How to use 決める&決まる = kimeru & kimaru

「毎日、運動すると決めています。」

= Mainichi, undou suru to kimete imasu.

= I make it a rule to do my exercises every day.

   

「猫が一番かわいいに決まってるでしょ。」

= Neko ga ichiban kawaii ni kimatteru desho.

= Of course cats are the cutest. Duh!

 

Hi everyone! I am your guest teacher for today, Baubau!

Today I am going to teach you the verb, 決める ( = きめる = kimeru) / 決ま ( = きまる= kimaru ) / ~に決まっている ( = ni kimatte Ira)

Let’s start with 決める ( = きめる = kimeru) and 決まる ( = きま = kimaru )

決める = きめる = kimeru  (transitive verb)

1) to decide, to make up one’s mind, to choose

How to form:

* noun / verb dictionary form + こと ( = koto) + ( = ni)  + 決める ( = kimeru)

* noun / verb dictionary form + こと ( = koto) + ( = wo) + 決める ( = kimeru)

* verb dictionary form  + ( = to) / (casual) って ( = tte) + 決め ( = kimeru)

* verb dictionary form  + ( = ka)  +  決める  ( = kimeru)

***

🌸 How to use:

* noun / verb dictionary form + こと ( = koto) + ( = ni) + 決め ( = kimeru) : to decide on ~ / to pick ~ / to decide to do ~

Ex.A: 「デザートどれにする?」

= Dezaato dore ni suru?

= Have you decided what to have for dessert?

B: 「これに決めた!」

= Kore ni kimeta!

= I will have this one! (I picked this one!)

Ex. A: 「冬休み、どこに行くか決めた?」

= Fuyuyasumi, doko ni iku ka kimeta?

= Have you decided where to go over winter vacation?

B: 「まだ行くかどうか決めていないの。」

= Mada iku ka dou ka kimete inai no.

= I haven’t decided whether I am going or not yet.

Ex. これから毎日、マギー先生のサイトで勉強することに決めました

= Kore kara mainichi, Maggie Sensei no saito de benkyou sure koto ni kimemashita.

= I decided to study Japanese every day on Maggie Sensei’s site from now on.

Ex. いつ日本に行くことに決めたの?

= itsu nihon ni iku koto ni kimeta no?

= When did you decide to go to Japan?

* noun / verb dictionary form + こと ( = koto) + ( = wo) +  決める ( = kimeru) : to pick ~ / to decide what to do

While ( = ni) is used when you speculate about something and finally decide what to do…

you use ( = wo) when you focus on what you pick / choose.

Ex. まず背景の色を決めて、それからフォントを決めてください。

= Mazu haikei no iro wo kimete, sore kara fonto wo kimete kudasai.

= First you pick the background color and then pick the font.

Ex. この中からリーダーを決めてください。

= Kono naka kara riidaa wo kimete kudasai.

= Please choose a leader from amongst yourselves.

Ex. そろそろ大学を決めないといけない。

= Sorosoro daigaku wo kimenai to ikenai.

= It is about time to decide on a university.

* verb dictionary form + ( = to) / (casual) って ( = tte) + 決める ( = kimeru) : When you quote what you decide to do.

Ex. やると決めたら最後までやり通しなさい。

= Yaruto kimetara saigo made yaritooshinasai.

= Once you decided to do something, stick to it.

Ex. 残念ながら今年の日本行きは中止にすると決めた

= Zannen nagara kotoshi no nihon iki wa chuushi ni suru to kimeta.

= Unfortunately I decided not to go to Japan this year.

(You can also say with 中止することに (= chuushi suru koto ni)

中止する ( = chuushi suru) =  to call off, to cancel

Ex. A: 「ええっ!?コート何枚も持っているのにまた新しいの買うの?」

= Eeeh !?  Kooto nanmai mo motte iru no ni mata atarashii no kau no?

= Really? You already have a few coats already and you want to buy a new one?

B: 「もう買うって決めたんだから何も言わないで!」

= Mou kautte kimetan dakara nani mo iwanai de!

= I already made up my mind to buy one so don’t say anything.

* verb dictionary form + ( = ka) + 決める ( = kimeru) :  to decide whether you do ~ or not / to decide when/what /who ~

Ex. 忘年会はどうするか決めたの?

= Bounenkai wa dou suru ka kimeta no?

= Did you decide what to do with the year end party?

Ex. 誕生日に誰を呼ぶかまだ決めていない。

= Tanjoubi ni dare wo yobu ka mada kimete inai.

= I haven’t decided who I am going to invite to the birthday party.

Ex. どの車を買うか決められない

= Dono kuruma wo kau ka kimerarenai.

= I can’t decide what car to buy.

