JAPANESE LESSON

Japanese Lesson 15: Intransitive Verbs vs Transitive Verbs ( Jidoushi vs Tadoushi )

Hi, ojachan is here. 😄 Today’s lesson is: Japanese Lesson 15: Intransitive Verbs vs Transitive Verbs ( Jidoushi vs Tasoushi )!

Don’t you want to know how to learn Japanese like Japanese kids? This lesson is meant for students that are beginners at Japanese. 

Memorizing verbs by classifying and understanding the difference between an intransitive verb and a transitive verb are very important.

Usually, though Japanese learners learn this grammar in lesson 29 of Minna no Nihongo, I think it’s good for beginner’s level of Japanese learner to learn them now.

The reason why is because  it’s essential knowledge to know the usage particle “を wo” and particle “が ga”. Besides you can understand easier and use correct Japanese earlier. There are some type of words in English like “to rise or to raise” and “to lay or to lie”.

 So let’s get started!

A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar

Amazon Reviews:★★★★

★ Level: Elementary
★ Genre: Grammar
★ Language: English is used for grammar explanations and translations of example sentences. 
★ Number of entries: 206
★ Example sentences are written in kanji/kana with romanization. 

Publisher: JAPAN TIMES

Intransitive Verbs and Transitive Verbs


Intransitive verbs can follow “が ga” or “は wa”, and transitive verbs follow “を wo” or “に ni”. An intransitive verb, which is called “自動詞 jidoushi”, can show an action or an effect by the subject. “自動 jidou” means “automation”.
For example, “行く iku to go”, “走る hashiru to run” and “勉強する benkyousuru to study” etc are intransitive verbs.
And we use for the things occurred spontaneously, “流れる nagareru to flow”, “消える kieru to go off” and “燃える moeru to burn” are also intransitive verbs.

While, a transitive verb, which is called “他動詞 tadoushi”, works for others.
For example, “閉める shimeru to close something”, “消す kesu to turn off something” and “壊す kowasu to break something” etc are transitive verbs.

In other words, they can’t move if the things are affected by others.

jidoushi 1

“To open” as an intransitive verb is the door opens automatically.

tadoushi 1

“To open” as a transitive verb is the door is opened by Shibachan.

Additionally, “開く hiraku to open” can use for both of them.

We use 開く for the transformation from the closed state to the open state.

jidoushi and tadoushi
自動詞
jidoushi
intransitive verbs
他動詞
tadoushi
transitive verbs
花が 開く。
hana ga hiraku
The flowers open.
本を 開く。
hon wo hiraku
I open the book.
花が 閉じる。
hana ga tojiru
The flowers close.
本を 閉じる。
hon wo tojiru
I close the book.
会社に 急ぐ。
kaisha ni isogu
I hurry to my office.
仕事を 急ぐ。
shigeto wo isogu
I hurry a job.

In this way, there are some verbs which can be both intransitive verbs and transitive verbs.

You can recognize them by paying attention for intransitive verbs can follow the particle “が ga” and “は wa” or transitive verbs can follow the particle “を wo” and “に ni”.

自動詞 Intransitive verbs


1. Be careful for particles

However, you should be careful the idea of the meaning; the verb following “が”,  so it’s an intransitive verb, and the verb following “を” , so it’a transitive verb.

confusing jidoushi

“降りる to get off” is an intransitive verb.

降りる oriru to get off
e.g. 自転車 降ります。
jitensha wo orimasu
I get off from the bicycle.

乗る noru to get on
e.g. 車 乗ります。
kuruma ni norimasu
I get on the car.

These words are intransitive verbs though, they don’t following “が”.

Intransitive verbs are just an action or an effect by the subject, and transitive verbs just works for others or are affected by others.

I’m going to write about “the difference between を and が” next time!

2. Verbs Being Only Intransitive Verbs

There are a lot of verbs to be only intransitive verbs like this. And this type of verbs are called “無対自動詞 mutsui-jidoushi”.

■ Motion Verbs

Plus, “行く iku to go”, “帰る kaeru to go back” and “来る kuru to come” etc, called “移動動詞 idou-doushi motion verbs”, are intransitive verbs.

行く iku to go
e.g. 学校 行きます。
gakkou ni ikimasu
I go to school.

