How to use みたい ( = mitai)

mitai

「今まで僕みたいなかわいい先生いた?」

= Imamade boku mitai na kawaii sensei ita?

= Was there a cute teacher like me before?

ニャ~~~

= Nyaaa

= Meow

Hi everyone!
We have the cutest teacher today.
His name is Nian Nian. !onpu!

Though he is very young, he is willing to teach you Japanese today.

*********
みなさん、はじめまして!Nian Nianです。

= Minasan, hajimemashite! Nian Nian desu.

= Nice to meet you, everyone! I am Nian Nian.

Today I will be your teacher. I am little but please show me some respect. ニャ~ = Nyaa = Meow!

So today’s topic is how to use みたい ( = mitai).

Maggie sensei told me many of you asked her the difference between みたい ( = mitai),  よう ( = you), らしい( = rashii) and そう ( = sou)  and she realized she hasn’t made a

lesson on みたい ( = mitai) so here we go!

 !star! How to form

noun + みたい  ( = mitai)

Ex. 犬みたい

= inu mitai

past tense

Ex. 犬だったみたい

= Inu datta mitai.

negative form

Ex. 犬ではないみたい

= Inu de wa nai mitai.

(casual)

Ex. 犬じゃないみたい

= Inu ja nai mitai.

past negative

Ex. 犬ではなかったみたい

= Inu dewa nakatta mitai.

(casual)

Ex. 犬じゃなかったみたい

= Inu janakatta mitai.

verb plain form + みたい ( = mitai)

Ex. 行くみたい ( = iku mitai) 

:rrrr: (negative) 行かないみたい ( = ikanai mitai)

Ex. 行ったみたい ( = itta mitai)

:rrrr: (negative) 行かなかったみたい ( = ikanakatta mitai)

Ex. 行っているみたい ( = itte iru mitai)

:rrrr: (negative) 行っていないみたい ( = itte inai mitai)

Ex. 行っていたみたい ( = itte ita mitai)

:rrrr: (negative) 行っていなかったみたい ( = itte inakatta mitai)

verb te form   〜て(=te) + みたい ( = mitai)

:rrrr: 行ってみたい ( = itte mitai)

adjective + みたい ( = mitai)

*na-adjecitve

Ex. 静かみたい

= shizuka mitai

past tense

Ex. 静かだったみたい

= Shizuka datta mitai.

negative form

Ex. 静かではなかったみたい

= Shizuka dewa nakatta mitai.

(casual)

Ex. 静かじゃなかったみたい

= Shizuka ja nakatta mitai

*i-adjecitve

Ex. かわいいみたい

= kawaii mitai

*past tense

Ex. かわいかったみたい

= Kawaikatta mitai

*negative form

Ex. かわいくないみたい

= Kawaiku nai mitai

past negative

Ex. かわいくなかったみたい

= Kawaiku nakatta mitai

 !star! How to use:

1) like something / someone

 :w: Noun + みたい ( = mitai) +  ( = ni) + verb / adjective / adverb + verb

Noun + みたい  (= mitai) +  ( = ni) +  adverb)

Ex. 叔父みたいに自由に生きたい。

= Oji mitai ni jiyuu ni ikitai.

= I would like to live freely like my uncle.

Ex. コンピューターみたいに正確に計算できない。

= Konpyuutaa mitai ni  seikaku ni keisan dekinai.

= I can’t calculate as accurately as a computer.

****

Noun + みたい ( = mitai) +  ( = ni) + verb

Ex. 兄貴みたいになりたくないよ。(male speech)

= Aniki mitai ni naritaku nai yo.

= (Talking to his older brother) I don’t want to be like you.

= I don’t want to be like my older brother.

Ex. 田中さんみたいに絵が描けたらいいのに。

= Tanaka san mitai ni e ga kaketara iinoni.

= I wish I could draw pictures like Tanaka-san.

Ex. 彼は子供みたいに笑う。

= Kare wa kodomo mitai ni warau.

= He laughs / smiles like a child.

****
Noun + みたい ( = mitai) + ( = ni) + adjective

Ex. この服、ばかみたいに安かったんだ。

= Kono fuku, bakamitai ni yasukattanda.

= This clothes was ridiculously cheap.

Ex. このパンは石みたいにかたい。

=  Kono pan wa ishi mitai ni katai.