(決められない= kimerarenai is a potential form of 決める( = kimeru) )

⭐️There are  cases that you use 決める ( = kimeru) without particles.

You mention what you decide to do in the previous or the following sentence.

Ex. 決めた!もうお酒はやめる!

= Kimeta! Mou osake wa yameru!

= I made up my mind! I’ll quit drinking now!

Ex. 明日どうするの?早く決めてよ。

= Ashita dou suru no? Hayaku kimete yo.

= What are we going to do about tomorrow? / Make up your mind now!

In casual speech you tend to omit particles.

Ex. そんなこと*誰が決めたの?

= Sonna koto dare ga kimeta no?

= Who decided such a thing?

In this case the particle ( = wo) is missing

* 決めた ( = きめた = kimeta)  + noun = something that you decided

Ex. 親が決めた大学には行きたくない。

= Oya ga kimeta daigaku ni wa ikitaku nai.

= I don’t want to go to the university that my parents decided (chose).

2) to score a goal

Watching a game

Ex. メッシーがまたゴールを決めた

= Messii ga mata gooru wo kimeta.

= Messi scored a goal again.

Ex. たのむ!あと一点決めてくれ! (male speech)

= Tanomu! Ato itten kimete kure!

= Please! Score one more point!

3) to present oneself stylish / fashionable

Ex.どうしたの? 決めてきたね。今日はデートかなんか?

= Doushita no? Kimete kitane. Kyou wa deeto ka nan ka?

= What’s the occasion? You look really nice. You have a date or something today?

Ex. 昨日は、初めてのデートに髪型も決めて新しいシャツを着ていったのに財布を家に置いていってしまった。

= Kinou wa, hajimete no deeto ni kamigata mo kimete atarashii shatsu wo kite itta noni saifu wo ie ni oite itte shimatta.

= Since it was my first date yesterday, I did my hair perfectly and wore a new shirt, but I left my wallet home.

4) ~ ( = wa) / ~ なら ( = nara) / ~ たら ( = tara) + ( = to) /(causal) って ( = tte) + 決めている ( = kimeteiru):

To express one’s own rule, routine. (What you usually do in certain situations) / When it comes to ~, I always choose / make it a rule to do ~ when ~

Ex. 新婚旅行で行くならハワイ決めている

= Shinkonryokou de iku nara Hawai to kimete iru.

= If I go on a honeymoon, I already decided go to Hawaii. 

Ex. 日本語の先生マギー先生って決めている

= Nihongo no sensei wa Maggie sensei tte kimete iru.

= When it comes to choosing a Japanese teacher, I already decided that it has to be Maggie Sensei.

Ex. 飛行機では通路側の席決めている

= Hikouki dewa tsuuro gawa no seki to kimete iru.

= I make it a rule to choose an aisle seat on the flight.

Ex. 土曜日ワインを飲む日決めている

= Doyoubi wa wain wo nomu hi to kimete iru.

= I make it a rule to drink wine on Saturdays.

Ex. 失礼な人は相手にしないこと決めています

= Shitsureina hito wa aite ni shitani to kimete imasu.

= I make it a rule not to deal with rude people.

(It is similar to ことにしています = kotoni shiteimasu but 決めていま ( = kimete imasu) shows stronger will to / not to do something)

**********

決まる = きまる = kimaru (intransitive verb): to be decided / to be fixed / to be chosen

🌸 How to form:

* noun / verb + こと ( = koto) +  ( = ga) / ( = wa)* + 決まる ( = kimaru) (* You use ( = wa) when you show the contrast. Ex. A is decided / fixed but not B)

* noun / verb + こと ( = koto)   ( = ni) + 決まる ( = kimaru)

* noun / verb + こと ( = koto) ( = to ) / (casual) って ( = tte)  + 決まる ( = kimaru) / 決まっている ( = kimatte iru) / (casual) 決まって ( = kimatte iru)

* verb dictionary form + ( = ka) + 決まる ( = kimaru)

🌸How to use:

~ is decided / ~ is  fixed / ~ is chosen (intransitive verb)

While you focus on the person who decided with 決める ( = kimeru), you use 決める ( = kimeru) when you focus on what has been decided.

* noun / verb + こと ( = koto) + ( = ga) /  ( = wa)* + 決まる ( = kimaru):  ~ is decided

Ex. 来年の予算が決まった

= Rainen no yosan ga kimatta.

= Next year’s budget has been decided.

Ex. 出張の日程が決まった

= Shucchou no nittei ga kimatta.

= The itinerary for the business trip has been fixed.

Ex. 来年から日本に留学することが決まった

= Rainen kara nihon ni ryuugaku suru koto ga kimatta.

= Next year’s study abroad trip to Japan has been decided.

It has been decided to go study in Japan from next year.

