## Do 気が付く{つく} and 気[付く]{づく} have the same meaning?

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If they both mean the same, is が optional?

It appears that they do have the same meaning. Maybe this is no different than any other case of particle deletion? – Nathan Ellenfield – 2011-11-30T04:09:24.190

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1. notice, realize
2. (often in the form よく気が付く) be attentive, be quick to notice
3. come to oneself (usually after losing consciousness)

For senses 1 and 3, 気付く is also used. When used in these senses, I do not think that there is any difference in meaning between 気が付く and 気付く. I do not recognize any difference in formality, either, but I may be wrong.

1It surprises me to hear that 気付く is used in sense 3. I will have to keep my eyes/ears open for that one. – Hyperworm – 2011-11-30T14:42:48.857

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As far as I understand, they mean the same thing. The one with が seems slightly more formal.

Edit: Apparently this is ungrammatical, although I don't understand why. Maybe I'll make it a separate topic.

It is also more likely to be used if there is some "long" clause that modifies the 気. Ex:

2Your example sentence is ungrammatical. – None – 2011-11-29T22:09:05.850

2As far as I can tell, 気がつく cannot directly connect to a noun or verb phrase without a particle in between it. You would something like 忘れたことに気がついた。That being said, after looking through a collection of sample sentences, both with and without が, there doesn't seem to be a distinction relating to clause length. I'm unable to offer a better explanation right now, so I'll have to defer to someone else. – Nathan Ellenfield – 2011-11-30T04:05:06.660

Actually, doesn't this prove that 気がつく and 気付く are exactly that same? It seems the reason my example was ungrammatical (and another of my Japanese friends said this) is that 気がつく is a set verb, not a noun+が+verb. So you can't modify the 気 as I though because there's no noun actually in there. Does that seem to follow logically? – istrasci – 2011-11-30T04:58:35.560

1I think 'prove' is too strong of a word. I don't think it can logically follow just from what has been said that they are exactly the same. Perhaps there is some factor (social, cultural, contextual, etc.) influencing their use. In this case, they would have the same meaning at a surface level, but could convey something about the speaker, the listener, and/or the situation. I have no idea whether this is the case, especially since all the examples we have exist (mostly) outside of a context. – Nathan Ellenfield – 2011-11-30T05:38:07.837

3Indeed 気がつく is an idiomatic phrase as istrasci points out, but that is not the reason it cannot be modified. It simply does not make sense to do it. The meaning of 気 relevant here is something like 'spiritual energy flow'. 母に電話をかけなかった気 would mean 'the spiritual energy flow that I did not call my mother'. – None – 2011-11-30T06:22:03.073