まま (mama) Meaning Japanese [JLPT N4]

Author Anna Baffa Volpe for article 'まま (mama) Meaning Japanese [JLPT N4]'

Anna Baffa Volpe

4 min reading time

Updated on 21 January 2023

まま (mama) Meaning Japanese [JLPT N4]

The term まま (mama) means as it is and refers to the current state of things, without changing.

It is used to express something as it is and also a lack of change.

In this post we learn more about the meaning of まま and ままに, how they are formed, and when they are used through real example sentences.


How まま is formed

まま is a suffix and you can find combined with verbs, nouns or adjectives as follows:

Plain form of the verb+まま
Noun+のまま
Adjective[い]+まま
Adjective[な] +まま

In the case of the verb, it is generally used the past form. まま has its own kanji (まま), but it is more common the writing in katakana.

(わたし)はいつまでも(わか)いままでいたいです。

I want to stay young forever.

(てつ)はまだ(あつ)いままです。

The iron is still hot.

How ad when まま is used

まま refers to things that remain in a state, that keep the same and leave unchanged.

Demonstrative adjective with まま

A very common use of this term is in combination of the so-called kosoado series: the Japanese demonstrative adjectives and pronouns.

  • このまま kono mama like this
  • そのまま sono mama just like that, that way
  • あのまま ano mama just like that, that way

(でん)()()らずにそのまま()ってください。

Please wait without hanging up the phone.

このまままっすぐ(すす)んでください。

Go straight ahead.

The demonstrative is often obmitted in the translation that would be: Go straight ahead this way.

(あきら)めるな!このまま(べん)(きょう)すれば,(さい)()には(せい)(こう)するでしょう。

Don't give up! If you keep studying like this, you will succeed in the end.

これをこのまま使(つか)っていいですか?

Can I use this as is?

ままに

あのままにしておいた.

I left it as it was.

We can find the term まま followed by the particle that turns the noun into an adverb.

ままに is synonym of 〜とおりに or 〜にしたがって that means according to...

(あか)(ぼう)(ほん)(のう)のままに(こう)(どう)する。

Babies act on instinct.

(わたくし)はあなたの()のままになります。

I will be at your will.

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Examples with まま and ままに

この()(じゅつ)(かん)は5(ねん)(かん)(へい)()されたままだ。

The museum has been closed for five years.

The meaning of the sentence is that the Museum is still closed today.

(くち)(もの)()れたまましゃべるんじゃないよ!

Don't talk with your mouth full!

(むかし)のままのお(しろ)

An old castle, the castle as it used to be

()()くままに(えが)きたいもの(えが)く。

I draw what I feel like drawing.

In this sentence it has been used the verb in the present tense and ままに* in the meaning of according to...

気が向く or 気の向く is an expression that uses the word and concept ki (energy, nature, mood, disposition) and means: to feel like; to feel inclined to do, as I please to.

(ひと)々は(こころ)のままに()きようとしなくなった。

People no longer want to live according to their hearts.

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