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.

Sentence Pattern

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


zou wa nagai hana wo shite imasu

Meaning: Elephant has got long nose.


saru wa akai oshiri wo shite imasu

Meaning: Monkey has got red buttock.


yamada san wa mijikai ashi wo shite imasu

Meaning: Mr Yamada has got short legs.


suzuki san wa nagai ashi wo shite imasu

Meaning: Mr Suzuki has got long legs.


tananka san wa nagai kami wo shite imasu

Meaning: Ms Tanaka has got long hair.


tanaka san wa kuroi kami wo shite imasu

Meaning: Ms Tanaka has got black hair.


tanaka san no kami wa kuroi iro wo shite imasu

Meaning: Ms Tanaka's hair is black. (literally means "has got black color")


tanaka san wa ookii me wo shite imasu

Meaning: Ms Tanaka has got big eyes.


tanaka san wa ookii kuchi wo shite imasu

Meaning: Ms Tanaka has got a big mouth.


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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