How to use 〜てみる ( = ~ te miru) 

max te miru

= Max Nihongo oshiete miru?

= Do you want to try teaching Japanese, Max?


= Ato de ne…

= Maybe later…

Hello, everyone!

久しぶり!( = hisashiburi) Long time no see!

マギーです。ただいま! ( = Maggie desu. Tadaima!)  I’m Maggie, and I am back!

お待たせしました!  ( = Omatase shimashita.)  Thank you so much for waiting!

またここに戻って来られてとっても嬉しいです!  ( = Mata koko ni modotte korarete tottemo ureshii desu.)

It is SOOO nice to be back here!

Before we begin, please check out the “About Us” page we just added. I guess it is about the time to introduce us properly.
As we mentioned there, if your dogs or cats are interested in teaching Japanese with us, send us their pictures! Contact information is on that page.

OK, today I will teach you Japanese with Max. He is my old buddy.

We will teach you how to use ” Verb ( = te) みる” ( = te) miru

(* Volitional verb)

You use it when you try something out, to attempt to do something / to give it a shot

Note : You also use non-volitional verb + てみる ( = temiru) in a conditional form but I will concentrate volitional verb in this lesson.


!to right! How to form:

★Present tense

!star! Verb て ( = te) form + みる ( = miru) / (polite) みます ( = mimasu)

Ex. 食べる( = taberu) = to eat

:rrrr: Verb ( = te) form食べ ( = tabete) + みる ( = miru)
 / (polite) みます ( = mimasu)

:rrrr: 食べみる ( = tabete miru) / (polite) 食べみます(=tabete mimasu)

Ex. やる( = yaru) = to do

:rrrr: Verb ( = te) form: やっ ( = yatte) + みる ( = miru)/(polite) みます ( = mimasu)

:rrrr: やっみる ( = yatte miru) / (polite) やっみます ( = yatte mimasu)

Ex. 遊ぶ ( = asobu) = to play

:rrrr: Verb ( = te) form: 遊ん( = asonde) + みる  ( = miru)

:rrrr: 遊んでみる ( = asonde miru ) / (polite)  遊んでみます  ( = asonde mimasu.)

★Past tense Verb ( = te) form +みた ( = mita) / (polite) みました  ( = mimashita)

Ex. 歌う(=utau) = to sing

:rrrr: Verb ( = te) form: 歌っ( = utatte) + みた ( = mita) / (polite) みました ( = mimashita)

:rrrr: 歌ってみた ( = utatte mita) / (polite) 歌っみました ( = utatte mimashita)

Ex. 来る ( = kuru) = to come

:rrrr:  Verb ( = te) form: (=kite) + みた  ( = mita) / (polite) みました ( = mimashita)

:rrrr: てみた ( = kite mita) / (polite)てみました ( = kite mimashita)


:kkk: Negative form

★ present tense

Verb ( = te) form : みる ( = ~ te miru ) / (polite)   Verbみます ( = ~ te mimasu)

:rrrr: Verb てみない ( =~ te minai) / (polite) Verb  てみません ( = ~ te mimasen)

★past tense

Verb みた ( = ~te mita) / (polite)  Verbみました  ( = ~ te mimashita)

:rrrr: Verb みなかった( = ~ te minakatta) / (polite) Verb みませんでした ( = ~ te mimasen deshita)

★When to use this form::ii:

*When you attempt to do something casually just to see what will happen or just to see what it’s like. We also use it when you are trying to do something that should produce certain expected results.

Let’s compare the following two sentences.


Ex. 1) 日本語を教えます。

= Nihongo wo oshiemasu.

= I will teach Japanese.

Ex. 2) 日本語を教えてみます

= Nihongo wo oshiete mimasu.

= I will try teaching Japanese. (I will teach as a trial and see how it goes.)

If you look up the meaning of Vてみる( = ~ te miru) in the dictionary, it says “to try”.

Don’t get confused and think that it means to make an effort to do something.

It means “to try doing something” or “to give something a try to see how it goes”.

Ex. ちょっとやってみます

= Chotto yatte mimasu.

= I will give it a try. (to see how it goes / for fun)

Ex. 彼女をデートに誘ってみた

= Kanojo wo deito ni sasotte mita.

