sci.lang.japan FAQ / 2. Grammar / 2.1. Verbs

2.1.7. What is a suru verb?

Suru verbs are the large number of verbs which are formed from a noun and the verb suru. For example, kaiketsu suru (解決する) "to resolve a problem" is a suru verb. The potential form of suru verbs is formed by adding dekiru in place of the suru. Thus kaiketsu dekinai mondai (解決できない問題) "a problem which cannot be resolved".

Suru verbs also include verbs formed from the ending jiru, such as ronjiru (論じる), "to debate". These usually have only one kanji.

Some suru verbs, such as aisuru (愛する), have irregular conjugations where they sometimes act as if they are verbs ending in su. For example, aiseru (愛せる) is the potential form of aisuru rather than ai dekiru.

Suru verbs are generally speaking more formal than other verbs. For example rikai suru (理解する) "to understand" is more formal than wakaru (わかる) (see also 6.13. What is the difference between and ?). Thus these verbs tend to be used in writing and speeches rather than everyday conversation.

Suru is an irregular verb. For more on its conjugation, see 2.1.1. What Japanese verbs are irregular?.


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