= This bread is as hard as a rock.

Ex. 僕の彼女は、モデルみたいにきれいです。

= Boku no kanojo wa moderu mitai ni kirei desu.

= My girlfriend is as beautiful as a model.

*****

Noun + みたい ( = mitai)  ( + ( = da) / です ( = desu) ): like something, (Expressing the similarity)

Ex. かわいい赤ちゃんですね。お人形さんみたい

= Kawaii akachan desune. Oningyou san mitai.

= What a cute baby. Just like a doll. 

Note: It is a common Japanese phrase. Use it if you want to praise a cute baby.

Ex. かわいいドレス!お姫様みたい

= Kawaii doresu! Ohimesama mitai!

= Cute dress! You look like a princess!

Ex. 「 誰?今、私のことブタみたいっていったの?」

= Dare? Ima, watashi no koto buta mitai tte itta no.

= Who just said I look like a pig?

「そんなこと、言っていないよ。”子豚みたい“って言ったんだよ。」

= Sonna koto, itte inai yo. “Kobuta mitai” tte ittan dayo.

= I didn’t say such a thing. I said you looked like a piglet.

Ex. この肉、チキンみたいだね。

= Kono niku, chikin mitai dane.

= This meat is like chicken, huh?

Ex. 歌い方が、素人じゃないみたい

= Utaikata ga, shirouto ja nai mitai.

= The way you sing is not like a amateur.

= You sing like a pro.

Ex. どうしたの?お洒落して。いつものお母さんじゃないみたい

= Doushitano? Oshare shite. Itsumo no okaasan ja nai mitai.

= Wow, how come you dressed up? You don’t look like the Mom that I know.

******

Noun + みたい  ( = mitai)  +  ( = na) + noun

Ex. 私達は家族みたいなものです。

= Watashitachi wa kazoku mitai na mono desu.

= We are like family.

Ex. マギーみたいなかわいい犬が欲しい。

= Maggie mirai na kawaii inu ga hoshii.

= I would love to have a cute dog like Maggie.

Ex. こんな子供みたいなけんかはやめよう。

= Konna kodomo mitai na kenka wa yameyou.

= Let’s stop this childish fight.

Ex. 私にとって、彼は神様みたいな存在です。

= Watashi ni totte, kare wa kamisama mitaina sonzai desu.

= He is like God to me.

Ex. 娘:「将来、お父さんみたいな人と結婚したい。」

= Musume: Shourai, otousan mitaina hito to kekkon shitai.

= Daughter: I would like to marry someone like Dad.

父:「なんでも買ってあげるよ!」 !happyface! 

= Nandemo katte ageruyo.

= I will buy you anything!

 :i: The difference between みたい  ( = mitai), らしい  ( = rashii) and っぽい  ( = ppoi)

*みたい ( = mitai) like ~

*らしい ( = rashii) the way someone/something is supposed to be

*っぽい (=ppoi) conversational ~ ish

Ex. らしい

= onna rashii

= feminine (positive)

Ex. みたい

= onna mitai

= like a woman (negative/ looking down on women/ feminine look or behavior)

Ex. 女っぽい

= onnappoi

= If you refer to a woman, it is positive. feminine, sexy ( positive )

Similar to らしい ( = onna rashii) / If you refer to a man it is negative. ( similar to みたい ( = onna mitai))

2) just like doing something

verb + みたい ( = mitai) +  ( = na) + noun

Ex. ディズニーにいるとおとぎ話の世界にいるみたいな気分になれる。

= Dezunii ni iru to otogibanashi no sekai ni iru mitai na kibun ni nareru.

= Disney Land make me feel like I am in a fairy tale world.

Ex. 毎日、仕事ばかりで、夢の中でも働いているみたいな気になる。

= Mainichi, shigoto bakari de, yume no naka demo hataraiteiru mitai na ki ni naru.

= I work very hard everyday. I even feel like I am even working in my dreams.

Ex. 彼女は、レストランで食べるみたいなご馳走を作ってくれる(conversational)

= Kanojo wa, resutoran de taberu mitai na gochisou wo tsukutte kureru.

= She (or My girlfriend) cooks great meals just like restaurant food.

Ex. あの子が持っているみたいなバッグが欲しい。

= Anoko ga motte iru mitai na baggu ga hoshii.

