What does “osusume” mean in Japanese?
Native speakers say “osusume” to mean ‘recommendation’ in Japanese. I think that some Japanese learners who have been to Japan know this word because it is widely used in Japanese shops, restaurants, bars, and the like. In this blog post, however, I will explain this word in detail based on its components. And also, I will explain its related expressions through example sentences. My explanations would help Japanese learners to understand “osusume” more clearly. Then, let’s get started!
- Definition and meaning of “osusume”
- Components of “osusume”
Definition and meaning of “osusume”
Let me start with the definition and meaning of “osusume”.
- osusume – おすすめ : a noun meaning ‘recommendation’ in Japanese. This can also work as a plural noun meaning ‘recommendations’. Learn more about Japanese plural.
It has some kanji expressions, but Japanese people often write it in hiragana. It’s also worth mentioning that in more casual situations, like in shops, restaurants, and bars, even its katakana expression is common as well. In this blog post, however, I will focus on its hiragana expression.
Its definition and meaning are simple and clear, I think. To understand it more clearly, however, let me explain its components in detail, one by one.
Components of “osusume”
Grammatically, “osusume” consists of the following two words:
- o – お : a prefix used to make its following word polite. This can also be found in other words like “onamae“, “omotenashi“, and “okaeri“.
- susume – すすめ : the same as explained already. This is a noun meaning ‘recommendation’ in Japanese.
From these two words, we can understand that “osusume” is the polite expression of “susume” and literally means ‘recommendation’ or ‘recommendations’ in Japanese. We can use “susume” alone to say “recommendation” in Japanese, but somehow it sounds more formal and stiff than its polite expression. Perhaps, this fact would sound weird to Japanese learners. I guess, however, that Japanese people used the polite expression way too much often, so the roles of these two had been switched.
When we meet new Japanese expressions, we should check their components in detail to understand their meanings clearly and deeply. In many cases, components tell us a lot about meanings of expressions they form. Actually, here, we could get the better understanding of “osusume” through the detailed check above.
Then, let me explain how to use “osusume” through the example sentences below.
Example #1: how to say “my recommendation” in Japanese
Below are the new words used in the example sentence.
- kore – これ : a demonstrative pronoun meaning ‘this’ in Japanese.
- ga – が : a case particle used to make the subject word or the object word in a sentence. In the example, this works after “kore” to make the subject word in the sentence.
- watashi – 私 (わたし) : a pronoun meaning ‘I’ in Japanese.
- no – の : a case particle used after a noun or pronoun to make its possessive case. In the example, this works after “watashi” to make its possessive case, “watashi no“, which means ‘my’ in Japanese.
- desu – です : an auxiliary verb used after a noun or adjective to make it polite. Probably, this is well known as a part of Japanese desu form. In the example, this is used after the noun phrase, “watashi no osusume”, to make it sound polite.
This is a typical usage of “osusume”. In this example, it works together with the possessive case, “watashi no”, to say “my recommendation” in Japanese. Japanese people often use this phrase, so it’s worth knowing.
Example #2: how to say “what is your recommendation?” in Japanese?
Next, let me explain how to say “what is your recommendation?” in Japanese
Below are the new words used in the example sentence.
- wa – は : a binding particle working as a case marker or topic marker. In the example, this is used after “osusume” to make the subject word in the sentence.
- nan – 何 (なん) : an indefinite pronoun meaning ‘what’ in Japanese. The usage of this pronoun is quite similar to that of “what” in English questions, but it doesn’t necessarily come to the beginning of a sentence.
- ka – か : a sentence-ending particle used to make a question. As its definition suggests, this is used at the end of the example sentence to make the question.
This is another typical usage of “osusume”. Again, it works to say “recommendation” in Japanese.
The Japanese example sentence above doesn’t contain any word referring to a person, but we can understand in which direction the question goes. It obviously goes to the listener, “you”. So, we can understand the meaning of the Japanese sentence as ‘what is your recommendation?’
In this blog post, I’ve explained the definition and meaning of “osusume” and how to use it through the example sentences. Let me summarize them as follows.
- osusume – おすすめ : a noun meaning ‘recommendation’ in Japanese. This can also work as a plural noun meaning ‘recommendations’. This consists of “o” and “susume”: the first one is a prefix making its following word polite; the second one means ‘recommendation’. So, this is literally the polite expression of “susume” and means ‘recommendation’ politely.
- watashi no osusume – 私のおすすめ (わたしのおすすめ) : a Japanese expression for ‘my recommendation’.
- osusume wa nan desu ka – おすすめは何ですか (おすすめはなんですか) : a Japanese expression for ‘what is your recommendation?’
Hope my explanations are understandable and helpful for Japanese learners.
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