Onaka ga Heru (お腹が減る – Being Hungry)

  • Onaka ga Heru


    Japanese people say onaka ga suku (お腹が空く) or onaka ga heru (お腹が減る) to represent being hungry.

    Onaka (お腹) means “stomach,” 空く means “to be empty,” and heru (減る) means “to decrease.”
    「お腹」は “stomach”、「空く」は “to be empty”、「減る」は “to decrease” を意味します。

    That is to say, the literal meanings of onaka ga suku and onaka ga heru are “one’s stomach is empty” and “one’s stomach decreases,” respectively.
    すなわち、「お腹が空く」と「お腹が減る」の文字どおりの意味は、それぞれ “one’s stomach is empty” と “one’s stomach decreases” となります。

    You can see that “one’s stomach is empty” literally means hungry, whereas you may feel that “one’s stomach reduced” sounds strange.

    Perhaps the subject of the verb “decrease” does not refer to the stomach itself, but food in the stomach.

    Incidentally, onaka ga heru sounds a little more casual than onaka ga suku.

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