= I gave it a shot and asked her out (on a date).


= Hone wo sofaa no shita ni kakushite mimashita.

= I hid a bone under the couch

Ex. 少し考えてみます

= Sukoshi kangaete mimasu.

= I will think about it.

Ex. 行けるところまで行ってみよう

= Ikeru tokoro made itte miyou.

= Let’s go as far as we can./ I will try going as far as I can.(to see how it goes.)

Ex. もう一度、父と話し合ってみます

= Mou ichido, chichi to hanashiattemimasu.

= I will try to talk to my father again.

Ex. 明日までにやっ みます

= Ashita made ni yatte mimasu.

= I will see what I can do by tomorrow. / I will try to do it by tomorrow.

Note: You may hear this kind of expression often in the business world in Japan.

If you say,


明日までにやります ( = Ashita made ni yarimasu), it means, “I will do it by tomorrow.”

But if you say やってみます ( = yatte mimasu), it means you are not promising anything, but you can show that you are going to try.

:mm: *When you ask someone to give it a try to see what it’s like./ When you give advice to try doing something.

Ex. これ食べてみる?(casual)

= Kore tabete miru?

= You wanna a bite? / You wanna try a bite of this?

Ex. 新しい店に行ってみませんか

= Atarashii mise ni itte mimasen ka?

= Would like to go to a new store/restaurant/bar?

Ex. 彼にそのことを話してみたらどうですか?

= Kare ni sono koto wo hanashite mitara doudesu ka?

= Why don’t you talk to him (your boyfriend) about it?

Ex. ダメもと*で彼女に電話をしてみたら?

= Damemoto de kanojo ni denwa wo shite mitara?

= Why don’t you give her a call. You won’t lose anything.

(Note: ダメもと(で)( = damemoto(de) ) a colloquial expression meaning roughly “you won’t lose anything by doing something)

Ex. 採用されるかどうかわからないけれども履歴書を送ってみたらどう?

= Saiyou sareru ka douka wakaranaikeredomo rirekisho wo okutte mitara dou?

= Even if you don’t know whether they will hire you or not, why don’t you try sending them your resume?

:purple: *When you tell someone to try doing something.

Ex. 彼がまだ私のことが好きかどうか聞いてみて下さい。

= Kare ga mada watashi no koto ga suki ka douka kiite mite kudasai.

= Can you ask him if he still likes me or not?

Ex. コンピューターを一度再起動してみて頂けますか?

= Konpyuutaa wo ichido saikidou shite mite itadakemasu ka?

= Could you try restarting your computer once?

Note : imperative form (rough/vulgar/male speech) : When you tell people what to do strongly/ When you challenge people to do something.

~てみろ ( = te miro)

Ex. やってみろ

= Yattemiro!

= Do it! / Try it yourself!

:jjj: When you find out something after doing certain things or passing by the time

Ex. 彼の家に行ってみると誰もいなかった。

= Kare no ie ni itte miru to dare mo inakatta.

= I went to his house but nobody was there.

Ex. 自分が親になってみて初めて子育ての大変さがわかった

= Jibun ga oya ni natte mite hajimete kosodate no taihensa ga wakatta.

= When I became a parent myself, I came to realize how hard it is to be a first time parent.

Ex. シェアハウスは住んでみると意外に快適だ。

= Sheahausu wa sunde miruto igai ni kaiteki da.

= After living in a share house for a while, I found it more comfortable than I thought it would be.

:jjj: When you show your desire to attempt to do something.


~てみたい ( = ~ te mitai =) would like to try to do something,

* 食べてみたい ( = tabete mitai) would like to eat

Ex. あのお寿司屋さんで一度食べてみたいと思っていたんだ。(casual)

= Ano osushiyasan de ichido tabete mitai to omotte itanda.

= I’ve always wanted to eat at the sushi restaurant.

* やってみたい ( = yatte mitai) would like to do

Ex. 死ぬまでにやってみたいこと。

= Shinu made ni yatte mitai koto.

= Things that you would like to do before you die. / A bucket list.

