Grammar Info
N3 Lesson 9: 12/22

込(こ)む ①
to go into, to put into

Verb[ます + 込む
Verb[ます + 込みます
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使用域 一般
In Japanese, the う - Verb 込(こ)む ‘to jam into’ is frequently used as a 接尾語(せつびご) (suffix) to convey several different meanings. The primary meanings are as follows:
(A) 込(こ)む - To enter completely into doing (A), or the state of being in (A).
(A) 込(こ)む - To enter a state of doing (A) that will not be considered complete until ‘success’.
(A) 込(こ)む - To enter a state of doing (A) that cannot be escaped from.
In this lesson, we will exclusively focus on the first meaning, which is usually translated as ‘to put into (A)’, or ‘to go into (A)’. This form will be attached to the 連用形(れんようけい) (conjunctive form) of other verbs.
  • ピン壁(かべ)押(お)し込(こ)む
    To push a pin into a wall.
  • 薬(くすり)飲(の)み込(こ)む苦手(にがて)です
    I am not the best at drinking down medicine. (I am not the best at swallowing medicine)
  • 電車(でんしゃ)ドア閉(し)まる前(まえ)に、電車(でんしゃ)走(はし)り込(こ)ん
    Before the train door closed, I ran in.
  • サウナから出(で)て、水風呂(みずぶろ)飛(と)び込(こ)むように入(はい)った。
    I came out of the sauna and went into the water bath as if I was leaping into it.
Despite the multiple meanings, 込(こ)む can almost always be thought of as ‘jamming (B) into (A)’. This means that whatever the (A) action is, will be something that is not easily entered, but also not easily escaped from.
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Light novel, chat between classmates : "Taking a dragon into class, isn’t that breaking the rules?"
In the queue: "Cutting into (the line), how impudent!"
Light novel, chat between heroes: "Do you plan to march into the demon king’s castle alone? Please, stop!"
When used with verbs that already mean getting into something, it adds more emphasis. Often adds a negative, dynamic or violent nuance, like in this case: 'going into a perilous place'. おつもり is an older/formal expression.
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