Today we room going to research the difference in between the nominalization suffix さ ( = sa) and み ( = mi)

As you know, to “nominalize” something way to turn into a noun.

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First, allow me explain the function of さ ( = sa)

You have the right to nominalize one adjective through the suffix さ ( = sa)

★ i-adjective:

Ex. 軽い = かるい = karui = irradiate (weight)

→(nominalize) 軽さ = かるさ = karusa = lightness

So delete い ( = i) and readjust it come さ( = sa)

Ex. かわいい ( = kawaii) cute

→かわいさ ( = kawaisa) cuteness

Ex. 30歳になったらかわいさだけではやっていけない。

= Sanjussai ni nattara kawaisa dakedewa yatte ikenai.

= as soon as you obtain to 30 years old, “cuteness” alone won’t occupational anymore.

★ na-adjecitve:

Ex. きれいな = kireina = beautiful, clean

→(nominalize) きれいさ = kireisa = beauty/ cleanness

Ex. このうちのきれいさは、うちと比べ物にならない。

= Kono uchi no kireisa wa, uchi come kurabemono ni naranai.

= (the cleanliness of this home is nothing contrasted to mine house.)

= This home is so clean it can’t be contrasted to my house.

Note: There space two forms of nominalization of 静か = shizuka

* 静かさ= しずかさ= shizukasa = talking around how quiet the is (degree of the quietness)

* 静けさ= しずけさ= shizukesa = tranquility

(it come from one old adjective 静けし= shizukeshi)

You have the right to also include さ ( = sa) to the suffix such as らしい ( = rashii) / やすい ( = yasui ) / にくい ( = nikui) / づらい ( = zurai) / たい ( = tai)

Ex. 女らしい

= onna rashii

= feminine

→ 女らしさ

= Onna rashisa

= femininity

Ex. 私は、女らしさではマギーにまさっている。

= Watashi wa onna rashisa dewa Maggie ni masatte iru.

= when it involves femininity, ns am much better than Maggie.

Ex. 使いやすい

= tsukai yasui

= basic to use


= tsukai yasusa

= usability

Ex. 使いやすさからこの携帯を選んだ。

= Tsukaiyasusa kara kono keitai wo eranda.

= I chose this cellphone by the user-friendliness.

Ex. 会いたい

= aitai

= to desire to view someone


= aitasa

= eagerness to satisfy someone

Ex. 離れていると会いたさが増す。

= Hanarete iru to aitasa ga masu.

= The farther ns am from someone the an ext I desire to satisfy them.


Another suffix offered to nominalize adjective is み ( = mi)

This may give you a headache due to the fact that the translations are the very same as once さ( = sa) is used, but the nuances the nominalized さ( = sa) and み( = mi) adjectives room different.

★General difference:

They both suggest some problem or state of being but in general,

さ ( = sa)is supplied for points that room measurable or once objectively indicating the level of a state.

み ( = mi)is provided to explain the state the something from a subjective allude of view. (It sometimes requires a speaker’s feelings).

It expresses the clear nature that the state.

1) contrasted to さ( = sa), the nouns that you have the right to make through み ( = mi) are more limited.

* 美しい = utsukushii = beautiful

→美しさ = utsukushisa = beauty

You can’t say X 美しみ= utsukushimi(wrong)

* 大きい = ookii = big

→大きさ = ookisa = size

X 大きみ = ookimi (wrong)

*忙しい = isogashii = busy

→忙しさ = isogashisa = busyness

X 忙しみ = isogashimi (wrong)

* きれい = kirei = clean/ beautiful

→きれいさ = kireisa = beauty

X きれいみ = kireimi (wrong)

* うれしい= ureshii = happy, joyful

→うれしさ= ureshisa = joy

X うれしみ= ureshimi (wrong)

*~らしい= rashii

→らしさ= rashisa

X らしみ = rashimi (wrong)

Verb + たい = tai

X Verbたみ= tami (wrong)

From the photos above:


= Kawaisa dewa darenimo makenai wayo.

= Nobody can beat mine “cuteness”

*わよ = wayo is a suffix because that a mrs speech

Note: かわいさ= kawaisa= cuteness

Of course, you can’t measure up “cuteness” but I’m obviously “cute” and it is miscellaneous visible.

(And you can’t say かわいみ = kawaimi)

2) You use さ ( = sa) because that something measurable (you check out the level of the state objectively) and also you use み ( = mi) to express the nature/ characterization the the state an ext subjectively.

★ 深い = ふかい = fukai = deep

* 深さ = ふかさ = fukasa = depth (measurable)

Ex. この池の深さはどのぐらいですか?

= Kono ike no fukasa wa donogurai desu ka?

= how deep is this pond.

Ex. 深さ1メートルです。

= Fukasa ichimeetoru desu.

= the 1 meter deep.

* 深み = ふかみ = fukami = depth (unmeasurable)

Ex. 木々の緑の深みがましてきた。

= Kigi no midori no fukami ga mashite kita.

= The greenness that this tree has gained darker.

★ 重い = おもい= omoi = heavy (measurable)

* 重さ = おもさ= omosa = weight

Ex. 機内に持ち込めるバッグの重さと大きさを教えてください。

= Kinai ni mochikomeru baggu no omosa come ookisa wo oshiete kudasai.

