As learned in our previous lesson about みたい
, it is a な-Adjective
. This means that it can be used in conjunction with nouns, or with verbs. In each of these cases, it will carry the meaning of ‘like (A)’, or ‘resembling (A)’. The difference between みたい
describing a verb or a noun can be identified by whether it is followed by な (describes a noun), or に
(describes a verb). Let’s take a look at some examples.
I want to swim like a professional.
I want to be like my teacher.
I want to become someone like my teacher.
I want to live in a place like the Kansai region.
This difference is important to know, as (B), the thing that みたい
is describing, does not always come directly after みたい
He is saying that he wants to swim like a dolphin.
He is saying that he wants to swim fast like a dolphin.
In the second example sentence, we can see that 泳（およ）ぐ (the verb that に
is linked to), does not actually come until later in the sentence. This is quite a regular occurrence, especially in longer passages.
Despite みたい meaning ‘to resemble’, and being based on (usually) visual stimulus, it should not be confused with 見（み）たい ‘to want to see’. This is a common mistake that learners make, as みたい itself does not have a kanji form.