11 Common Japanese Phrases Using the Word "気" – Ki

What is “気” – Ki

“気(ki)” literally means “gas” of “air”. In Japanese culture, it is believed that “気” is a form of energy that flows in every living beings’ body. It is the source of life and is 1 of the 3 elements which make up our body (the concept of 気血水).
This concept is integrated into the culture so much that expressions using the word “気” are commonly used. In this article, let’s learn the 11 common phrases which use the word “気”.

Illustration of the “気血水” Concept 

Illustration of the "気血水" Concept 

Phrases Using The Word “気”

Ki ga suru

Meaning: Feeling like something is about to happen
Example: 今日雨が降る気がする。
Feels like it is going to rain today.

Ki o tsukeru

Meaning: be cautious or careful
Example: 気をつけて道路を渡りましょう。
Let’s cross the road carefully.


Meaning: Like, showing interests in
Example: 私はこのぬいぐるみが気に入った。
Watashi wa kono nuigurumi ga kiniitta
I liked this doll.

Ki ni naru

Meaning: Be Worried about, interested in, or bothered by something or someone,
Example: 僕は気になっている女の子に告白しました。
I confessed to the girl I like.

Ki ni suru

Meaning: be worried about, concerned with or care about something.
Example: 失敗を気にしないで。
Do not worry about the failures.

Ki ga au

Meaning: Getting along well
Example: 気が合う友だちが欲しい。
I want some friends whom I can get along with well.

Ki ga tsuku

Meaning: Realises, noticing something
I kept playing games until I realized that 10 hours have passed.

Ki ga ooi

Meaning: Being too capricious or having too many interests
Jack is very fickle, he is interested in so many things.

Ki ga kiku

Meaning: Having a good head on one’s shoulder.
Example: かいとくんはいつも気が利く。
Kaito Always has a good head on his shoulder.

Ki ga ookii

Meaning: Generous
Mr. Suzuki is so generous, he did not get angry even when his shirt got dirtied by the kids.

Ki no sei

Meaning: One’s imagination. Usually used when one is not sure about what was felt.
I heard a girl crying just now, was it just my imagination?
Of Course, there are much more phrases with the word “気” You will get to learn them as you continue to study Japanese.
Fun Fact! The old/traditional way of writing this kanji is “氣”
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