ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Japanese: Verbs for Clothing

Updated on April 14, 2011
Picture of Uniqlo, a very ubiquitous Japanese clothing chain.
Picture of Uniqlo, a very ubiquitous Japanese clothing chain. | Source

Matching verbs to nouns

In English, if you were to list the sequence of actions you take before going out to meet a blustery cold day, you might say something along the lines of, "I put on my coat, put on my hat, put on my gloves, reconsidered going outside...". This is quite easy, with every article of clothing being compatible with "put on". Japanese however, is much different, and unfortunately depending on what part of your body the article of clothing is placed on, or how you put it on (wrap it, place it, etc.), the verb changes. Here's a simple list for you to reference:

From your feet to your head: Verbs for clothing

Let's start with the easy stuff that we all hopefully have in common:

1.  Put on pants-- Zubon (pants) wo haku (put on)

2. Put on shoes - Kutsu (shoes) wo haku 

3. Put on socks - Kutsushita (socks) wo haku

4. Put on underwear - Pantsu (underwear, but yes it sounds like pants) wo haku

Hopefully by now you've seen a pattern, with the noun changing in every instance, but the verb staying the same.  Here's the easy rule: If it's below your waist, use haku.  Now you might be saying, "What about above your waist?".  I applaud your curiosity, but unfortunately here's where it gets rough.

1.  Put on a shirt - Shyatsu(shirt) wo kiru (put on)

2. Put on a suit - Sootsu (suit) wo kiru (put on) 

3. Put on a sweater - Sehta (sweater) wo kiru (put on)

Here's the general rule of thumb: If it's a garment that you wear on your torso above the waist, you use kiru.  This applies to all shirts, entire suits (even though they involve pants), sweaters, tank tops, and so on.  Now on to the trickier deviants of all these rules.

The etceteras and what verbs to use for them

If you're only going to wear pants and shirts in Japan then you'd be fine with what you've learned up until now, but here's some more knowledge for you to soak up if you like a little more flair in your appearance: 

1. Put on a scarf - mafura (scarf) wo maku (wrap)

2. Put on a tie - nekutai (necktie) wo maku OR suru (do)

3. Put on a hat - boushi (hat) wo kaburu (put on top of something to cover it)

4. Put on glasses - Megane (glasses) wo kakeru (literally meaning to hang off of something, which in this case would be your ears and nose)

5. Put on a necklace - Nekkuresu (necklace) wo tsukeru ( put on, but with an intonation of fastening)

Now there's always the exception to the rule, but if you just use logic and think of what action you're doing in order to put the piece of clothing or accessory on your body, you should be able to figure out which verb to use.  

The Sum Up

A quick run down of everything covered:

1. Put on your lower body like pants or underwear, use haku.

2. Worn on torso above the waist like shirts or sweaters, use kiru.

3. Hats use kaburu

4. Glasses use kakeru

5. Things that wrap like scarves or neckties use maku.

This list is by no means all inclusive, and there's plenty of nitty gritty things that I have not covered.  If you have any questions at all about what Japanese verb to use with what article of clothing, or anything else for that matter, don't be afraid to ask a question, or send me a message.  Until next time! Jya ne!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • twinkling_haze profile image

      twinkling_haze 

      8 years ago from Murcia, Negros Occidental, Philippines

      great hub

    • FeathersOfArtemis profile image

      FeathersOfArtemis 

      8 years ago

      ALSO I found out pants is the "proper" term for underwear in the UK. Probably where pantsu came from.

    • Ruthcurley profile image

      Ruthcurley 

      8 years ago from Bozrah, CT

      BTW. I like the pictures. Almost as informative as the hints.

    • Ruthcurley profile image

      Ruthcurley 

      8 years ago from Bozrah, CT

      I've spoken Japanese for many years but never figured out this rule! Very helpful. Like learning the i before e rule for the first time!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)