Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 9: 15/16


-ification, -ization, To make something, To change, To become, Transform into


Noun + ()(する)
Noun + () + する(1) + Noun

(1) した


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About 化する

() by itself is a suffix in Japanese which means 'to change', or 'to transform'. When paired with する, it means 'to transform into (A)', where (A) is the noun that () is connected to. This structure is regularly translated as '~ification', or '~ization', and similar suffixes in English.
  • あと数年(すうねん)運転(うんてん)自動(じどう)()する
    In a few years driving will become automated.
  • (わたし)仕事(しごと)書類(しょるい)データ()する
    At work, I digitize documents.
When the する is connected to another noun, it may occasionally appear as した, or with attached to the end of it. This will indicate that there is a relationship between (B) and (A).
  • (れっ)()した(いえ)()(なお)仕事(しごと)たい
    I want a job rebuilding deteriorated homes.
  • 日本(にほん)紙社会(かみしゃかい)なので仕事(しごと)オンライン()するのは(きび)
    Since Japan is a paper society, digitalization of work is difficult.
However, in formal/scientific writing, the する (and ) may sometimes be dropped.
  • 日本(にほん)高齢(こうれい)()(すす)でいる
    In Japan, the population is aging progressively.




    It appears to be simplified English.
    (change/transform into)


    It is considered that automation is one of the sources of economic growth in the 20th century.
    (change/transform into)


    Dad, you minimize apps like this.
    (change/transform into)


    It is said that there are already plans to commercialize that new type of battery.
    (change/transform into)


    The plastic liquefaction method might revolutionize the energy industry.
    (change/transform into)

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化する – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (7 in total)

  • kariforuniajin


    I just wanted to comment that this grammar point has got to be one of the hardest ones to really understand (as an English native speaker).

    I know it’s bad practice to try to translate things word-for-word, but I can’t wrap my head around this grammar point.

  • nekoyama


    Isn’t it pretty similar to how it works in English though. E.g. we can take the noun “simple” and the suffix “-ify” (originally from a Latin word for “make”) and make a new verb “simplify” that means “make simple” or “change something so it becomes simple”. And we can also take this verb and the suffix “-ation” (for a “process”) to make a corresponding noun “simplification” that means “the process of making something simple”.

    In the same way we can take the noun 簡単 (simple) and make a new verb 簡単化 する (simplify), and the matching noun 簡単化 (simplification).

    I guess a word-for-word translation is difficult because English has a bunch of ways to do this, and they’re not exchangeable, and generally rooted in Latin or Old French and no longer recognisable as individual words, and sometimes the same suffix can have multiple roots, and sometimes people don’t agree whether two words are the same, or different meanings, or one is just misspelled (like liquefaction vs. liquificat...

  • kariforuniajin


    E.g. we can take the noun “simple” and the suffix “-ify” (originally from a Latin word for “make”) and make a new verb “simplify” that means “make simple” or “change something so it becomes simple”.

    Oooh, I like this explanation! Cheers!

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