* 会ってみたい ( = atte mitai) would like to meet/see

Ex. マギー先生に会ってみたかった

= Maggie sensei ni atte mitakatta.

= I wish I could see Maggie. (I wanted to see Maggie Sensei.)

* 泳いでみたい ( = oyoide mitai) would like to swim

Ex. 沖縄のきれいな海で泳いでみたい

= Okinawa no kireina umi de oyoide mitai.

= I would love to swim in the beautiful ocean in Okinawa.

:n: Note : The difference between V+たい ( = tai) and V + てみたい ( = temitai)

Ex. a) 日本に行きたい ( = Nihon ni ikitai)

Ex. b) 日本に行ってみたい ( = Nihon ni itte mitai)

They both can be translated as  “I would like to go to Japan”,  but V+たい ( = tai) simply shows your desire to go whether you have been to Japan or not. V+てみたい ( = temitai), however, can only be used if you have never been to Japan.

:rrrr: Related lesson : ~ たい ( = tai)

maggie-senseiマギー先生より ( = Maggie Sensei yori ) From Maggie Sensei

マックス、ありがとう!( = Max Sensei arigatou!) Thank you, Max!

日本語を教えてみてどうだった? ( = Nihongo wo oshiete mite doudatta?)

How did you like teaching Japanese as a trial?

Max: 「やってみる価値はあったよ。」( = Yatte miru kachi wa atta yo.) It was worth trying!


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I appreciate your support!  サポートありがとう!

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  1. Thanks Maggie I love your work! Whenever I am looking for an answer and I Google it I always end up on your site and I love the way you present the information and the quirkiness of the site with the 犬と猫。I am just 18 months into my 日本語journey but loving it! どもありがとございいます。

    1. Hello Andrew!

      Thank YOU so much for visiting this site.
      I am happy to hear you are enjoying your 日本語 journey!
      The key to improve Japanese or any languages is to enjoy studying it.

    2. Just wanted to say how much this helped me. :D I thought that a singer was saying “頑張って見る” and that didn’t make any sense to me. Now I learned about the ~てみる, it makes sense lol


  2. “Note : You also use non-volitional verb + てみる ( = temiru) in a conditional form but I will concentrate volitional verb in this lesson.”

    うーん, 気になった!

    マギー先生、can you give an example of 〜てみる using a non-volitional verb?

    I tried to make a sentence in the conditional form but can’t seem to find any that makes sense.
    E.g. 疲れてみたら… If you are going to try (and see what happens when you) get tired? Er…

    Am I misunderstanding what you meant with the conditional form ?

    1. Haha I don’t remember well what I meant but sorry for the confusion.
      It is rare and conversational so you don’t have to worry about it.
      I think what I meant was some intransitive non-volitional verbs such as 助かる/広まる/こわれる, etc.
      When you find out something after something happens

      Ex. ケータイが壊れてみてどれだけ便利だったか気がついた。
      I found out how convenient to have a cellphone after it broke.

  3. Hi I have some doubts with the て form,I couldnt find the main て form page so I am gonna ask here if you dont mind :)

    So lets say I finished doing something today



    Like I am not sure when to use Verb+て+た form and Verb+た form
    Thank you

    1. @Chibainu

      Hello Chibainu,

      * 宿題をやっていた= I have been doing my homework./ I was doing my homework. (describe what you were doing.)
      →Casual contraction (skipping い)

      宿題をやってた (grammatically wrong but we use this form a lot in conversation)
      If you want to learn more about this form, go check this lesson. (Casual contraction)
      * 宿題をやった = I did my homework/ I finished my homework/ I have done my homework. (completion of the action)

      1. Oh oh i see
        So て+た is for something I have been doing sometime ago in the past!
        I was looking at flowers yesterday

        そのペイジ見ました。じゃあ それは目上と教師に話す時使わないほうがいいですよね?

        1. @Chibainu

          見ていた→casual contraction 見てた

      1. This phrase is the extraction of a video, and indeed “they” are the three protagonists.
        If you really believe that I did well, then as if I could cry for the T-T emosion

          1. @Kaede
            There is not connotaton of “try to” in the sentence. Just the last と… implies there is something in that direction where she was pointing at. So you can just translate it with “when” as well.
            When they looked at the direction where she was pointing….