来る kuru to come
e.g. 友達は 家 来ます。
tomodachi wa koko ni kimasu
My friend will come to my house.

走る hashiru to run
e.g. 家の近く 走ります。
ie no chikaku wo hashirimasu
I run near my house.

歩く aruku to walk
e.g. 公園 歩きます。
kouen de arukimasu
I walk at the park.

■ Being Only Intransitive Verbs

Here is the verbs which can be only intransitive verbs!

いる iru to exist (creature)
e.g. 猫が います。neko ga imaru
There is a cat.

ある aru to exist (object)
e.g. 本が あります。
hon ga arimasu
There is a book.

なる naru to become
e.g. 先生 なる。
sensei ni narimasu
I become a teacher.

動く ugoku to move
e.g. ロボットが 動きます。
robotto ga ugokimasu
The robot moves.

泳ぐ oyogu to swim
e.g. プール 泳ぎます。
puuru de oyogimasu
I swim in the pool.

座る suwaru to sit
e.g. ソファ 座ります。
sofa ni suwarimasu
I sit on the sofa.

住む sumu to live
e.g. 日本 住みます。
nihon ni sumimasu
I live in Japan.

泣く naku to cry
e.g. わたし 泣きました。
watashi wa nakimashita
I cried.

笑う warau to laugh
e.g. わたしは 笑いました。
watashi wa waraimashita 
I laughed.

成長する seichousuru to grow up
e.g. 子供 成長します。
kodomo ga seichou shimasu
My kids grow up.

会う au to meet / to see
e.g. 家族 会います。
kazoku ni aimasu
I’m going to see my family.

別れる wakareru to part / to break up
e.g. 彼女 別れました。
kanojo to wakaremashita
I broke up with my girlfriend.

気づくkizuku to notice
e.g. 間違い 気づきました。
machigai ni kizukimashita
I noticed my mistake.

勝つ katsu to win
e.g. 試合 勝ちました。
shiai ni kachimashita
I won the game.

負ける makeru to loose
e.g. 勝負 負けました。
shoubu ni makemashita
I lost the fight.

他動詞 Transitive Verbs


“読む yomu to read “ , “書く kaku to write” and “話す hanasu to speak” are transitive verbs.

But there are also some verbs which can only be transitive verbs. They are called “無対他動詞 mutsui-tadoushi”.

When Japanese people learn transitive verbs of English, we learn with like~を読む” or ~を書く” because transitive verbs are always following particle を.

読む yomu to read
e.g. わたしは 新聞 読みます。
watashi wa shinbun wo yomimasu
I read the newspaper.

書く kaku to write
e.g. わたしは 日記 書きます。
watashi wa nikki wo kakimasu
I write my diary.

感じる kanjiru to feel
e.g. わたしは 痛み 感じます。
watashi wa itami wo kanjimasu
I feel pain.

疑う utagau to dubt
e.g. わたしは あなた 疑っています。
watashi wa anata wo utagatte imasu
I am doubting you.

休む yasumu to take a rest [break] / take a day off
e.g. わたしは 会社 休みました。
watashi wa kaisha wo yasumimashita
I took my day off.

知る shiru to know
e.g. わたしは この意味 知りました。
watashi wa imi wo sirimasita
I know this meaning.

嫌う kirau to dislike
e.g. 私の父は 動物 嫌います。
watashi no chichi wa doubutsu wo kiraimasu.
My father dislikes animal.

願う negau to wish
e.g. 幸福 願います。
koufuku wo negaimasu
I wish you happiness.

望む / 希望する nozomu /kibousuru to hope
e.g. 空港で 荷物の 受け取り 希望します。
kuukou de nimotsu no uketori wo kiboushimasu 
I hope I can get the luggage at the airport.

教える oshieru  to teach
e.g. わたしは 英語 教えます。
watashi wa eigo wo oshiemasu
I teach English.

考える / 思う kangaeru / omou to think
e.g. わたしは 今夜の 夕食 考えます。
watashi wa yuushoku wo kangaemasu
I think my dinner tonight.

忘れる wasureru to forget
e.g. 教科書 忘れました。
kyoukasho wo wasuremashita
I forgot my textbook.

You see, transitive verbs are always following particle を.

