Wait until you get your hands on this Japanese lesson!

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 their money!” Alternatively, you may want to say something subtle like, “I haven’t started my article yet.” Believe it or not, both statements use the Japanese expression that means “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”). Learn to say popular phrases like “withdraw your hand, give up.” And find out how to ask someone to help you out (favor) in Japanese. Finally, get the helpful 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 – “neglected”

shimekiri – “deadline”

Grammar: In this article, you will learn the following words and phrases:

Today’s lesson focuses on expressions that use you, or “hand” in English.

tea or tsukeru

Tsukeru is a verb that means “to put something on”. 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” as in today’s dialogue. An alternate meaning is “putting your hand in money that you are not authorized to use.”

Today’s example:

Ashita shimekiri did not repooto, nani mo te or tsukete nai n da yo.

“I haven’t even started my work due tomorrow.”

Other examples:

  1. Kyoo no tesuto wa muzukashikute, te or tsukerarenakatta.

    “Today’s exam was too difficult to work on.”

  2. Tanin no o-kane nor te or tsukete wa ikenai.

    “Don’t put your hands on someone’s money.”

you or utsu

It means both “closing a deal” or “doing something” and also “taking action.” It literally means “clap your hands.” The first meaning (“close a deal”) comes from the Japanese custom in which people clap when they reach a mutual agreement.

Today’s example:

  1. Ha, tea or utoo pain.

    “We have a deal!” (which means “close a deal”)

  2. Nani ka te o utta hoo ga ii n ja nai ka.

    “So you should make your move soon right?” (which means “take action”)

Other examples:

  1. Kare-ra wa, sono jooken de te o utta.

    “They agreed to those terms.”

  2. Mondai ga ookiku naru mae ni te o utta hoo ga yoi. “You must take steps to resolve a problem before it escalates.”

your gowai

It means “to be hard to beat.” Gowai gold tegowai it is written as tsuyoi in kanji, it means “to be strong”. We can use it as an -i ending adjective to modify an opponent or rival, or a problem to deal with.

Today’s example:

  1. Saburoo ga !? Te gowai aite da naa.

    “What! Saburo ?! He’s a formidable opponent.”

Other examples:

  1. Kondo no shiai aite wa, te gowai zo.

    “The opposing team for the next game is hard to beat.”

  2. Kare wa, you gowai mondai ni torikunda.

    “He struggled with tough problems.”

te mo ashi mo denai

It means “I can’t do anything against something” or “to be completely defenseless.”

Today’s example:

  1. Saburoo ga aite ja, te mo ashi mo denai yo.

    With Saburo as a competitor, there is little I can do.

Other examples:

  1. Kare wa, pure no bokushingu senshu or aite ni, te mo ashi mo denakatta.

    “I couldn’t do anything against a professional boxer.”

  2. 10-sai toshiue no ani a kenka shita. Te mo ashi mo denakatta.

    “I fought my brother, who is ten years older than me. But I couldn’t do anything against him.”

you or hiku

It literally means “to withdraw the hand” and has come to mean “to cut off the relationship with something” or “to turn back”.

Today’s example:

  1. Te o hikoo ka na.

    “Maybe I should give up.”

Other examples:

  1. Pray wa, kono shigoto kara te or hiku yo.

    “I will retire from this job.”

  2. Ano kaisha wa, Nihon shijoo kara te or hiita.

    “That company withdrew from the Japanese market.”

you or kariru

It literally means “to borrow someone’s hand” and has come to mean “to ask someone for help.”

The opposite expression is tea or kasu, which means “to give a hand to …” or “to help someone”.

Today’s example:

  1. Omae no te or karite bakari de, warui na.

    “Sorry man, I haven’t done anything but ask for favors.”

Other examples:

  1. Shukudai or suru no ni, tomodachi no te or karita.

    “I asked my friend to help me do my homework.”

  2. Kono mondai or kaiketsu suru tame ni, kimi no te or karitai.

    “I want to ask you a favor to solve this problem.”

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