  4. Hi sensei, I have a question regarding the imperative form of “te miru”.

    Is it “te miro” or “te miyo”?

    The masu-stem of “miru” is “mi” isn’t it?

    Besides, in Sanada Maru drama I heard them say ????? and the English translation was “Speak up”.

    Thank you.

      1. @Ali

        Hi Ali,
        The imperative form of “te miru” is “te miro” and “te miyo”. “te miyo” is an old form so you may hear/see it in historical stories, Samurai drama, etc.

  5. Hello Maggie-sensei~! I’ve been using this site for reference for a while, but looking at this lesson, I couldn’t answer the question I had. :cryingboy:

    Can you tell me if 「食べてみ」 and 「クリックしてみ」, or other verbs like that are just a shortened/colloquial form of ~てみる? Thank you so much for your reply, I appreciate it~! !heartsippai!

  6. Hi sensei, I’m sorry to ask you this kind of question here but truth is, this is a little thing that’s annoying me a lot during my studies. It’s about the na adjectives.
    “jibun ga oya ni natte mite hajimete kosodate no taihensa ga wakatta.”
    Why the “sa” after taihen? I mean, wasn’t that “sa” only for the I adjectives? Since the na adjectives are also nouns, it confuses me a lot when I look up a word on a dictionary and it defines it as a noun, “inconvenience”, for example. But then I see the word used as a na adjective, meaning “inconvenient”, I guess. So, I can say “fuben na tokoro” as “inconvenient place” or “sonna fuben” as “what an inconvenience” (as a noun), true?
    And why the “sa” after some na adjectives? It doesn’t appear in my dictionary so I don’t know about it. Thanks a lot and sorry for all the trouble! !heart3!

    1. @Rhi

      Hello Rhi!!
      First nominalization with さ(=sa) is not just with i-adjective. It also works with na-adjetive.

      Since the na adjectives are also nouns, it confuses me a lot
      →na-adjectives are not nouns.
      I think it will be easier for you to think the plain form of na-adjecitve is ~ な

      *元気な = genkina Ex. 元気な子供= genkina kodomo = a cheerful child
      *きれいな=kireina Ex. きれいな絵= kireina e = a beautiful picture

      And the way you make a noun from na-adjective is
      1) delete な(=na) *元気な = genkina →元気=genki
      2) add さ(=sa) 元気さ= genkisa = cheefulness

      大変な(=taihenna) →大変さ(=taihensa)
      きれいな(=kireina) →きれいさ(=kireisa)
      不便な(=fubennna) →不便さ(=fubennsa)

      1. Oh but then, a word like “shiawase”, that is used as a na adjective “shiawase na hito”, is also the noun for happiness, isn’t it?
        Or “fuan”, according to my dictionary it means anxiety and also “fuan na hito/ fuan ni naru” are listed as examples. That’s pretty much what confuses me, in my dictionary almost all na-adjectives are also listed as nouns, and most of them appear with a noun description, so I don’t know well how to treat them. If, for instance, I can add -sou to a noun, so with the shiawase example “shiawasesou” would be correct? Another example, with “kiken = danger, hazard; na adjective and noun”, So is kiken also the noun for “danger”? Or do I have to add -sa to all na adjectives to make their noun form :/
        Thank you!! !happyface!

        1. @Rhi

          Maybe the dictionary that you use confuses you.
          na-adjectives are adjectives. They are not nous.
          “shiawase-na” is an adjective and it means “happy” and “shiawase” is a noun and it means “happiness”
          “fuan-na” is an adjective “anxious” and “fuan” is a noun “anxiety”
          Either na-adj and i-adj modify a noun.
          “shiawase-na hito” itself is a noun “a happy person” but
          “hito” is a noun and “shiawase-na” is an adj that modifies a noun,”hito”

  7. This is unrelated to this particular post, but I wanted to ask a certain question about something new I saw. The sentence


    According to the following news article, it appears that the word 1ミリ, which is supposed to mean “1 millimeter,” has started to be used figuratively in a lot of contexts.

    In this 1ミリたりとも, for example, meaning “not even 1 millimeter of …” Have you ever seen such a thing before?

