The verb 急ぐ is an important everyday word meaning "to hurry." It functions as both a standalone verb and a supplementary verb that attaches to both intransitive and transitive verbs. Its te-form is also used as an adverb. Together, all three functions mentioned will be discussed thoroughly in this lesson.
The verb 急ぐ has two closely related functions. It either expresses one's aims of getting something done in a haste or one's attempt at getting to some destination quickly. In the first sense, it can be viewed as any typical transitive verb.
To hasten construction
To hasten vaccination
In the second sense of rushing to reach a destination, it is frequently used with the particle を, but the verb actually functions as an intransitive verb. Thus, whatever noun of place/time you see it used with is the transition space that one is hurrying through.
To hurry on one's way
To rush through the night
The second usage is far more common and it's even more common to use it by itself to state that one is in a hurry. To aid in distinguishing between intransitive and transitive sentences, the following examples will be labeled so that you can look back at the definition of either sense if you get lost.
North Korea is rushing to complete its nuclear missile technology irrespective of sanctions and pressure.
Even when I may be trying to rush or home or even when I'm tired, I always practice safe driving.
Word Note: 帰宅 is a Sino-Japanese word meaning "returning home." Paraphrasing this into native vocabulary would be 家に帰ること. Saying 家に帰るのを急ぐ is possible but wordy and sounds like a definition rather than a naturally uttered sentence. As for 帰宅を急ぐ, it is grammatical because it is stating an attempt at rushing the act of getting home. Where some speakers get tripped up is the existence of 家路を急ぐ, which uses the noun 家路 meaning "the route home." Thus, you're saying "rushing down the route home." If one tries equating 帰宅 and 家路 as one and the same thing, then 帰宅を急ぐ would sound unnatural because 帰宅 is not a transition space.
I'm sorry, I'm in a bit of a worry, so... (I can't talk).
4. ごめん、ちょっと急いでるんで。 (Informal) (Intransitive)
Sorry, I'm a little busy, so... (I can't talk).
What are you in such a rush for?
There's no need to hurry/rush.
The act of hurrying ahead is one instinct ingrain in humans for survival.
9. 急がば回れ。(Intransitive) (Proverb)
More haste, less speed.
Phrase Note: Ex. is the Japanese equivalent of "slow and steady wins the race." It would literally translate as, "spin around (in circles) if you're going to be hasty." As for 急がば, this is an old-fashioned hypothetical construction which equates to "if you rush." In today's speech, it would be 急げば, but in this set phrase, the old form is used.
10. 善は急げ。(Transitive) (Proverb)
Strike while the iron is hot.
Phrase Note: This proverb emphasizes how you should rush a good opportunity before the situation changes.
11. 弱馬道を急ぐ。(Intransitive) (Proverb)
Those who lack talent rush to success.
Phrase Note: Those who lack the skills and talents necessary for smooth success tend to rush the process, and this is akin to how a weak horse will still try to rush to its destination, perhaps unaware of how insignificant it is to other horses.
Even more common than using 急ぐ as a standalone verb, using its te-form as an adverb. Although it literally translates to "hurriedly," in natural English it translates to "hurry and..." This usage is not far removed from a literal interpretation of its intransitive nuance, but the adverbial form will always be followed by an active verb. If you don't use a verb after 急いで, you're just using the command nuance of the te-form to tell someone to hurry.
Hurry and tidy this up!
Please hurry and finish this!
Hurry! (You'll/we'll) be late!
In formal speech and/or writing, 急いで is replaced with 急ぎ. You may also see 取り急ぎ, which comes from 取り急ぐ, or a more emphatic version of 急ぐ.
I shall return to work in haste.
I wanted to provide you the latest data.
Word Note: 取り急ぎ places emphasis on how the speaker is sending the recipient the data as quickly as they could in a quick and orderly fashion, but that exact wording may come off as being too eccentric if directly translated into English, thus the free translation-style of this example.
Another similar expression is 大急ぎで, which translates well as "in great haste/in a big hurry."
Mom is trying to finish shopping in a big hurry the day before Christmas.
急いで～する VS ～するのを急ぐ
You may have noticed in the word note for Ex. 2 that following a verb with ～のを急ぐ is one way of going about saying "to rush doing..." Truly, the difference between 急いで～する and ～するのを急ぐ is more so syntactic than semantic. By using the former, there is greater emphasis on the rushed attitude of the doer, whereas the latter more calmly states an action that is the subject of being rushed.
One should not rush to the conclusion that it's a technological difficulty.
One shouldn't hastily conclude that it's a technological difficulty.
I was in such a hurry to eat that I forgot to sprinkle on the sesame seeds as the finishing touch.
Cats who love to eat sometimes are in such a rush to eat that they swallow their food whole without chewing it.
Phrase Note: 急いで～する helps capture how the cat is just diving into their food. Cats instinctively eat hastily as if they might not eat again, but cats may not necessarily have an active plan in mind to accomplish being able to eat in a hurry like the human had in Ex. 18 (the reason behind the choice of ～するのを急ぐ in that respective example).
The verb 急ぐ can also be seen as a supplementary ending attaching to the 連用形 of a select handful of verbs to express a strong drive to accomplish said action. In typical speech, this grammar is overshadowed by "急いで + Verb." The same can be said for its English equivalent. It is far more common to say "hurry and..." than it is to say "to... in haste," and the latter certainly wouldn't be used in any commanding statement.
Attached to Intransitive Verbs
Attached to Transitive Verbs
死に急ぐ (to hasten one's death)
売り急ぐ (to be eager to sell)
生き急ぐ (to live life fast)
買い急ぐ (to buy in haste)
Including 取り急ぐ, the occasionally used emphatic form of 急ぐ mentioned earlier, these five expressions are the only examples of ～急ぐ that are in common use. To use either verb naturally, the action described has to be serious in nature. For instance, when used with 買う or 売る, think of an investor who's stakes are very high whichever transaction he's trying to rush.
Since life is short, living fast as can be is perfect!
Why did that person hasten his death?
People who rushed to buy (those) not-so-good real-estate properties properly regretted it afterward.
Currency traders who had just bought back yen hastened to sell it.
He is trying to sell (his/the) apples in haste.
Phrase Note: For 26a to work naturally, one would have to suppose a situation where the consequence of not selling the apples would be grave to the agent. Perhaps "he" is an apple farmer who is desperate to sell what wasn't ruined from a typhoon and only has a short window before what remains goes bad or before it becomes too late to sell his product. In that situation, 20a would sound less unnatural, but the listener would need to be aware of or be explained the situation.
As a noun, 急ぎ means "haste/hurry" and can be seen modifying nouns in 急ぎの to mean "urgent." You may also see 急ぎ used in various compound expressions to describe rushing.
She is walking about outside the store in a quick pace.
If it isn't an urgent letter, I think there's no need to go out of your way to spend money to fix the messed up address.
Can you set the time period with Amazon Prime delivery?
Calmly write letters that you need to write in haste.