Grammar Info
N4 Lesson 10: 8/17

に気(き)が付(つ)く
to notice (that), to realize (that)

Structure
Casual
Formal
Verb + こと(1) + つく
Noun + つく

(1)
Verb + こと(1) + つきます
Noun + つきます

(1)
Details
Register Standard
使用域 一般
Information
に気(き)が付(つ)く is a common expression that highlights when someone ‘notices that (A)’, or ‘realizes that (A)’. 付(つ)く ‘to be attached’ is the intransitive form of 付(つ)ける ‘to attach’, meaning that it is something that happens by itself. The 格助詞(かくじょし) (case-marking particle) marks the ‘location’ to where your 気(き) (sometimes interpreted as ‘attention’) becomes attached.
This structure may be used before nouns, or verbs that have been nominalized with either , or こと.
  • 待(ま)ち合(あ)わせ場所(ばしょ)着(つ)いから、携帯(けいたい)忘(わす)れたことに気(き)が付(つ)い
    I realized that I had forgotten my phone only after I arrived at the meeting place.
  • 犬(いぬ)餌(えさ)あげていないに気(き)が付(つ)い
    I realized that I didn't feed my dog this morning.
  • 猛(もう)スピードこっち来(き)ている車(くるま)に気(き)が付(つ)い
    I noticed that there was a car heading this direction at a crazy speed.
Fun Fact
There are many different translations for 気(き) in English. These can range from ‘spirit’, to ‘attention’, to ‘will’, or even ‘consciousness’. However, perhaps one of the most accurate ways to translate 気(き), is ‘presence of mind’. The ‘location’ to which your focus, attention, or perception is drawn, will always highlight your 気(き).
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彼(かれ)私(わたし)新(あたら)しい靴(くつ)に気(き)がついくれた。
He noticed my new shoes.
[He did me the favor of noticing my new shoes]
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今(いま)お金(かね)忘(わす)れたことに気(き)がついばかり
I just now noticed that I forgot my money.
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今日(きょう)母(はは)誕生日(たんじょうび)気(き)がついていなかった
Today is Mom's birthday! I didn't notice.
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Online
Books
Tobira
Page 142
[AIAIJ] An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese
Page 93