How to Conjugate from Jidoushi to Tadoushi


Let’s learn how to make from intransitive verbs to transitive verbs.

The stems are same, but the suffixes are different.

Unfortunately, you need to memorize the verbs even though the verbs have several patterns. It’s similar to irregular verbs of English like “know-knew-known”.

Simply, almost all of verbs can conjugate Group1 verbs to group 2 verbs, especially shimo-ichidan-katsuyou.

Read this if you don’t know how to classifying verbs.

I’m going to introduce you how to conjugate a word from jidoushi to tadoushi.

*The names of pattern are not official, they are my original by the way.

1. 5-5 form

-u 五段活用 → -asu 五段活用

Jidoushi
Intransitive Verbs
-u
五段活用
EnglishTadoushi
Transitive Verbs
-asu
五段活用
English
減る
heru
to decrease減らす
herasu
to reduce sth
沸く
waku
to boil沸かす
wakasu
to boil sth
乾く
kawaku
to dry乾かす
kawakasu
to dry sth
喜ぶ
yorokobu
to be glad喜ばす
yorokobasu
to please sb

-ru 五段活用 → -su 五段活用

Jidoushi
Intransitive Verbs
-ru
五段活用
EnglishTadoushi
Transitive Verbs
-su
五段活用
English
帰る
kaeru
to go back帰す
kaesu
to let sb go back
返る
kaeru
to give back返す
kaesu
to return sth
通る
tooru
to go through通す
toosu
to pass sth / pl
回る
mawaru
to rotate回す
mawasu
to rotate sth
直る
naoru
to be fixed直す
naosu
to fix sth
渡る
wataru
to cross渡す
watasu
to pass sth

2. 5-eru form

-aru 五段活用→ -eru 下一段活用

Jidoushi
Intransitive Verbs
-aru
五段活用
EnglishTadoushi
Transitive Verbs
-eru
下一段活用
English
上がる
agaru
to rise上げる
ageru
to raise sth
決まる
kimaru
to be decided決める
kimeru
to decide sth
閉まる
shimaru
to be closed閉める
shimeru
to close sth
集まる
atsumaru
to gather集める
atsumeru
to collect sth
始まる
hajimaru
to start始める
hajimeru
to start sth
見つかる
mitsukaru
to be found見つける
mitsukeru
to find sth
掛かる
kakaru
to hang掛ける
kakeru
to hang sth
助かる
tasukaru
to be saved助ける
tasukeru
to help sb
止まる
tomaru
to stop止める
tomeru
to stop sth
曲がる
magaru
to bend曲げる
mageru
to bend sth
混ざる
mazaru
to mix混ぜる
mazeru
to mix sth
固まる
katamaru
to harden固める
katameru
to harden sth

-u 五段活用 → -eru 下一段活用

Jidoushi
Intransitive Verbs
-u
五段活用
EnglishTadoushi
Transitive Verbs
-eru 
下一段活用
English
開く
hiraku
to open開ける
akeru
to open sth
届く
todoku
to arrive届ける
todokeru
to send sth
育つ
sodatsu
to grow育てる
sodateru
to grow sth
立つ
tatsu
to stand立てる
tateru
to stand sth
並ぶ
narabu
to line up並べる
naraberu
to display
進む
susumu
to proceed進める
susumeru
to move forward sth
付く
tsuku
to stick付ける
tsukeru
to stick sth
続く
tsuzuku
to continue続けるtsuzukeruto keep sth

-ru 五段活用 → -seru 下一段活用

Jidoushi
Intransitive Verbs
-ru
五段活用
EnglishTadoushi
Transitive Verbs
-seru 
下一段活用
English
乗る
noru
to ride乗せる
noseru
to put sth on pl.
寄る
yoru
to approach寄せる
yoseru
to approach sth / pl

-waru 五段活用 → -eru 下一段活用

Jidoushi
Intransitive Verbs
-waru
五段活用
EnglishTadoushi
Transitive Verbs
-eru 
下一段活用
English
変わるkawaruto change変えるkaeruto change sth
加わるkuwawaruto join加えるkuwaeruto add sth
伝わるtsutawaruto spread伝えるtsutaeruto tell sth