Ex. ご注文はお決まりですか?(polite)

= Gochuumon wa okimari desu ka?

= Are you ready to order? (Have you decided what to order?)

* noun / verb + こと ( = koto) ( = ni) + 決まる ( = kimaru):  ~ is decided  / ~ is decided to ~

Ex. 2024年のオリンピックはパリに決まった

= Nisennijuuyonen no orinpikku wa pari ni kimatta.

= Paris was chosen to host the Olympic in 2024.

Ex. 彼女と話し合って、これから毎日メールすることに決まった

= Kanojo to hanashiatte, kore kara mainichi meeru suru koto ni kimatta.

= I talked with my girlfriend, and we decided to email each other every day.

(The direct translation is: It is decided to email each other every day.)

* verb dictionary form + ( = ka)  + 決まる ( = kimaru):  It is decided whether / when / what/ who / how, ~

Ex. 旅行は、どうする決まった

= Ryokou wa, dousuru ka kimatta?

= Has it been decided what to do with the trip?

Ex. 次はどのカメラを買う決まった

= Tsugi wa dono kamera wo kau ka kimatta ?

= Has it been decided which camera you are going to buy next?

* verb + こと ( = koto) ( = to ) / (casual)  って ( = tte)  + 決まる ( = kimaru) / 決まっている ( = kimatte iru) / (casual) 決まってる( = kimatteiru): Doing ~ is decided

quoting what has been decided. 

Ex. 運動会は、生徒全員参加決まった

= Undoukai wa, seito zenin sanka to kimatta.

= It was decided that all the students have to attend the sports festival.

Ex. いつ、明日の会議が中止になるって決まったの?

= itsu, ashita no kaigi ga chuushi ni narutte kimatta no?

= When was it decided to cancel tomorrow meeting?

* Without particles:

Ex. 何を食べよう..。みんな美味しそうでなかなか決まらないなあ。

= Nani wo tabeyou… Minna oishisou de nakanaka kimranai naa.

= I wonder what I should order (to eat).. They all look good and it is not easy to decide (what to order).

(Literal meaning: It is not easy to be decided)

* 決まった ( = きまった = kimatta) + noun

1) fixed, the same, routine

Ex. 毎朝、決まったバスに乗っているが今日は乗り遅れてしまった。

= Maiasa kimatta basu ni notte iru gai kyou wa noriokurete shimatta.

= I take the same bus every morning, but I missed it today.

Ex. 毎日の決まった仕事

= mainichi no kimatta shigoto

= daily routine

Ex. この店ではいつも決まったものを注文します。

= Kono mise dewa itsumo kimatta mono wo chuumon shimasu.

= I always order the same thing here.

2) to score / to nail

Ex. シュートが決まった

= Shuuto ga kimatta!

= Scored the shoot!

決まっている = きまっている = kimatteiru / casual 決まってる = kimatteru

1) to look fashionable / stylish

Ex. 今日、髪型、決まってるね。

= Kyou, kamigata, kimatteru ne.

= Your hair is so stylish today.

Note: You sometimes write it in katakana. キマッてる ( = kimatteru)

Ex. 彼女はいつ見てもファッションがキマッってる

= Kanojo wa itsu mite mo fasshon ga kimatte iru.

= She always looks fashionable.

2) ~に決まっている = きまっている = kimatteiru/ (casual) 決まってる= きまってる = kimatteru 

= I am sure ~ / I’m certain ~  / I’m positive that ~ / Of course ~ / ~ for sure

🌸 Basic patterns:

verb (past, present, etc) / noun / adjective + ~に決まっている ( = ni kimatteru)/ (casual) 決まってる = kimatteru

* You use it when you express your assumption or belief subjectively.

Note: 違いない ( = chigainai) vs ~に決まっている ( = ni kimatteru)

They are both subjective and the translation could be the same as 違いない ( = chigainai) but ~に決まっている ( = ni kimatteru) is more biased and sounds stronger. It often involved the speaker’s emotion more.

It is OK to use it with someone closer but avoid using it in business situation or when you talk with someone superior or you don’t know well.

It sounds rude because it sometimes conveys the nuance such as “Of course! (You don’t know that?) / Duh! “

3)  verb (past, present, etc) + に決まっている ( = ni kimatteru)/ (casual) 決まってる = kimatteru

Ex. A:「明日の飲み会、来れる?」

= Ashita no nomikai, koreru?

= Can you come to the drinking party tomorrow?

B: 「行く決まってるじゃん!」

= iku ni kimatteru jan!

= Of course I am coming!

(* じゃん ( = jan) is a casual suffix from じゃない ( = janai)

Ex. 彼女をデートに誘っても断られる決まっているよ。

= Kanojo wao deeto ni sasotte mo kotowarareru ni kimatte iru yo.

