There are many expressions in English that use the word “hand”. Japanese is no different. You may want to say, “You won’t get your hands on his money!” Alternatively, you might want to say something subtle like “I haven’t started my work yet.” Believe it or not, both of these statements use the Japanese expression meaning “to put your hand on something.” The possibilities of using this expression are endless. Use this upper-intermediate Japanese article to master tsukeru (“put your hand on something”). He learns to say popular phrases like “withdraw your hand, surrender”. And she finds out how to ask someone to give you a hand (favor) in Japanese. Finally, she gets hold of useful Japanese vocabulary words in this upper-intermediate Japanese article.
Vocabulary: In this article, you will learn the following words and phrases:
orei – “gesture of gratitude, thank you”
ogoru – “To treat”
darashinai – “careless”
Shimekiri – “deadline”
Grammar: In this article, you will learn the following words and phrases:
Today’s lesson focuses on expressions that use teaor “hand” in English.
you or tsukeru
Tsukeru is a verb that means “to put on something”. This expression literally means “to put your hand on something”. It has different meanings depending on the context, but we generally use it to mean “start working on something” like in today’s dialogue. An alternate meaning is “laying your hand on money you are not allowed to use”.
Ashita shimekiri no repooto, nani mo te o tsukete nai n da yo.
“I haven’t even started my work that’s due tomorrow.”
- Kyoo no tesuto wa muzukashikute, te o tsukerarenakatta. “Today’s exam was too difficult for me.”
- Tanin no o-kane ni te o tsukete wa ikenai. “Don’t put your hands on someone’s money.”
tea or utsu
It means both “closing a deal” or “doing something” as well as “taking action.” It literally means “clap”. The first meaning (“closing a deal”) comes from the Japanese custom in which people applaud when they come to a mutual agreement.
- Ha, pain of tea or utoo. “We have a deal!” (meaning “closing a deal”)
- Nani ka te o utta hoo ga ii n ja nai ka. “So you should make your move soon, right?” (meaning “take action”)
- Kare-ra wa, sono jooken de te o utta. “They agreed to those terms.”
- Mondai ga ookiku naru mae ni te o utta hoo ga yoi. “You must take action to resolve a problem before it becomes serious.”
It means “to be hard to beat”. Gowai either tegowai is written as tsuyoi in kanji, meaning “to be strong”. We can use it as an adjective with the ending -i to modify an opponent or rival, or a problem to be faced.
- Saburooga!? Te gowai aite da naa. “What? Saburo?! He’s a formidable opponent.”
- Kondo no shiai aite wa, te gowai zo. “The opposing team for the next game is hard to beat.”
- Kare wa, te gowai mondai ni torikunda. “He struggled with difficult problems.”
te mo ashi mo denai
It means “I can’t do anything against something” or “I’m pretty defenseless”.
- Saburoo ga aite ja, te mo ashi mo denai yo. With Saburo as a competitor, there is little I can do.
- Kare wa, puro no bokushingu senshu o aite ni, te mo ashi mo denakatta. “I couldn’t do anything against a professional boxer.”
- 10-sai toshiue no ani to kenka shita. Te mo ashi mo denakatta. “I fought against my brother, who is ten years older than me. But I couldn’t do anything against him.”
you or hiku
It literally means “withdraw your hand” and has come to mean “cut off from something” or “back off”.
- Te o hikoo ka na. “Maybe I should give up.”
- Ore wa, kono shigoto kara te o hiku yo. “I will retire from this job.”
- Ano kaisha wa, Nihon shijoo kara te o hiita. “That company withdrew from the Japanese market.”
you or kariru
It literally means “to borrow someone’s hand” and now it means “to get someone’s help”.
The opposite expression is tea or kasuwhich means “give a hand to–” or “help someone”.
- Omae no te o karite bakari de, warui na. “Sorry man, I haven’t done anything but ask for favors.”
- Shukudai or suru no ni, tomodachi no te or karita. “I asked my friend to help me do my homework.”
- Kono mondai or kaiketsu suru tame ni, kimi no te o karitai. “I want to ask you a favor to solve this problem.”
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