    1. @Tosiaki

      Hi Tosiaki,
      I think I taught that word once on Twitter before.

      Yes, the direct translation is 1ミリも or (stronger) 1ミリたりとも “not even 1 millimeter” and we use it when we deny something strongly.
      Ex. 1ミリたりとも譲れない= it is not negotiable
      Though the politicians use it, it is often used in a colloquial way.
      Ex. 1ミリも知らなかった= didn’t know about something at all.
      Ex. 1ミリも許せない= can’t allow at all

  8. お帰りなさい。いつも新しいレッスンを楽しみにしています。相変わらず分かりやすいです。:-)

    It’s very interesting, I hadn’t thought of てみる as a way to soften a comment. Similar to English that way.
    When talking about something you tried out and found that it was X, the てみる is used to add emphasis/show that the result was different than expected, right? Looking at the examples, it seems like without てみる the meaning is basically the same.

    I was also wondering on the example 「彼の家に行ってみると誰もいなかった」could you use the other kind of trying: 彼の家に行こうとしたが誰もいなかった。
    Ok? Or does it not work with 「誰もいなかった」because you did actually physically go there / you weren’t stopped from going.

    Another example, could you say either:
    レストランに行ってみると満室でした when I went to the restaurant, I found it was full
    レストランに行こうとしたが満室でした I tried to go to the restaurant, but it was full

    Thank you!

    1. @elainelinc

      Hello, elainelinc!

      Now I will show you the difference between 行ってみると—- and 行こうとすると….
      While 行ってみると means you actually went there and found out something, 行こうとすると…means when you are about to leave/when you attempt to go somewhere/whenever you attempt to go somewhere, something happens and you can’t go. So 行ってみると means you actually go somewhere but 行こうとすると means you are not actually in that place. It just focuses on your action trying going somewhere.

      So レストランに行こうとしたが満室でした/彼の家に行こうとしたが誰もいなかった。don’t sound natural because the speakers actually went to the restaurant or his house.

      〜に行こうとしたら親に止められた。= I was going to go ~ but my parents stopped me.

      1. 明らかに説明してくれてありがとう。いまから「て見る」は使いやすくなります。
        This is very helpful. Thank you! I’ve always had some trouble with knowing when to use verb-おうとする and when to use てみる. This explanation helps a lot.

        1. @elainelinc

          (A little correction : 明らかに : You wanted to say “clearly”? In this case, “clearly” is はっきりと but how about わかりやすく?)

  9. Hello Maggie-sensei!

    I’m new to this site, although I have visited a few times in the past. In most of the sites I have gotten confused reading chats between various people trying to explain to each other slight grammatical nuances.

    However I came again today for a better explanation of ageru/kureru/morau endings and I really liked the quality of your lesson! After reading around I also noticed how responsive you are to everyone’s responses. (and how colorful your lessons are) So I decided to post and plan more future visits. :)

    I did have a question since I don’t see a lesson for it. I don’t need a full blown explanation but I’ve seen the kakeru paired with several verbs and the meaning has never been consistent. If you could explain it would be greatly appreciated!

    1. @nyoro

      Hello nyoro! Welcome to our site!
      As for your request, V+かける, someone else has just asked me to explain the meaning/usage of かける and it is already added to the request list. So I will make a lesson for you. I still have a long list of request but please wait patiently. :)

  10. Maggie Sensei, お元気ですか. I’m new to this site, having only just begun visiting this week; but I have learned plenty. どうもありがとうございます! However being new also means I haven’t really gotten around to learning how to navigate this website properly and I have a few questions regarding colloquial grammar. I frequently hear in casual speech the ‘te’ form being followed immediately by ‘ます’ or た and ました without any ‘i’ sound. Is it just a result of slurring because it’s easier to say without an ‘i’, or is it a correct construction?


    1. @Blossom

      Hello Blossom! はじめまして!Welcome to our site! :)
      There is no proper way to use this site. Go to the Index page and find the topics you like and get the information you need from the page you choose.
      OK, let me answer your question.