= Even if I ask her out, it is obvious that she would turn me down.

Ex. 2年後には私のことなんて忘れる決まっている

= Ninen go niwa watashi no koto nante wasureru ni kimatte iru.

= I am sure you will forget about me in two years.

4) noun + に決まっている ( = ni kimatteru) / (casual)  決まってる ( = kimatteru): Of course ~ / It is obviously ~

Ex. こんな遅い時間に電話をかけてくるのは、彼決まっている

= Konna osoi jikan ni denwa wo kakete kuru no wa, kare ni kimatteiru.

= It must be him who calls me this late.

Ex. 彼に好きな人がいるなんて嘘決まってるじゃない(female speech)

= Kare ni sukina hito ga iru nante uso ni kimatteru janai.

= Of course it is not true that there is someone he likes.

Ex. そんなこと冗談決まってるじゃないか。(male speech)

= Sonna koto joudan ni kimatteru janai ka.

= Of course I meant it by a joke. (You didn’t know that?)

* adjective + に決まっている ( = ni kimatteru) / (casual) 決まってる = kimatteru

Ex. 親と暮らすより一人暮らしの方がいい決まってる

= Oya to kurasu yori hitorigurashi no hou ga ii ni kimatteru.

= I am sure living on my own is better than living with my parents.

Ex. マギーは何を着てもかわいい決まっている

= Maggie wa nani wo kite mo kawaii ni kimatteiru.

= Maggie looks cute no matter what she wears.

Ex. あのホテルは高い決まってる

= Ano hoteru wa takai ni kimatteru.

= I’m sure that hotel is expensive.

Ex. 明日までに本を2冊読むなんて無理決まってるよ。

= Ashita made ni hon wo nisatsu yomu nante muri ni kimatteru yo.

= There is no way to finish reading two books by tomorrow.

* verb / adjective ( = to ) / (casual) って ( = tte) + 決まっている ( = kimatte iru): It is decided to / not to do ~ / There is a rule to / not to do ~

When you quote, you use ( = to ) / (casual) って ( = tte)

Ex. うちの高校はパーマをかけてはいけない決まっている

= Uchi no koukou wa paama wo kakete wa ikenai to kimatteiru.

= In my high school, we are not allowed to get our hair permed.

Ex. 結婚式のネクタイは白って決まっているのに青いのしてきちゃった。(casual)

= Kekkonshiki no nekutai wa shirotte kimatteiru noni aoi no shitekichatta.

= I knew we have to wear white tie in the wedding but I happened to wear blue one.

* without particles:

Ex. A「僕のこと好き? (male speech)

= Boku no koto suki?

= Do you like me?

B「そんなこと*決まってるじゃない。」(casual)

= Sonna koto kimatteirujanai.

= Of course I do. 

4) ~ ( = wa) / ~ といえば ( = to ieba) / ~ なら ( = nara) / ~ たら ( = tara) + ~ ( = ni) / ( = to) + 決まっている ( = kimatteiru)

When it comes to ~, it should be ~

To express one’s own rule, routine. (What you usually do in certain situations) / bring up something that comes to mind first.

Ex. ラーメンといえば味噌ラーメン決まっている

= Raamen to ieba misoraamen ni kimatteiru.

= When it comes to ramen, the first thing comes to mind is miso ramen for sure.

Ex. ホテル、ワンワンホテル系列決まっている

= Hoteru wa, Wanwan hoteru keiretsu to kimatte iru.

= I always decide to stay at Wanwan hotel group. (The hotel I stay is fixed.)

****

マギー先生より  = Maggie Sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei

Baubau先生、ありがとう!

= Baubau Sensei, arigataou!

= Thank you, Baubau-Sensei!

ゲスト先生はみんなかわいいにきまっています!😉

= Gesuto Sensei wa minna kawaii ni kimatte imasu.

= Of course all the guest teachers are cute!

 

***

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4 Comments

  1. Hello. I’ve been looking all over and I can’t figure out the nuanced differences between ことにする and 決める. Could you possibly explain? Thank you.

    1. Hello Jun,

      Basically ことにする and 決める both mean “to decide” and they mean the same.
      While ことにする can be used when you decide something minor and serious, you don’t use 決める so much when you decide something minor or less serious.
      決める sounds heavier/more serious and you use it when you determined to do something with stronger will.
      So if you are talking about something minor or casual, 決める may sound unnatural.

      明日は、雨が降るから傘を持っていくことにしました。

      is OK but 決めました is not natural.

      1. Thanks for the quick reply! I have one more question if you don’t mind.
        If I was trying to decide something ALL day, and I finally decided, would that matter? For example, if I was deciding whether or not to go to a party all day, would I use ことにする even if I was thinking about it all day? I hope my question makes sense.

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