This structure uses the te form with the verb “to put” to express that you will perform an action and then leave it in that state (typically in preparation for something in the future). For example, you might have guests coming in a few hours so you say to your partner, “I’ll put the wine in the fridge” or you might be late for a meeting so you give someone a call to let them know in advance. It doesn’t always have a direct equivalent in English.

準備じゅんびしておく
Prepare ahead.
おくれそうだからジェームズに電話でんわしておくね。
It looks like we’re going to be late so I’ll give James a call.
ビールをやしておく
To cool the beers.
きゃくさんが3時さんじぐらいにるので、会議室かいぎしつ予約よやくしておきましょう
The clients are coming around 3 o’clock so let’s book a meeting room.
予備よび電池でんち用意よういしておく
Keep a spare battery.

In casual conversation, the ~ておく sometimes gets abbreviated to 〜とく.

準備じゅんびとく
Prepare ahead.
といてよかったよね。
It’s a good job I bought it [because the price has now gone up].
You May Also Like

No Way

We have two ways of forming the expression “there’s no way that…” or “it’s impossible that…”—わけがない and はずがない.…

“As Soon As” in Japanese

The easiest way to say “as soon as A, B” with the grammar already introduced is to simply…

Listing Actions & Descriptions (~たり)

We can make partial lists nouns with the や and など particles, but what about verbs? Similarly to…

Movement Towards an Action

Movement towards action refers to sentences like the following: I am going to eat. I am coming to…