JLPT N4. Used in both writing and conversation.

We use the below structure to show that we have decided one thing out of multiple choices. The most common example would be say, “I’ll have the pizza” at a restaurant.

[NOUN] にする
I’ll take the pizza.
What will you have?

This is the most basic structure. More commonly you will see it used with nominalised verbs to show that you have decided to do something.

I decided to choose history as my subject at university.
I decided to buy a new television.

We could, of course, also use the verb “to decide”.

I decided to buy a new television.
I decided to buy a new television.

The meaning is almost identical with the following two points to note:

  1. ことにする is more colloquial.
  2. There ultimate meanings of the final verbs “to do” and “to decide” are still present in the sentence and so the two are not always interchangeable. Look at the following two example sentences.
Please do such that you pretend you are surprised.
Please decide to pretend that you are surprised.
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