= I want a bag just like she has.

verb + みたい  ( = mitai) ( +  ( =  da) / です ( = desu) )

Ex.こんな可愛い服を着ているとお姫様になったみたい

=  Konna kawaii fuku wo kite iru to ohimesama ni natta mitai.

= I feel like becoming a princess in this cute dress.

Ex. ジャニーズの年末コンサートに行けるなんて夢をみているみたいです。

= Janiizu no nenmatsu konnsaato ni ikeru nante yume wo mite iru mitai desu.

= I can’t believe I could go to the Jonney’s New Year’s concert.  I feel like I’m  dreaming.

Ex. 彼の車の運転は荒いのでジェットコースターに乗っているみたいだった。

= Kare no kuruma no unten wa arai no de jetto koosutaa ni notte iru mitai datta.

= The way he drives a car is so rough that I felt like I was riding a roller coaster.

Note: You can replace みたい ( =  mitai) with よう  ( = you) . みたい  ( = mitai) is more conversational.

3) to do something / to be ~ just like doing something

verb + みたい ( = mitai) + ( = ni) + verb/ adjective/ adverb + verb

*verb + みたい ( = mitai) + ( = ni) + verb

Ex. マギー先生の家はまるで自分の家にいるみたいにくつろげる。

= Maggie Sensei no ie wa maru de jibun no ie ni iru mitai ni kutsurogeru.

= I can relax at Maggie’s house as if I am at home.

Ex. Skypeで話しているとすぐ近くにいるみたいだね。

= Sukaipu de hanashite iru to sugu chikaku ni iru mitai dane.

= It feels like we are next to each other when we talk on Skype.

Ex.   まるで雲の上を歩いているみたい

= Maru de kumo no ue wo aruite iru mitai.

=  (literal meaning)  I feel like I am walking on the clouds.

= I am very happy. (I am on cloud nine.)

4) verb te form ~ ( = te) + みたい ( = mitai) = to express your desire, would like to do/try something

Ex. いつか日本に行っみたいです。

= Itsuka nihon ni itte mitai desu.

= I would like to go to Japan someday.

Ex. こんな素敵なホテルに泊まっみたい

= Konna sutekina hoteru ni  tomatte mitai.

= I would like to stay in such a lovely hotel.

Ex. 一生のうち、一度はファーストクラスに乗っみたいなあ。

= Isshou no uchi, ichido wa faasuto kursau ni notte mitai naa.

= I wish I could fly first class once in my life.

****

*verb + みたい  ( = mitai) +  ( = ni) + adjective / adverb

Ex. Nian Nian先生みたいにかわいくなりたい。

= Nian Nian sensei mitai ni kawaiku naritai.

= I would like to be as cute as Nian Nian Sensei.

Ex. このホテルはヨーロッパのお城みたいに美しい。

= Kono hoteru wa youroppa no oshiro mitai ni utsukushii.

= This hotel is as beautiful as a European castle.

Ex. ネーティブみたいにうまく発音できない。

= Neitibu mitai ni umaku hatsuon dekinai.

= I can’t pronounce as well as a native speaker.

3) kind of, something like  (conversational):

You can also use

verb + ような ( = youna) / noun+ のような ( = no youna)

noun + みたい ( = mitaina)

Ex. このカタログにある棚みたいなのない? (conversational)

= Kono katarogu ni aru tana mitai nano nai?

= Do you have a shelf just like the one in this catalogue?

Ex. 「なんか日本のお土産でいいものない?」

= Nanka nihon no omiyage de ii mono nai?

= Are there any interesting Japanese souvenirs?

 「風呂敷みたいなものはどう?」

= Furoshiki mitaina mono wa dou?

= How about something like “furoshiki” (wrapping cloth) ?

Ex.   お茶みたいなものない? (colloquial)

= Ocha mitai na mono nai?

= Do you have something like tea?

(Note: It is a  round about expression instead of saying お茶ない? ( = Ocha nai)? = Do you have tea?)

verb + みたい ( = mitaina)

Ex. マギー先生が今週は宿題がないみたいなことを言っていた。

= Maggie sensei ga konshuu wa shukudai ga nai mitai na koto wo itte ita.

= Maggie sensei was saying something like we don’t have any homework this week.

4) Colloquial usage: You may not find this usage in your text book.

