Japanese Grammar Bank


For those of you that are learning kanji, you might be familiar with this 上. It means up or above.

How about 上げる? That means to raise. But it can also be attached to verbs to mean to finish doing verb.


上げる ageru

You can attach 上げる to the stem of a verb (ます form of a verb with the ます taken off) to mean to finish doing verb.

Using this construct gives an air of accomplishment or finality.


Verb + 上げる

NOTE || The intransitive 上がる can be used to mean was finished rather than I finished doing.

宿題をやり上げたFinished doing homework.
食事を作り上げましたFinished preparing the meal.
レポートを書き上げた後、一杯飲もう。After finishing the report, let’s have a drink.
View More Examples:
映画を見上げて、感動しました。Finished watching the movie and was moved.
5キロ走り上げたRan a full 5 kilometers!
プロジェクトを終わり上げて、ほっと一息ついた。Finished the project and took a sigh of relief.
本を読み上げるのが好きです。I like finishing reading books.
長い旅行を無事に終え上げたSuccessfully finished the long journey.
試験を終え上げて、安心した。Felt relieved after finishing the exam.
絵を描き上げるのに時間がかかります。It takes time to finish drawing a picture.
一冊の小説を読み上げたFinished reading a novel.
仕事を終え上げて、帰宅しました。Finished work and went home.
昼寝を終え上げて、元気が戻った。After finishing the nap, energy returned.
そのプロジェクトを完璧に終わり上げたFinished that project perfectly.
スピーチを書き上げるのに夜通し働いた。Worked all night to finish writing the speech.


There are of course some other grammar points that can be used to express to finish doing.

Here, we’ll take a quick look at some comparisons between them and things to look out for.


Verb て + しまう

Works with any action verb.

NUANCE || Finish/do it anyway, even if it might be undesirable or unnecessary.

夕食の前に宿題をやってしまおうLet’s finish homework before dinner.
その教科書は全部読んでしまったI’ve gone ahead and read the entire textbook.

Verb + 切る

Works with many (but not all) verbs.

NUANCE || With much effort, exhaustively, every last one, finally.

5日かけて夏休みの宿題をやり切ったI spent 5 days working and finished all the summer homework
彼はフルマラソンを走り切ったHe ran a full marathon, giving his all.

Verb + 終える

Explicit and works with any action verb. No strange implication, just finish verb-ing.

宿題をやり終えたI finished the homework.
映画を見終えたI finished watching the movie.


Verb + てしまうhas various related usages.

Verb + 切る and Verb + 上げる are specific compound verbs; check the meaning of each verb.

For example, 飲み切る means to drink up, but 噛み切る doesn’t mean to finish biting.

Similarly, 書き上げる means to write up; to finish writing, but 読み上げる doesn’t mean to finish reading.

Remember, while Verb + 終える is straightforward, the others may have nuanced meanings, so use them carefully based on the specific context.


  • 上げる generally means to raise.
  • When 上げる is added to a verb stem it becomes to finish doing + Verb.
  • There are other ways to express to finish doing including しまう , 切る ,and 終える.

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How to use 上げる?

You can attach 上げる ageru to the stem of a verb (ます masu form of a verb with the ます masu taken off) to mean to finish doing verb.

Using this construct gives an air of accomplishment or finality.

Verb + 上げる

NOTE || The intransitive 上がる agaru can be used to mean was finished rather than I finished doing.

宿題をやり上げた。Shukudai o yariageta.

Finished doing homework.

What is a transitive verb in Japanese?

Transitive verbs require a direct object. In English one of the most common transitive verbs is need.

Sentences become incomplete if there isn’t a direct object after a transitive verb, as below:

need money.

→ Complete as a direct object is included


→ Incomplete as no direct object

In Japanese, there are also transitive verbs.

In fact, many common verbs like 読 yomu to read, 飲む nomu to drink, and 食べる taberu to eat are transitive.

Learn more about transitive and intransitive verbs in this lesson.

How to use 込み in Japanese?

The usage of 込み komi is commonly seen in the context of pricing, fees, or bundled services to indicate that certain items or services are included in the overall cost.

An example is 税金込み zeikinkomi Tax included. You might see it directly added to nouns or with a が ga in-between.

Noun (+が) + 込み



Kono puran ni wa chōshoku ga komi desu.

Breakfast is included in this plan.

Learn more about including and excluding in this lesson.

How to express to want in Japanese?

When expressing desire for a thing, or a noun in other words, we can use the word 欲しい(ほしい).

欲しい is an ii adjective. Even though “want” is a verb in English, it is an adjective in Japanese, so we have to adjust our thinking about “wanting” appropriately.


あの本が欲しい, ano hon ga hoshii | I want that book

らーメンが欲しい, ramen ga hoshii | I want ramen

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Learn more about expressing desire in Japanese here.

Where to learn more Japanese grammar?

You can learn more grammar like this in our Japanese Grammar Bank.

If you’d like to study with a teacher, you should have a look at our online lessons on Flexi Classes (we even have a 7 day free trial!)

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