What do the hands do?

You already know how to say hand in Japanese, it would be “Te”. And the fingers, “Yubi”. But do you know its verbs? I mean, verbs to explain in Japanese what hands and fingers do, do you know them?

The actions that we do with our body are the first and most important of all verbs. Why ?, because if you don’t know them, it is very difficult to communicate at the moment of the conversation.

You want someone to pass you a bottle of salt. How do you say “Pass me the salt” in Japanese?

In Japanese it would be:

塩 (し お) を 取 (と) っ て く だ さ い。

「と る」 is to take something, but in this case we use this verb in the sense of “take it and pass it to me”.

Anyway, if you don’t know the verb Toru, even little things like this you can’t express. And how do you say touch, hit, indicate, etc.?

I mean, if you don’t learn these body-related action verbs, in this case by hand, you would make your life more difficult.

So here I have a list of verbs related to hands and fingers.

To learn this, I recommend you watch this video, so that you can see exactly what verb for what action, because when in Spanish or English one verb is used to cover different actions, it is not necessarily in the same way in Japanese, or vis-à-vis.

The vocabulary of the hands and fingers

て 手 Hand
てのひら 手の平 Palm
てのこう 手の甲 The back of the hand
かたて 片手 One hand
りょうて 両手 Both hands
みぎて 右手 Right hand
ひだりて 左手 Left hand

ゆび 指 Finger
おやゆび 親指 Thumb
ひとさしゆび 人差し指 Index finger
なかゆび 中指 Middle finger
くすりゆび 薬指 Ring finger
こゆび 小指 Little finger

30 essential transitive verbs of the hands and fingers

[ゆび 指 finger]

ゆびをまげる 指を曲げる Bend your finger
ゆびをならす 指を鳴らす Make sounds with fingers
ゆびをさす 指を指す Point with finger  

[て 手 hand]
てのひらをかえす 手の平(掌)を返す flip the hand
てをにぎる 手を握る  open hand / grub hand
てをひろげる 手を広げる open mano 
ペンをにぎる ペンを握る hold a pen 
おす 押す Push
じをかく 字を書く Write a word
えをかく 絵を描く Draw a picture
かく 掻く Scratch

はしをもつ 箸を持つ Hold chopsticks 
おわんをささえる お椀を支える Support the bowl 

てにとる 手に取る Take
てをはなす 手を放す Let go
なげる 投げる Throw 
ほおる 放る Throw
とる 取る Catch 

たたく 叩く Hit 
さわる 触る Touch
なでる 撫でる Stroke

つかむ 掴む frío
まわす 回す Turn
あける 開ける open 
にぎる 握る Hold 
にぎりしめる 握りしめる Clasp

ほおずえをつく 頬杖をつく Cup chin in the palm of hand
くちをふさぐ 口を塞ぐ Close the mouth with things
めをこする 目を擦る Rub eyes
ジャンケンをする Play rock-paper-scissors
てをふる 手を振る Wave hands
かかえる 抱える Hold something heavy in hands