= you re welcome tell me the weight and the size of the carry-on bags.

* 重み = おもみ = omomi = importance, weight (unmeasurable)

Ex. 家具の重みで床がへこんだ。

= Kagu no omomi de yuka ga hekonda.

= The floor acquired dented by the load of the furniture.

Ex. 父の言葉には重みがある。

= Chichi no kotoba niwa omomi ga aru.

= my father’s words lug weight.

Note: therefore 重さ ( = omosa) and also 重み ( = omomi) are both “weight”.

While 重さ ( = omosa) is other measurable, 重み ( = omomi) is an ext subjective and also the nature of the state.

You background a thing, you feel the weigh, the is 重み ( = omomi)

★ 厚い = あつい = atsui = thick

* 厚さ = あつさ = atsusa = thickness (measurable)

Ex. この食パン、厚さ2センチにスライスしてください。

= Kono shokupan, atsusa nisenchi ni suraisu shite kudasai.

= Please part the loaf of bread 1cm thick.

* 厚み = あつみ = atsumi = thickness, profoundness (unmeasurable/ There are exceptions.*)

Ex. 彼は、人間としての厚みが出てきたね。

= Kare wa, ningen toshite no atsumi ga dete kitane.

= He has actually grown as person being. (Literally: he has gotten thickness as a human being being. )

Ex. 厚みのあるカーペット

= Atsumi no aru kaapetto.

= thick carpet

★ 温かい = あたかい = atatakai = warmth / kind

* 温かさ = あたたかさ = atatakasa = warm (measurable) / how warmth that person is

Ex. この温熱パックは40度の温かさを15分ほど保ちます。

= Kono onnetsu pakku wa yonjuudo no atatakasa wo juugofun hodo tamochimasu.

= This heatpack will continue to be at a 40 level temperature because that 15 minutes.

* 温かみ = あたたかみ = atatakami = warmth (unmeasurable) / goodness (nature)

Ex. 彼には心の温かみがない。

= Kare niwa kokoro no atatakami ganai.

= He has a cold heart.

Note: friend can also say 心の温かさ ( = kokoro no atatakasa) once you describe how quite that human is (degree)

★ 高い = たかい = takai = height, expensive

* 高さ = たかさ = takasa = elevation / expensiveness(measurable)

Ex. 背の高さはどれぐらい?

= Se no takasa wa dore gurai?

= how tall are you?

Ex. 波の高さにより海で泳げない日があります。

= Nami no takasa ni yori umi de oyogenai hello ga arimasu.

= There room days the you can’t swim since the waves space too big.

* 高み = たかみ = takami = elevation (unmeasurable)


= Takami wo mezasu.

= to target high


3) now there are much more subtle difference in between them.

Some ~ さ( = sa) words room not measurable either however indicate some level of the state objectively

The suffix ~ み ( = mi) suggests quality/naturefrom one’s allude of watch subjectively.

From the picture above:


= Kono dorama omoshiromi ni kakeru yone.

= This drama lacks an interesting factor.

= This drama is sort of dull.

* 面白さ = omoshirosa = how exciting it is (degree)

* 面白み = omoshiromi = the high quality of interestingness /something to attract people

★ 強い = つよい = tsuyoi = strong

* 強さ = つよさ = tsuyosa = strength/how strong it is/you are

Ex. 一人で生きていける強さが欲しい。

= Hitori de ikite ikeru tsuyosa ga hoshii.

= I’d prefer the stamin to live on my own.

* 強み = つよみ = tsuyomi= strength, forte, strong point

Ex. うちのチームの強みはチームワークのよさだ。

= Uchi no chiimu no tsuyomi wa chiimu waakuk no yosa da.

= ours teams’ stamin is the end teamwork.

★弱い = よわい = yowai = weak

* 弱さ = よわさ = yowasa = weakness/how weak it is/you are

Ex. 自分達が試合に負けたのは体力の弱さよりも精神力の弱さが原因だった。

= Jibun tachi ga shiai ni maketa no wa tairyoku no yowasa yori mo seishinryoku no yowasa ga gen’in datta.

= The reason why we lost the game was not due to physical weakness however to mental weakness.

* 弱み = よわみ = yowami = soft spot, weak point, breakable point

Ex. 人に弱みを見せたくない。

= Hito ni yowami wo misetaku nai.

= i don’t desire to display my weakness come others.

★ありがたい = arigatai = gracious

* ありがたさ = arigatasa = graciousness, preciousness/ how grateful you are

Ex. これからの世代に平和のありがたさを伝えていかなくてはいけない。

= Kore kara no sedai ni heiwa no arigatasa wo tsutaete ikanakute wa ikenai.

= We have to pass ~ above the preciousness of tranquility to our future generations.

* ありがたみ = arigatami = value, worth

Ex. 遠く離れてみて初めて親のありがたみを感じる

= Tooku hanarete mite hajimete oya no arigatami wo kanjiru.

= ns appreciated the presence of mine parents because that the very first time once I moved far from them.