      When we talk, we often drop い after て in colloquial Japanese. Or the listener can’t hear the sound of い.
      食べています→ 食べてます
      食べている→ 食べてる
      聞こえていました→ 聞こえてました
      聞こえている → 聞こえてる
      見ていた → 見てた

      This is called い抜き言葉(=inuki kotoba) and it is considered to be incorrect grammatically and I bet your Japanese teachers hate it especially when you write without い.
      So if you are studying Japanese in a class or you are going to take an exam, do write い.
      But it is very important to know how we actually talk in conversation dropping い.

      1. So the removal of the ‘i’ does not change the intended meaning? ‘見てた’ simply means ‘見ていた’ and is NOT just a colloquial ‘見た’, right? Because sometimes I can’t tell the difference when they are used in context. Japanese is spoken very quickly and I get very confused as to when the V+~ている form is used (like in instances of 結婚している and 知っている meaning ‘married’ and ‘know’ and not ‘is getting married’ and ‘knowing’ respectively). Thank you for the explanation and the tip about 抜き言葉 :)

        1. @Blossom

          So the removal of the ‘i’ does not change the intended meaning? ‘見てた’ simply means ‘見ていた’ and is NOT just a colloquial ‘見た’, right?
          →Right. 見ていた →見てた
          見た (simple past) and 見て(い)た are different.
          ~ている means “to be ~ ing” (describing what is happening) but you are right. It also used to describe some state of the current condition.

  11. Thank you for the lesson its so good to have you back! The lesson was fun, the only part I did not understand was the みたら. I never understand the たら section ><

    1. @John

      Hi John! We are glad to be back here,too!
      ~たら is conditional.

      1) Making an suggestion
      Do you want to try doing something? / Why don’t you try doing something?/ You should ~

      Ex. 行ってみたら?
      Ex. 食べてみたらどうですか?
      Ex. この映画観てみたらどう?

      2) When you report how it goes when you try doing something

      Ex. 行ってみたらいい所だった = (I gave it a try and ) I went there and (found out) it was a nice place.
      Ex. やってみたら簡単だった = I tried doing that and (found out) it was easy
      Ex. 食べてみたら苦かった = (I gave it a try and ) I ate it and (found out) it was bitter.

      If you want to learn more about たら、go check this lesson.

  12. お帰りなさい、マギー先生!とても良いレッスンでした(^^)


    1. @Lava

      ただいま、Lava! またこのサイトに来てくれてありがとう!
      そうですね、英語の訳をみると「〜てみる」も「試す」、「試みる」もto try で違いがわかりにくいですね。
      1) We use 〜てみる casually in daily conversation with many verbs but we use 試す when we emphasize the actions of testing something.
      2) As we saw in the lesson, ~てみる is used with other verbs but 試す can’t be combined with other verbs.

      object (noun) を試す
      verb かどうか試す, etc.

      3) 試す means “to try/ to test / to experiment / to check it out”
      〜てみる means “to try doing something to see what happens / how it goes”

      But actually you can combine these two.

      試してみる means “to give it a try to see what happens / how it goes”

      Let’s compare the following sentences.

      Ex. 1) 新しい薬を試す。 = to test a new medicine
      Ex. 2) 新しい薬が効くかどうか試す = to test a new medicine to see if it works.”
      Ex. 3) 新しい薬が効くかどうか試してみる = to try using a new medicine to see how it works.”


      試みる to make an attempt / take a shot

      Now 試みる is used for something more challenging or formal.

      救出を試みる = to attempt rescue someone
      犯人の説得を試みる= to attempt to persuade the criminal


      1. 詳しく説明してくれてありがとうございます!

  13. こんばんは、おはよう、マギー先生!また私です(^ω^)

    一. People often confuse~てみる with ~(よ)うする, so I think a good idea would be to write something about it.
    二.~てみる is also sometimes used as an euphemism (間接・椀曲表現)to avoid being too direct. It makes the sentence more polite.
    三. There is also a construction such as ~てみろ EX) もういっぺん言ってみろ and it feels like “come on, try to say that again (and you will see what happens)”.
    四. There are also some expressions like 言ってみれば (in a matter of speaking)、今となってみれば (looking back today)、考えてみれば (come to think about it) which are a bit different translated than this ~てみる. It’s useful to know their meaning.


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