AIUEO – Tsu – Tsui Tsui – “ついつい” in Japanese
Would it be strange if I said I (“couldn’t help but study?”) “ついつい勉強してしまう”
When you “couldn’t help yourself” – ついつい – tsui tsui – from doing something, it’s usually about something else.
You might say that you were trying to study but couldn’t help yourself from spending time browsing the web. 勉強しようと思ったけど、ついついネットを見て時間が過ぎてしまった。
Or you might say that your body feels heavy because you couldn’t help yourself from drinking too much the previous night. 夕べも ついつい飲み過ぎちゃって、朝から体がだるい。
You might skip your exercise routine. You couldn’t help it.
Situations where “you couldn’t help yourself” are situations where “you knew what had to be done but failed to do so.”
Oftentimes we use this phrase in describing instances in which we are unable to control ourselves.
Basically, it’s a regrettable habit.
So why not try flipping thing around and using “I couldn’t help myself” in a positive way?
Do you have any habits you’ve kept for a long time?
In my case, that habit would be walking. I started walking because I wasn’t very athletic. I couldn’t help myself from skipping exercise sessions.
“Maybe walking is something I can do, because it doesn’t feel like exercise.”
That’s the feeling I started with. And after a while… I realized something. Whenever I felt down or couldn’t concentrate, a walk through a park’s greenery could make me feel refreshed!Once I realized that, I couldn’t stop walking. When I have free time, I “can’t help myself from walking.”
“Studying” is the same way.
Perhaps you can’t help yourself from skipping study sessions. Plenty of people say “I like learning, but I don’t like studying!!” I totally get that feeling!! I’m the same way.
So let’s find out a way to make things more fun.
“Studying” can become something a lot more fun if you can find a way to make it more enjoyable and get that feeling of progression. Once that happens, you “won’t be able to help yourself.” You’ll end up studying!
Try to find your own “I can’t help myself” formula – ついつい、やっちゃう- so that you can enjoy long term positive habits!
About the Author:
Ms. Yumi Yoshida has over 16 years experience teaching Japanese. Her hobbies are traveling alone and Japanese Sake. She loves bringing a conversational style to her Japanese lessons.