Wild Nihongo!
ようにする

ようにする

ようにする Japanese Grammar Lesson

Grammar Type: Phrase

Essential Meaning: Do X in such a way that / See to it that / Make sure that

Construction: 

  • Verb informal nonpast + ようにする
    • E.g. はなすようにする [Make sure that X speaks]
    • E.g. べるようにする [Make sure that X eats]

Notes:

  • ようにする expresses a conscious act of making sure that oneself or someone else does something.
    • E.g. わたし毎日まいにち運動うんどうするようにする。[I’ll make sure that I exercise daily.] In this example, the speaker makes the conscious effort to make sure he or she exercises daily.
    • E.g. ジョンはメアリーがけるようにした。[John made sure that Mary could come.] In this example, John makes the conscious effort to ensure that Mary is able to come.
  • With the stative form ようにしている, the speaker expresses a habitual act of making sure that he / she or someone else does something.
    • E.g. できるだけ日本語にほんごはなすようにしています。[I’m making sure that I speak in Japanese as much as possible.]
  • The subjects of the main clause and the ようにする clause may be the same person or they may be different people. In other words, the sentence can either involve the subject making sure that he or she does something, or it can involve some person making sure that some other person does something.
    • E.g. Same person: ジョンはけるようにした。[John made sure that he could go.]
    • E.g. Different people: ジョンはメアリーがけるようにした。[John made sure that Mary could go.]
  • When ようにする is negated, the meaning changes depending on whether the main verb is negated or whether する is negated. Specifically, Xないようにする (i.e. negating the main verb) signifies a deliberate act of preventing someone from doing something, while Xようにしない (i.e. negating する) signifies an instance where one doesn’t take any action to ensure that someone does something. In other words:
    • Xないようにする = make sure that one does not do X
      • E.g. 大川おおがわ山本やまもと勉強べんきょうできないようにした。[Ogawa made sure that Yamamoto couldn’t study.]
    • Xようにしない = to not make sure that one does X
      • E.g. 大川おおがわ山本やまもと勉強べんきょうできるようにしなかった。[Ogawa didn’t make sure that Yamamoto could study.]
  • When an adjective or noun precedes ようにする, the following structure is used. With nouns and adjectives, the meaning is “Make sure that X becomes Y“, rather than “Make sure that X does Y“. Note the inclusion of なる in this structure.
    • い-Adjective Stem + くなるようにする
      • E.g. Positive: たかくなるようにする [Make sure that X becomes expensive]
      • E.g. Negative: たかくなくなるようにする [Make sure that X doesn’t become expensive]
    • な-Adjective stem + になるようにする
      • E.g. Positive: しずかになるようにする [Make sure that X becomes quiet]
      • E.g. Negative: しずかじゃなくなるようにする [Make sure that X doesn’t become quiet]
    • Noun + になるようにする
      • E.g. Positive: 先生せんせいになるようにする [Make sure that X becomes a teacher]
      • E.g. Negative: 先生せんせいじゃなくなるようにする [Make sure that X doesn’t become a teacher]
  • ようになる is a similar structure to ようにする. The chief difference between the two is that ようにする is transitive (i.e. it implies direct human effort to achieve some end) and ようになる is intransitive (i.e. it implies a natural process that does not necessarily require conscious human effort).
    • E.g. あさはやきられるようになりました。[I’ve reached the point where I’m able to wake up early in the morning (through some natural process).]
    • E.g. あさはやきられるようにしています。[I am making sure that I wake up early in the morning (through conscious effort).]

Example Sentences:

わたし毎日まいにち運動うんどうするようにする。[I’ll make sure that I exercise every day.]

できるだけ日本語にほんごはなすようにしています。[I’m making sure I speak Japanese as much as possible.]

からないことは先生せんせいくようにしている。[I’m making sure to ask the teacher about things that I don’t understand.]

毎朝まいあさ八時はちじるようにしてください。[Please make sure to come at 8 AM every morning.]

うしろからもよくえるようにしました。[I made sure that people could see from the back as well.]

成績せいせきがよくなるようにした。[I made sure to improve my grades.]

WILD Examples:

Listen to this line at 4:56: たまに正直しょうじききみのことをおもってさ、はなすようにするよ、直喩ちょくゆのまま直喩ちょくゆのまま [From time to time I will remember how honest you are, and I will make sure that I speak in similes, in similes]

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