Some young people tend to leave a sentence unfinished on purpose with みたいな…  ( = mitaina…)

As Maggie Sensei explained in her 曖昧  ( = aimai) vague expression lesson, Japanese people prefer to avoid expressing their opinion straightforward.

Ex. なんか、お腹減った、みたいな….

= Nanka, onaka hetta, mitaina…

= ( literal meaning) I might be hungry.

= I am kind of hungry, you know…

Ex. 翔君が好き、みたいな….

= Shou-kun ga suki, mitaina…

= (literal  meaning) I might like you, Sho-kun.

= I kind of like you, Sho-kun.

******
5) I heard ~: Telling someone what you heard or read somewhere.

noun/ verb / adjective + みたい  (= mitai)   ( + ( = da) / です  ( = desu) )

*noun+ みたい (= mitai)   ( + ( = da) / です  ( = desu) )

Ex. 真理ちゃんが好きなのは、誠君ではなくて、淳君みたいだ。

= Mari chan ga sukina no wa, Makoto-kun de wa nakute, Atsushi-kun mitai da.

= I heard the person whom Mari likes is Atsushi-kun. Not Makoto-kun.

Ex. ホホバオイルは敏感肌の人でも使えるオイルみたいです。

= Hohoba oiru wa binkan hada no hito demo tsukaeru oiru mitai desu.

= I heard Jojoba oil can be used by even those who have sensitive skin.

*adjective + みたい ( =  mitai) ( + ( = da) / です  ( = desu) )

Ex. 彼女の家はすごく大きいみたいです。

= Kanojo no ie wa sugoku ookii mitai desu.

= I heard her house is very big.

Ex. 田中君の新しい彼女はかわいいみたいだよ。

= Tanaka-kun no atarashii kanojo wa kawaii mitai dayo.

= I heard Tanaka-kun’s new girlfriend is cute.

Ex. 相手チームはとても強いみたいだからがんばってね。

= Aite chiimu wa totemo tsuyoi mitai dakara ganbatte ne.

= Do your best because I heard the opposing team is very strong.

* ( adverb +)  verb + みたい ( =  mitai) ( + ( = da) / です ( = desu) )

Ex. 台風で電車が止まっているみたいだ。

= Taifuu de densha ga tomatte iru mitaida.

= I heard the trains stop  due to typhoon.

Ex. 最近、車を買ったみたいだけど、今度、乗せてよ。

= Saikin, kuruma wo katta mitai dakedo, kondo, nosete yo.

= I heard you bought a car recently. Can you give me a ride sometime.

Ex. 課長はくびになったみたいだ。

= Kachou wa kubi ni natta mitaida.

= I heard the section manager got fired.

Ex. 彼は昔の記憶をすっかりなくしたみたいだ。

= Kare wa mukashi no kioku wo sukkari nakushita mitaida.

=  It seems like he lost all the past memories.

Note: This usage of みたい  ( = mitai)  is similar to そう  ( = sou) and らしい ( = rashii) and a lot of time they are interchangeable.

Ex. 彼は、最近、彼女と別れたみたいです。

= Kare wa  saikin, kanojo to wakareta mitai desu.

= I heard he just broke up with her. / It looks like he just broke up with her.

(casual)

Ex. 彼、最近、彼女と別れたみたい

= Kare, saikin, kanojo to wakareta mitai.

= I heard he just broke up with her. / It looks like he just broke up with her.

Note: When you just quote what you heard, you say そうです ( = dasoudesu) / (  casual) だって ( = datte)

Ex.   彼は、最近、彼女と別れたそうです。

= Kare wa, saikin, kanojo to wakareta sou desu.

= I heard he just broke up with her.

(casual)

Ex.   彼、最近、彼女と別れたんだって。

= Kare, saikin, kanojo to wakaretan datte.

= I heard he just broke up with her.

*****

Ex. 彼は、最近、彼女と別れたらしいです。

= Kare wa, saikin, kanojo to wakareta rashii desu.

= I heard he just broke up with her.

(casual)

Ex. 彼は最近、彼女と別れたらしい

= Kare wa saikin, kanojo to wakareta rashii.

= I heard he just broke up with her.

6) みたい  ( = mitai) can be used to tell someone what you heard and also to express your assumptions.

