Friday Puzzle – Make Me Answer

The goal this past week was to show you the flexibility of the verb する. It’s always introduced as “to do,” but there are plenty of cases where it acts as something other than do. The initial phrase I was thinking of was 〜顔をする. “Make an X face,” where X could be nearly anything – silly, stupid, funny, strange, mysterious. I eliminated food examples because we so automatically associate the English “make” with food, thus the Japanese 料理する, which would have been far too easy.

There were four correct answers:

友達と約束をしました。 – I made a promise with a friend.

私は学校をきれいにする。 – I make the school clean.

きみはいつも僕を幸せにする。 – You always make me happy.

これをもう少し安くしてくださいませんか。 – Could you make it cheaper for me please? (An exceptionally useful phrase, especially to cheapos like JETs.)

The final three all use the same pattern: X + を + 副詞 (adverb) + する → make x more adverb.

Here is how you form the adverb:

The one small gripe I have is that for sentence three I would say 幸せにしてくれる to emphasize the fact that it is something that きみ is doing to/for 僕.

One submission I got suggested that that セックスをしました could be used for “made love,” but セックスをしました is a bit too straightforward to be translated to something as idiomatic as “making love.” You could probably translate that する into something interesting like “perform” or “undergo,” especially if “coitus” followed either of those words.

The winner this week by random selection (you can confirm the randomness with the other teacher in my town) is Robin – he’s now halfway to a six-pack.