When to use "Da" and "Shiteru"


On Facebook I saw a post saying ‘Sukida’ すきだ meant ‘I love you’
I mentioned technically speaking it’s more of a like, and love would be ‘Aida’ and someone responded with ’ aishiteru*’ and nothing else.
I’ve seen this before and I responded with:

'I’m still learning but I assumed if sukida could be used to mean “I like you” (through context) couldn’t aida be used in the same way?
Don’t they essentially just say “it’s like/love” and meaning is given by context?

please correct me if I’m wrong and tell me why too, genuinely wanting to learn stuff like this’

Because this is Facebook the person decided to act like a butthole and responded with:

‘It’s aishiteru NOT aida.’

And nothing helpful.

So because you guys at Wanikani are not a bunch of meanies, could you shed some more light on this?
Thank you!


あいしてる is not wrong but sounds very formal and you’ll usually find this in literature and love songs. The casual way of declaring love is just “パット、すき!”.


だ is the casual form of です, it means “is” or “it is”.

してる is a shortened form of している, which is the て form of する (to do) + いる (exists) = している (or しています if you want to be formal). It means “is doing”.

サッカーをする = to play soccer
サッカーをしている = is playing soccer

愛 (あい) is a noun that means “love”. To me, saying 愛だ is almost like saying “it’s love” instead of “to love”. That would be 愛する (noun + suru = to do the noun, so “to do love” = to love).

好き(すき) is a な adjective that means “likeable”. When you say 好きだ you are saying “[it’s] likeable”. That’s why you can say 好きだ to mean “you are likeable” = “I like you”.

愛している means “I love you”, (literally, “I am loving you”) but as @plantron mentioned, it’s super extra, like saying, “I REALLY, REALLY LOVE YOU” and is used more in songs, romance novels, dramas, etc. If you say it to a person it comes off as particularly strong.

Misa from Japanese Ammo breaks this down precisely in this video:


What they said. Only use 愛してる if you plan on marrying that person and have been dating for 43 years and then only use it on their deathbed once.


Thank you for your responses.

The context was an image in which a male wrote “すきだ” into a female’s hand to explain to her that he loves her.

I would have thought that “Aida” would have had the same meaning just replacing the like to love, although im aware saying that form of love is incredibly rare in Japan, and Suki or Daisuki is much more commonly used.

@JavaSparrow’s description

愛 (あい) is a noun that means “love”. To me, saying 愛だ is almost like saying “it’s love” instead of “to love”. That would be 愛する (noun + suru = to do the noun, so “to do love” = to love).

好き(すき) is a な adjective that means “likeable”. When you say 好きだ you are saying “[it’s] likeable”. That’s why you can say 好きだ to mean “you are likeable” = “I like you”.

Has cleared this up a lot for me, so I know now more why they can’t be so easily exchanged as far as grammar is concerned.

I do struggle with grammar, as I’ve never been good at knowing all this noun, adjective, verb and then all the complicated other stuff before even in English, my native tongue, nevermind in a completely foreign language with rules all of it’s own.

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There are a lot of grammatical functions of だ that cannot be replaced by です, and vice versa. So it’s an oversimplification to say that だ is the casual form of です.


BTW, the reason that it’s 愛している and not 愛する when you want to say “I love you” is because loving someone is a state of being, and the ている form is used to refer to states that are ongoing.

This maybe isn’t so confusing with 愛する, but with things like なる I’ve seen people get confused. なっている doesn’t mean “is becoming” as though it’s progressing, but “has become and continues to be”.


Keep going at it, and you’ll pick it up eventually! :+1: The good news is that as you learn a new language, one of the side benefits is gaining a better understanding of the grammar and lego blocks that make up your own language, too!

Here are a few of my favorite Japanese grammar resources that might help you out:

You’re absolutely right about this! However, in this specific context, the だ in 好きだ is just acting as the casual form of です. If you’ve got any particular links regarding the additional grammar you’ve got in mind, please share! I am always up for learning and I think it could help others as well. :+1:


I’m using the Japanese from Manga book and it talks about Desu and Da but hasn’t went into much else since I’m not that far through the book. I’m not too worried about my own usage of the terms, as since I’m not Japanese I don’t think I’ll get in trouble for using the wrong level of politeness, but it does interest me greatly and it is very useful to know for reading. I’m nowhere near the level needed to be able to read anything really but I’m making progress slowly but steadily. I’m excited to get to the point where I can pick up even just a kid’s book in Japanese and work my way through it.

Maybe I’ll be able to join in one of the book clubs I see around here.

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Tae Kim’s japanese grammar guide has a section about specifically だ VS です that I found very helpful, so here’s the link in case anyone is curious about that explanation:



Just a single example is そうだ. Like some other grammar points, you have to append だ after a noun or な-adjective before そうだ, but you can’t append だ after an い-adjective or verb. You can’t append です before そうだ is any situation. Of course, the だ after そう can be replaced by です to be more polite, just like you described with すき.

そうだ details:

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Everyone gave awesome explanations and now this concept is further cemented into my mind!


Just to complement, would 大好き be a more casual way of saying “I love you” instead of just “I like you”?

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大好き is definitely in between 好き and 愛する in terms of seriousness. And I’d say it’s closer to 好き than it is to 愛する.

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好きだ can mean like or love depending on context.

愛 is a very “heavy” word. it’s the kind of deep love you feel for your kids or your wife/husband, mother/father. if you use that too early with “just” a gf/bf, it makes you look like you take love lightly.

i say 愛してる to my wife, and because i do this regularly, she’s now used to being told this. normally, japanese people use it sparingly. personally, i think she deserves to hear it every day, but i also ask her every day to marry me (even though we’ve been married for a while now), so you can see what i mean here.




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