It seems like / Looks like ~  (based on the speaker’s first hand experience/ from what I have experienced )

Ex. ちょっと熱があるみたいなので今日は早く帰ります。

= Chotto netsu ga aru mitai nanode kyou wa hayaku kaerimasu.

= I think I have a fever so I will go home earlier.

Ex. A: 「まだお店やっているかなあ。」

= Mada omise yatte iru kanaa.

= I wonder if the place is still open.

B: 「まだやっているみたいだよ。中に人がいるから…。」

= Mada yatte iru mitai dayo. Naka ni hito ga iru kara…

= It looks like they are still open. I can see people inside so…

Ex. この自動販売機は壊れているみたいだから使わない方がいいよ。

= Kono jidou hanbaiki wa kowarete iru mitai dakara tsukawanai hou ga iiyo.

= It seems like this vending machine is broken so you shouldn’t use it.

 :i: Now let’s compare verbみたい  ( = mitai),   verb +そう  ( = sou) and  verb +らしい (= rashii) here again.

みたい ( = mitai) can be used

1) to tell someone what you have heard “I heard~”

or

2) to express your opinion, assumption based on what you have seen. “It looks like”/ “It seems like”

Ex. このりんごは腐っているみたいだ。

= Kono ringo wa kusatte iru mitaida.

 :rrrr:  1) I heard this apple is rotten.

or

 :rrrr:  2)  It looks like this apple is rotten.

But そう ( = sou) and らしい ( = rashii) are only used for things you have heard.

Ex. このりんごは腐っているそうだ。

= Kono ringo wa kusatte iru souda.

= I heard this apple is rotten.

Ex. このりんごは腐っているらしい

= Kono ringo wa kusatte iru rashii.

= I heard this apple is rotten.

and you can’t use them to express your assumption. (the usage 2)

Please go check the lesson on そう ( = sou) and らしい ( = rashii) if you want to learn more.

 

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

Nian Nian先生、ありがとう!

= Nian Nian Sensei arigatou!

= Thank you, Nian Nian Sensei!

Nian Nian先生みたいな小さくてかわいい先生は今までいませんでしたね。

= Nian Nian sensei mitai na chiisakute kawaii sensei wa imamade imasen deshitane.

= We have never had a teacher this little or cute before.

また教えに来てくださいね。

= Mata oshieni kite kudasaine.

= Please come back to teach here.

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8 Comments

  1. Isshou no uchi, ichido wa faasuto :rrrr: :rrrr: [kursau]—-> kurasu ni notte mitai naa

    [ホホバ]オイルは敏感肌の人でも使えるオイルみたいです。
    [Hohoba] oiru wa binkan hada no hito demo tsukaeru oiru mitai desu.
    I heard [Jojoba] oil can be used by even those who have sensitive skin.
    !koujichuu!  why jojoba = Hohoba —> ホホバ !koujichuu!  why not [ジョジョバ] 教えて下さい !happyface! !happyface!

  2. Thanks! This lesson helped me understand this subject better. I just have one last doubt. If I am not mistaken, there is another expression that is similar to mitai: “something” ni mieru.

    Is there any difference between mitai and ni mieru?

    1. @reid

      Hi reid,
      As you see, there are many usages of みたい but one of the usages of みたい ( = mitai) is similar to にみえる(=mieru) but they are slightly different.

      マギーはきれいみたい= I heard Maggie is beautiful
      マギーはきれいにみえる= Maggie looks beautiful (to me).
      **
      マギーは豚みたい。= Maggie looks like a pig./ Maggie is like a pig./ Maggie behaves like a pig. (It could be my appearance but it also involves my behavior, the way I sound, etc.)
      マギーは豚にみえる= Maggie looks like a pig. (It is only used to express how the speaker sees me.)

      Sometimes we use them both.

      〜みたいにみえる instead of saying ようにみえる = Looks like ~ / Seems like ~

      彼女の隣にいるとお父さんみたいにみえるよ。
      = You looks like her father if you are next to her.

  3. Hello

    Would it mean different or is it wrong to say

    まだお店やっているかなあ —> お店まだやっているかなあ

    Thank you in advance

  4. Wow this word has a lot of usage! I only knew “looks like~” and “to want to try something” like 行ってみたい. Thanks for the lesson I really enjoyed it :) very useful information!

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