What is the difference between 用意、仕度、準備?

Just got to level 12 recently and learned the word 用意. I know there is another word that means preparations or arrangements: 準備. Can anyone help explain the difference between all 3 using examples if you can? Thanks!!


用意 is when you prepare everything (including non physical things) for some process, like preparing to get a dog, you get everything the dog needs and you put your place in order
仕度 is getting stuff for something ready, like ingredients
準備 is getting ready to do something

Are the party preparations ready? (Did you get everything and did you get the environment ready?)
I have to prepare for school. (I need to get the stuff for school)
Are you ready for tomorrow? (Are you ready to go?)

Goo lists 用意, 仕度/支度, and 準備 as all being synonyms. I don’t know if that helps or not, but this case isn’t one where it’s only an unfortunate choice of English glosses making them seem more similar than they are.

It defines 用意 as:

  1. 前もって必要なものをそろえ、ととのえておくこと。(“gathering and arranging/readying necessary things in advance”) したく。
    Ex:「食事の用意がととのう」(“meal preparations are ready”)「招待客の車を用意する」(“to prepare a car for the invitee”)
  2. 細かいところまで気を配ること。用心。(probably not the best translation, but essentially “paying attention to even the fine details. care; precaution”)

Goo’s ENG examples for 用意

したく is defined as:

  1. 予定されている物事を実行するのに必要なものをそろえること。(“gathering things necessary to carry out plans”) 準備。用意。
    Ex:「夕食の支度をする」(“to prepare dinner”)「やがて舟の仕度が出来た」(“finally the preparations for the ship were ready”)
  2. 外出するために身なりをととのえること。身じたく。(“arranging one’s personal appearance in order to go out/go on an outing/leave the house. getting dressed”) (note that 身じたく is also written 身支度 or 身仕度)
    Ex: 「出かけるから早く支度しなさい」(“We’re leaving, so hurry up and get ready!”)
  3. 食事をすること。(“having a meal”)

Goo’s ENG examples for したく

準備 is defined as:

  1. 物事をする前に、あらかじめ必要なものをそろえたり態勢をととのえたりして用意をすること。(“gathering necessary items beforehand, readying/preparing oneself, etc. and preparing before doing something”)
    Ex: 「実験の準備を進める」(“to proceed with preparations for the test”)「心の準備」(“mental preparedness; being braced for; preparing one’s heart”)「会議資料を準備する」(“to prepare records”)

Goo’s ENG examples for 準備

So you can see that their main definitions are all very similar and even list at least one of the others as a definition. It’s safe to use the same definition(s) for all three of them, and any minor differences—and where they’re completely interchangeable—you’ll pick up on with time.

The 準備 entry also includes usage notes, which I’ll try to run through:

When 準備 and 用意 have the meaning of preparing/getting something ready in advance, as in prep for a meal (食事の――が整った), preparing to go out (外出の――をする), prepping for a research publication (研究発表の――をする), etc., they’re very close and can be used interchangeably.

準備 is also used in the sense of preparing for a tournament (大会の準備をする), where it doesn’t just mean gathering necessary things but is a comprehensive/all-round prep that also includes the organization of it.

用意’s main focus in being sufficiently prepared for an earthquake (大地震にそなえて十分な用意をする) or preparing indoor shoes for a day in question (当日は上履を御用意ください) is preparing necessary things in advance.

I can’t make full sense of the notes on したく, but it seems that it’s preparing physical things? preparing for something that you physically do? “支度金” is “money to cover the cost of preparations or arrangements” and “食事の支度をする” is “preparing ingredients and cooking them.”


I have the situations for each but I couldn’t tell you why. So these help.

I usually hear 用意 for like set as in Ready “Set” Go!
準備 for getting ready for a bit fight or … Getting dressed and ready for the
支度 I think I’ve heard it when like there was a police raid in a movie and they were making sure if the preparations are ready but that’s the only time I think I’ve heard or seen it and recognized it.

Edit: I totally forgot about 仕度 existing :joy:


There is also this comparison (plus a lot of miscellany at the bottom), but I don’t know much before myself.

  • 準備 = preparing for the future. There is also 下準備.
  • 用意 = getting materials ready
  • 支度 = getting ready; preparing for the future. There is also 身支度.

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