


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About がる

がる is a う-Verb that is primarily used as a suffix in Japanese. When used in this way, it means 'to act like (A)', or 'to show signs of being (A)', where (A) is the word that it is attached to.
To use がる, you will need to link it to the stem form of an い-Adjective (simply remove the い), or to the stem form of a な-Adjective (do not include the な).
  • (かれ)いつも(おんな)()(まえ)(つよ)がるけど友達(ともだち)(なか)(かれ)一番(いちばん)(こわ)がり
    He always acts tough in front of girls, but amongst our friends he is the biggest scaredy-cat.
  • (いぬ)(いや)がる(こと)てはいけない
    You must not do anything that the dog would not like.
がる is a verb which means 'to give the impression of (A)', or 'to act like (A)'. This is very important in Japanese, as you would not usually say how somebody else feels, unless they told you directly and you are simply repeating what you heard (in which case you would use the quotation particle ).
  • トムこの(あたら)ゲーム()しい(おも)
    I think Tom would want this new game.
When you want to express the way you 'think' that someone else feels, but don't have any direct information about it, that is when がる would be natural to use. For example, if you see someone shivering in the cold, you would say something like the following.
  • あの(ひと)(さむ)がっている。ジャケット()ばいいのに
    That person seems like they feel cold. It would be better if he wore his jacket. (Natural Japanese, as がる shows how he 'appears to be acting', rather than what he is actually feeling)
The main difference between がる, and がっている, is that がる will be used when a person usually/always acts a certain way, whereas がっている is more about the way someone/something is acting in any specific moment.
  • この()いつも(あたら)おもちゃ()がる
    This kid always wants new toys.
  • キムは(あたら)パソコンほしがっている
    Kim is wanting a new computer.
がる may also be used to describe yourself (in the third person). This is when you want to express the way you think that you act/are acting, or a way you assume other people view your behavior.
  • (おれ)いつも(ひと)(まえ)(つよ)がる
    I always act tough in front of people. (I probably always appear to act tough)
  • (わたし)(いま)(いぬ)ほしがっているけど、マンション()でいるからまだ()ない
    Right now, I am wanting a dog, but since I live in an apartment, I can't get one yet. (I am currently acting like I want a dog)
Fun Fact
The use of がっている to express an 'in the moment' way that someone is acting, is slowly becoming less and less common in modern Japanese. Regularly, そう will be used instead, to express that someone (or something) 'seems' a certain way.
  • あの(ひと)(あつ)がっている
    That person looks like they are hot, don't you think. (They're acting like they're hot)
  • あの(ひと)(あつ)そうだ
    That person looks like they are hot, don't you think. (They seem hot)




    My cat is jumpy. (Acts scared)


    My younger brother acts tough.


    That kid (always) wants games.


    This is your first time on an airplane so I think it might be scary, but don't feel scared.


    Watching a movie and showing signs of interest.

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      がる – Grammar Discussion

      Most Recent Replies (21 in total)

      • attn7124


        is there ever a situation where いい can be used with がる?
        if yes, how should they be formed? (for example, よがる?)

      • Fuga


        Hey there!

        いい can be used with がる, and the correct form for it is 良がる 善がる or よがる. Personally, I have never used it and I can’t recall a time where I’ve heard this used, but after looking at the dictionary, it seems it’s a real word!

      • attn7124


        Thank you for the answer!
        I’ll try to google to see what a sentence with 良がる looks like.

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