Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 4: 2/18


Like, Similar to, Resembling


Verb + みたい + Verb(1)
Noun + みたい + Verb(1)
Noun(2) + みたい + Noun

(1) Adverb、[い]Adjective[な]Adjective
(2) Verb


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About みたいに・みたいな

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 (describes a verb). Let's take a look at some examples.
  • プロみたいに(およ)たい
    I want to swim like a professional.
  • 先生(せんせい)みたいになりたい
    I want to be like my teacher.
  • 先生(せんせい)みたいな(ひと)になりたい
    I want to become someone like my teacher.
  • 関西(かんさい)みたいな(ところ)()たい
    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.
  • (かれ)イルカみたいに(およ)たい()ている
    He is saying that he wants to swim like a dolphin.
  • (かれ)イルカみたいに(はや)(およ)たい()ている
    He is saying that he wants to swim fast like a dolphin.
In the second example sentence, we can see that (およ)ぐ (the verb that 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 ()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.




    I want to become like that woman.


    That is a castle-like house.


    Today's weather is very winter-like isn't it.


    I want to swim like a fish.


    They are easy to put on, just like sandals. (similar to)

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みたいに・みたいな – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (26 in total)

  • marlowe


    For this example, " 上手じょうずになりたいから、日本人にほんじんみたいに漢字かんじドリルをしてみる。"

    The grammar says that な is used before a noun but here it is に - is this because kanji drills is a suru verb and so is treated as a verb? If so, could you perhaps note something like that on the grammar page, e.g. “look out for suru verbs as it may seem that it’s simply a noun.”

  • gyroninja


    An important distinction between みたいに and みたいな is that:

    • みたいに is (like) an adverb. It modifies either an adjective or a verb and is followed by a whole clause. If it is modifying an adjective usually the adjective directly follows みたいに, but when modifying a verb there may be other things after みたいに such as a subject or direct object for the verb.

    • みたいな is in it’s attributive form. This means it must have the noun that it is modifying immediately following it.

    This might not be immediately clear by just looking at the list of structures on bunpro’s page for this grammar point. When bunpro says that something can be followed by a verb usually you are able to put more than just that verb.

    This means that in your example みたいに is describing する even though it isn’t directly next to it.

    Note: Even though the page for this grammar point says that みたいに can be followed by Verb/い-Adjective, I can easily find peo...

  • marlowe


    Yep, that’s why I was confused when using just that grammar page - I saw afterwards, reading posts on this thread, why certain things were.

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