Ex. 若い頃はお金のありがたみがあまりわからかった。

= Wakai koro wa okane no arigatami ga amari wakaranakatta.

= when I to be young, ns didn’t appreciate money for this reason much.


4) み ( = mi) was initially written v the kanji 味 ( = み)

You still use the kanji 味 ( = み)when you talk around the taste and color.


★ 甘い = あまい = amai = sweet, too optimistic

→ 甘さ = あまさ = amasa = sweetness, leniency, weakness, lacking something

Ex. 自分の甘さを克服したい。

= Jibun no amasa wo kokufuku shitai.

= I’d like to get over my weakness.

Ex. 砂糖をかけない方が果物本来の甘さが味わえる。

= Satou wo kakenai hou ga kudamono honrai no amasa ga ajiwaeru

= You deserve to taste the true sweetness of fruit there is no sugar.

→ 甘味/ 甘み = あまみ = amami = sweetness (You only use it because that the taste)

Ex. この苺は甘味/甘みが強い。

= Kono ichigo wa amami ga tsuyoi.

= This strawberry is very sweet.

* 辛い = からい = karai = spicy, hot, strict

→ 辛さ = からさ= karasa = how hot it is

→ 辛味/辛み = からみ= karami = hot taste, pungency

* うまい/ 旨い = umai = delicious 

→うまさ = umasa = exactly how delicious the is

→旨味/うまみ= umami = savory taste

*酸っぱい= すっぱい = suppai = tart  

→酸っぱさ = すっぱさ = suppasa = how sour that is

→酸っぱ味/酸っぱみ = すっぱみ = suppami = cake taste

* 苦い = にがい = nigai = bitter

→苦さ = にがさ = nigasa = bitterness / how bitter it is

→苦味/苦み = にがみ = nigami = bitterness, bitter taste


*赤い =あかい= akai = red

→ 赤味 / 赤み =あかみ = akami = reddisness

*青い = あおい = aoi = blue

→青味 / 青み =あおみ= aomi = blueness

There are particular expressions with color + み ( = mi)

Ex. 青み(青味)がかった

= aomi gakatta

= bluish

Ex. 赤み(赤味)を帯びた

= akami wo obita

= reddish


5) you can connect み ( = mi) suffix to certain verbs.

★ 痛い = itai = painful(adjective)

→* 痛さ = いたさ= itasa (degree that the pain/how lot pain girlfriend have)

Ex. あまりの痛さに思わず声を上げた。

= Amari no itasa ni omowazu koe wo ageta.

= i couldn’t assist raising my voice with that pain.

★ 痛む =いたむ = itamu = to pains (verb)

→* 痛み = いたみ = itami (the ide of pain chin )

Ex. 腕に軽い痛みがあります。

= Ude ni karui itami ga arimasu.

= over there is a slight pain in mine arm.

Ex. 痛み止めを飲んでください。

= Itamidome wo nonde kudasai.

= please take a painkiller.

★ 楽しい = たのしい = tanoshii = fun, amusing, satisfied (adjective)

→* 楽しさ = たのしさ = tanoshisa = amusement, pleasantness

Ex. 多くの人々に山に登る楽しさを味わってほしい。

= Ooku no hitobito ni yama ni noboru tanoshisa wo ajiwatte hoshii.

= I want many civilization to enjoy climbing mountains.

★ 楽しむ = たのしむ = tanoshimu = to gain (verb)

→* 楽しみ = たのしみ = tanoshimi = pleasure

Ex. 来週のデートが楽しみだ。

= Raishuu no deeto ga tanoshimi ta.

= i am looking front to the day next week.

★悲しい = かなしい = kanashii = sad (adjective)

→* 悲しさ = かなしさ = kanashisa = sadness / exactly how sad you are (degree)

Ex. 日本を発つときの悲しさといったらなかった。

= Nihon wo tatsu toki no kanashisa to ittara nakatta.

= i can’t describe how sad ns was once I left Japan.

★悲しむ = kanashimu = to feeling sad (verb)

→* 悲しみ = かなしみ = kanashimi = sadness, sorrow

Ex. 彼は、深い悲しみを乗り越えてこの作品を作り上げた。

= Kare wa, fukai kanashimi wo norikoete kono sakuhin wo tsukuriageta.

= Overcoming his deep sorrow, he finished up this work.

★ 親しい = したしい = shitashii = close, intimate (adjective)

→* 親しさ = したしさ = shitashisa = closeness, intimacy / exactly how much you are close to someone


= “san” de yobu ka “chan” de yobuka wa sono hito tono shitashisa ni yotte kimemasu.

= us decide whether we contact a person either through “san” or “chan” by exactly how close we space to that person.

★親しむ = したしむ = shitashimu =to get familiar with ~ (verb)

→* 親しみ = したしみ= shitashimi = friendliness, endearing, emotion of closeness

Ex. 小さい頃からアニメを観ていたので日本に親しみを感じています。

= Chiisai koro kara anime wo miteita node nihon ni shitashime wo kanjiteimasu.

= since I have actually been the town hall anime because childhood, ns feel close to Japan.

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= ns feel really close to Japan because I have been the town hall anime due to the fact that I was a child.