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  5. "おなかがすきました。"


Translation:I am hungry.

June 15, 2017



Why is it written as past but means I am hungry now?


To fully explain we need to break down the sentence to see what is literally being said:

[My, implied] おなか [belly, stomach] が すきました [became empty]。 すく means "to become empty".

Kanji: お腹が空きました。

In order to be hungry now, one's stomach must have already become empty. This is just how it is expressed.


Bu how would I say "I was hungry"?


We would change it to the past progressive, 空いていました; was becoming empty.


Your profpic matches your question perfectly


Hold, would not なか be 中 here, suggesting 'inside' as 'I am hungry inside'?


Welcome to the wonderful world of homophones in Japanese. In this case the word does not even use a normal reading for the kanji, which is not that uncommon.

I cannot really comment on the etymology at present, but if you look in a dictionary it will show both お腹 and お中. Perhaps it is as simple as to beautify the word. Note however that お腹 is what comes up in when using IME — for me at least — by default when typing おなか.

"I am hungry inside" sounds like quite a strange mix of the two languages. You could certainly replace belly or stomach with inside in my example above, but it seems unusual at best to express being hungry inside in English.


お腹(おなか) means belly. Different word all together.


They're etymologically related though. おなか originated as a term used by noblewomen in the Heian era as a sort of euphemism for the belly. So, it literally was one's "middle part", i.e., the middle of one's body. Nowadays it's probably best to just consider them homophones though


How can "foot" or "sold" be inside "footsoldier" or "ham" be inside "hamster"?


well ham does come from hamsters.


Well, the "foot" in footsoldier is the same as the word "foot". A footsoldier was originally a soldier who went into battle on foot, as opposed to knights who went into battle on horse


おなか、(お腹)means stomach


I believe it can also be written like that, but the most commonly used kanji in this context is 腹 (belly, inside)


No, because the kanji actually used is specifically for stomach, which is the word used. The kanji you suggested means inside more in the sense of being between two things.


No, that's a concretely different word


This just shows how important Kanji is Without it couldn't this be "i used to like stomachs"?


No, like is すき plus だ, so "I used to like" would be 好きでした


You can also say 'onaka ga suite' and 'onaka ga peco peco'


I've only ever heard "onaka ga suita" after being in japan for 3 years.


Peko peko for tummy growling! I forgot about that one. What's the literal translation of the other one you gave?


I think that's the casual form of the phrase.


There's also 'onaka ga hetta'. I heard that one a lot growing up.


You have Sasha Blouse as your profile picture so I will believe you are an expert on this subject.




Every single language program I've used has taught a different way to say this and it's actually been a huge amount of work trying to remember which service requires which form as an answer.

onaka ga sukimashita

onaka ga suite imasu

onaka ga suita

Onaka ga akimashita

harapeko desu

Onaka hetta

Hara hetta

I assume there is a wide variety of formality levels here but does anyone know what the most commonly used/acceptable one is?


Well, the difference between sukimashita and suita is just polite vs plain. Duo defaults to polite, which is probably the best for beginners. Hetta also means the same thing as sukimashita/suita, just much less polite, likewise with hara and onaka. It's odd that it would be taught in a language program. Hara hetta especially is very informal. I'm not sure about harapeko or onaka ga akimashita. I've never heard of those two


"I like the emptiness"? Very dark, Duo.


Is this more natural than onaka ga suite?


I don't think so, maybe more formal? I've never heard it in conversation. When I lived in Japan I only ever heard suite.... peko peko if someone was trying to be cute


Quoted from someone else:

お腹 (おなか) がすきました。Onaka ga suki mashita. “おなか/onaka” means belly; you are saying your stomach became empty. Casually, to your friends/family or someone younger, you could say: お腹 (おなか) すいた。Onaka suita. or even more casually, お腹 (おなか) ペコペコ!Onaka pekopeko! (I’m starving!)


お腹 - おなか


technically can't this be translated as "I liked my stomach"?


I think that would be 好きでした (すきでした) as opposed to すきました as above.


What is the difference between お腹すいた and お腹がすきました?


both are conjugated in the past, but "suita" is informal and "sukimashita" is formal






I say this almost every hour.


When I was taking classes in high school, my sensei taught this as おねかがすいた。 I'm supposing this is an informal form, but can anyone explain how these grammars equate?


informal speech: to empty --> suku/ was empty --> suita. formal speech: to empty --> sukimasu/ was empty --> sukimashita


It said "mashita" towards the end... So shouldn't it be "I was hungry"? Please clarify my head hurts.


空く/ suku is a verb that means "to empty", so this sentence reads something like "My stomach has emptied" It has completed emptying; there's nothing left in it and it needs to be filled.


"I feel hungry" is more appropriate translation for 「おなかがすきました」. "I am hungry" would be translated as 「おなかがすいています」. Reported on Oct. 27, 2017.


Isn't すき "like"?

Wouldn't this translate literally into "Did you like stomach?"


The すき here is not the adjective 好き, like, but the conjugated form of verb 空く・すく- "to empty"


好き is to like, yes. 隙 is not, nor is 鋤. They're all すき, by the way. This is why Kanji is important when context isn't there, and when it's absent, confusion like this comes up. Apart from that, Swisidniak already explained everything there is to explain.


why did the base work "suku" morph to "suki" here?


When conjugating from plain present/future (dictionary) form「空く」, for polite present, negative or past tense the last う sound becomes an い; here turning the く into き and then adding either ます (polite present/future), ません (negative polite present future), ました (polite past), or ませんでした (polite negative past)

空く - suku - to empty (plain present/future)
空きます - sukimasu - to empty (polite present/future)
空きません - sukimasen - to not empty (polite negative)
空きました - sukimashita - emptied (polite past)
空きませんでした - sukimasendeshita - did not empty (polite negative past)

The sentence here おなかがすきました literally means "(my) stomach has emptied"



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