Japanese Grammar shite imasu:
Another Meaning -
Intermediate Lessons: 22

Japanese grammar shite imasu (しています) has various functions and you have already learned some of them in the basic lessons. For example, you have learned about Progress Action, Habitual Action and Occupation in basic lesson 22. You also learned about State Continuation in basic lesson 29.

In this lesson, you will learn another function of the shite imasu (しています). In this case, shite imasu has a totally different meaning and it's mostly used to emphasize the description of appearance or shape.

Let's first look at the sentence pattern...

Topic Adjective Noun をしています

Note: The Noun here refers to names, shapes, colors, etc, of our body parts.

Normally when we want to describe body parts or somebody's ability, we'll use the sentence pattern:

  • Topic は Noun が Adjective です。

For example, you can say...

  • 田中さんは顔が丸いです。
    tanaka san wa kao ga marui desu
    Meaning: Ms Tanaka's face is round.

However, you can also describe the same thing by using the Japanese grammar shite imasu.

  • 田中さんは丸い顔をしています。
    tanaka san wa marui kao wo shite imasu
    Meaning: Ms Tanaka has got a round face.

In the above example, the shite imasu (しています) means "has got" or "possess".

Using this sentence pattern you can describe appearance of other people, the shapes, colors, etc of their body parts.

Examples of Japanese grammar shite imasu

Japanese grammar shite imasu

  1. 象は長い鼻をしています。
    zou wa nagai hana wo shite imasu
    Meaning: Elephant has got long nose.

  2. 猿は赤いお尻をしています。
    saru wa akai oshiri wo shite imasu
    Meaning: Monkey has got red buttock.

  3. 山田さんは短い足をしています。
    yamada san wa mijikai ashi wo shite imasu
    Meaning: Mr Yamada has got short legs.

  4. 鈴木さんは長い足をしています。
    suzuki san wa nagai ashi wo shite imasu
    Meaning: Mr Suzuki has got long legs.

  5. 田中さんは長い髪をしています。
    tananka san wa nagai kami wo shite imasu
    Meaning: Ms Tanaka has got long hair.

  6. 田中さんは黒い髪をしています。
    tanaka san wa kuroi kami wo shite imasu
    Meaning: Ms Tanaka has got black hair

  7. 田中さんの髪は黒い色をしています。
    tanaka san no kami wa kuroi iro wo shite imasu
    Meaning: Ms Tanaka's hair is black. (literally means "has got black color")

  8. 田中さんは大きい目をしています。
    tanaka san wa ookii me wo shite imasu
    Meaning: Ms Tanaka has got big eyes.

  9. 田中さんは大きい口をしています。
    tanaka san wa ookii kuchi wo shite imasu
    Meaning: Ms Tanaka has got a big mouth.

  10. 田中さんは赤い頬をしています。
    tanaka san wa akai hoho wo shite imasu
    Meaning: Ms Tanaka has got red cheeks.

Beside describing the appearance of people, this shite imasu (しています) can also be used to describe appearance of animals.

Related Pages

Basic Lesson 22: Japanese Verbs on Progress Action, Habitual Action & Occupation.

Basic Lesson 29: Japanese Verbs on State Continuation.


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