JLPT N4 Grammar: 〜てみる – How to Say "I will try…" in Japanese


Have you ever wanted to express that you want to try something in Japanese?  Or maybe you are having a conversation about a time when you tried something for the first time.  Of course you could use 初めて〜, but conversational Japanese uses the expression 〜てみる.
In this blog we will review the above video and the use of the JLPT N4 Grammar point てみる (te miru) – meaning: “to try” doing something.  Make sure to visit our Youtube channel and subscribe too!

How to Say “I will try…” in Japanese Using 〜てみる

Simply put, 〜てみる in Japanese means “to try” or “to try to do”.  It also is used to indicate when it is the first time that someone went somewhere.  This is a JLPT N4 grammar point that can be used in a number of different ways, such as:

  • Offering someone to try something
  • Expressing the want to try something or go somewhere for the first time
  • Talking about having tried something in the past

てみる can be used in both polite and casual form Japanese.  The grammatical structure is as follows.
て form verb + みる/みます (miru/mimasu)
For more information on て form verbs, check out this grammar blog article!
Although it sounds similar to the Japanese verb 見る – to see, 〜てみる is actually a different word.  Additionally, no kanji is used for 〜てみる.  It is written only in hiragana.  It can, however, be used in conjuction with the verb 見る.
To demonstrate its uses, let’s review some examples from the video above.

Examples of 〜てみる

Example: Offering to try something

A: このクッキー美味しいですよ。私はよく食べます!
Kono kukkii oishii desu yo.  Watashi wa yoku tabemasu!
These cookies are delicious.  I eat them a lot!
B: ええ、そのクッキー美味しいですか?
Ee, sono kukkii oishii desu ka?
Eh, those cookies are good?
A: はい、美味しいですよ。食べてみますか?
Hai, oishii desu yo.  Tabetemimasu ka?
Yes, they are delicious.  Will you try one?
In the above example, 〜てみる (~te miru) is used in polite form to offer some cookies.  It is phrased as a question with the invitation ませんか? (masen ka?)

Example: Wanting to go somewhere to visit

沖縄に行ったことがありますか?
Okinawa ni itta koto ga arimasu ka?
Have you ever been to Okinawa?
沖縄に行ってみたいです!
Okinawa ni itte mitai desu!
I want to visit Okinawa!
In this example from the video above, the verb 行く (iku) is used with 〜てみる, and てみる is conjugated to 〜てみたい.
Since たい is used with verbs to indicate that one wants to do something, 行ってみたい says “I want to try and go” or “I want to visit”.

Example: Volitional form

ビデオを見てみましょう!
Bideo o mite mimashou!
Let’s try watching the video!
As shown in this example, one can use 〜てみる with the volitional form.  For casual speech, use the plain form: 〜てみよう。However, for polite speech like above, use てみましょう.
That’s all for this entry!  Remember to check out some of our other JLPT blogs – or our online JLPT prep courses!

Looking for Online Japanese Lessons?

Interested in learning Japanese online?  In that case, look no further than Coto’s Online Japanese lessons!
Sign up for a free account and browse our teachers!