3. eru-5 form

-eru 下一段活用 → -asu 五段活用

Jidoushi
Intransitive Verbs
-eru 
下一段活用
EnglishTadoushi
Transitive Verbs
-asu
五段活用
English
出る
deru
to go out出す
dasu
to hold sth out
逃げる
nigeru
to escape逃がす
nogasu
to release sth
溶ける
tokeru
to melt溶かす
tokasu
to melt sth
枯れる
kareru
to wither枯らす
karasu
to wither sth

-eru 下一段活用 → -u 五段活用

Jidoushi
Intransitive Verbs
-eru 
下一段活用
EnglishTadoushi
Transitive Verbs
-u
五段活用
English
取れる
toreru
to be obtained取る
toru
to obtrain sth
切れる
kireru
to be cut切る
kiru
to cut sth
破れる
yabureru
to be broken破る
yaburu
to tear sth
折れる
oreru
to be broken折る
oru
to fold sth
割れる
wareru
to be cracked割る
waru
to divide sth
ほどける
hodokeru
to undoneほどく
hodoku
to undo sth
脱げる
nugeru
to come off脱ぐ
nugu
to take sth off
焼ける
yakeru
to be burned焼く
yaku
to bake sth
売れる
ureru
to be sold売る
uru
to sell sth
抜ける
nukeru
to come out抜く
nuku
to pull sth out
解ける
tokeru
to be solved解く
toku
to solve sth
流れる
nagareru
to flow流す
nagasu
to drain sth

-reru 下一段活用 → -su 五段活用

Jidoushi
Intransitive Verbs
-reru 
下一段活用
EnglishTadoushi
Transitive Verbs
-su
五段活用
English
潰れる
tsubureru
to be crushed潰す
tsubusu
to crush sth
離れる
hanareru
to separate離す
hanasu
to separate sth
外れる
hazureru
to come off外す
hazusu
to take sth
倒れる
taoreru
to fall down倒す
taosu
to throw sth down
汚れる
yogoreru
to get dirty汚す
yogosu
to make sth dirty
現れる
arawareru
to show up現す
arawasu
to show sth
壊れる
kowareru
to be broken壊す
kowasu
to break sth

-eru 下一段活用 → -yasu 五段活用

Jidoushi
Intransitive Verbs
-eru 
下一段活用
EnglishTadoushi
Transitive Verbs
-yasu
五段活用
English
増える
fueru
to increase増やす
fuyasu
to increase sth
冷える
hieru
to get cold冷やす
hiyasu
to cool sth
生える
haeru
to grow生やす
hayasu
to grow sth
燃える
moeru
to burn燃やす
oyasu
to burn sth

4. iru-5 form

-iru 上一段活用 → -osu 五段活用

Jidoushi
Intransitive Verbs
-iru 
上一段活用
EnglishTadoushi
Transitive Verbs
-osu
五段活用
English
起きる
okiru
to wake up起こす
okosu
to wake sb up
降りる
oriru
to get off降ろす
orosu
to take sth down
落ちる
ochiru
to fall落とす
otosu
to fall sth
過ぎる
sugiru
to pass過ごす
sugosu
to spend sth

5. Others

Jidoushi
Intransitive Verbs
EnglishTadoushi
Transitive Verbs
English
見える
mieru
下一段活用
to see見る
miru
上一段活用
to look at sth
入る
hairu
to come in入れる
ireru
to put sth
聞こえる
kikoeru
to hear聞く
kiku
to listen to sth
消える
kieru
to disappear消す
kesu
to turn off sth
分かれる
wakareru
to divide分ける
wakeru
to divide sth
終わる
owaru
to end終える
oeru
終わる
owaru
to finish sth

A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar

Amazon Reviews:★★★★

★ Level: Elementary
★ Genre: Grammar
★ Language: English is used for grammar explanations and translations of example sentences. 
★ Number of entries: 206
★ Example sentences are written in kanji/kana with romanization. 

Publisher: JAPAN TIMES

Intransitive vs Transitive QUIZ


Okay, that’s all for today!

Good luck with your Japanese study 😉

P.S. My English skill is not enough yet. Please correct me with DM from CONTACT if my English is wrong. Thank you for your cooperation!

Next Lesson is;

Japanese Lesson 16:Verb Conjugations Group 3

Previous Lesson is; CLICK HERE!

Japanese Lesson 14: Verbs (with fully clear illustrations)

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