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Thread: Transitive and Intransitive verbs

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    Default Transitive and Intransitive verbs

    does any one have or know where i could get a list of all the Intransitive and Transitive verbs that are found in Japanese?

    Thanks guys, if you can help, you will really save my skin
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    OPPORTUNITYISNOWHERE mteacher80's Avatar
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    well a quick search uncovered this....

    http://homepage3.nifty.com/jgrammar/ja/data/trans.htm


    it uses keigo forms to indroduce the differences so it looks a little funny, but hey, i tried.
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    Cool Cutie Fighter! Hyakuman's Avatar
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    i think the genki 2 textbook has a good description of transitive/intransitive verbs, as well as a bunch of examples. you really only need to learn the pattern of how they work, and then you can conjugate most transitive verbs into intransitive, and vice versa.

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    No, unfortunately learning transitive and intransitive verbs is nothing but pure memorization. You'll find some patterns here and there, but there is no one definitive rule that defines how the verbs will be conjugated.

    Look at 落ちる(おちる)。 Could you tell what the transitive form of this verb is just by looking at it? It's 落とす.. something you just have to memorize.

    You might be confusing transitive/intransitive with the passive form of a verb, which can be conjugated as a definitive rule

    飲む (to drink) can be turned into 飲まれる (will be drinken), or 行く turns into 行かれる。 (the last letter of the verb, U, turns into A, and then you add れる)

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    thanks for that markteacher80, who knew there were so many!
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    One thing I have noticed is that many of the transitive verbs (他動詞) end in ~す, while relatively few intransitive verbs (自動詞) seem to end in ~す.

    In fact in a perusal of the list...I didn't notice any す-ending verbs that were intransitive.

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    Conjugation of Japanese transitive verbs into intransitive does follow some kind of pattern. But the patterns are about as wide and varied as English verb conjugation

    One thing worth remembering, however, is that if the transitive form is a 一段動詞(class 2 verb) the intransitive will be a 五段動詞(class 1 verb). If the transitive is 五段動詞 the intransitive will be 一段動詞. That helps a little in the memorisation but is more of a check to see if you remember it right.

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    Cool Cutie Fighter! Hyakuman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samesong
    No, unfortunately learning transitive and intransitive verbs is nothing but pure memorization. You'll find some patterns here and there, but there is no one definitive rule that defines how the verbs will be conjugated.

    Look at 落ちる(おちる)。 Could you tell what the transitive form of this verb is just by looking at it? It's 落とす.. something you just have to memorize.

    You might be confusing transitive/intransitive with the passive form of a verb, which can be conjugated as a definitive rule

    飲む (to drink) can be turned into 飲まれる (will be drinken), or 行く turns into 行かれる。 (the last letter of the verb, U, turns into A, and then you add れる)
    notice that i didn't say that you can identify all transitive/intransitive words using a pattern. of course there are exceptions, that goes without saying for any language, but it really helps in finding a starting point for most verbs (just look at all the examples provided from other people in this thread). and no, i am not confusing it for passive, thanks..

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    Getting a bit defensive aren't we?

    Identifying transitive/intransitive is usually pretty easy, but being able to recall them is much more difficult, which is why, in this case, it's better to go ahead and straight memorize the forms instead of trying to figure out the complex rules that govern how they are conjugated.

    But you are right. Seeing a few examples of transitive/intransitive will really help when trying to identify how another word is being used within the context.

    I just took a better look at that link Mark posted, and that's really interesting. I've never had a Japanese textbook (or teacher, for that matter) that thoroughly explained exactly how they go about being conjugated, and this clearly explains how it's done. I'll nerd out on that page sometime over the summer.

    edit-- I just checked out your blog. Your Japanese is really good. How long have you been studying / have you spent any time in Japan?

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    Cool Cutie Fighter! Hyakuman's Avatar
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    haha, yeah... that was a little defensive. my bad :smt005

    well i've been studying japanese since 1yr university, and lived in japan for a year in tokyo/saitama. i went to sophia university as an exchange student and met a lot of good japanese friends. from that point forward i was speaking almost entirely japanese. so my level increased like 10 fold and i haven't given up from that point. i passed the JLPT 2-kyu test back in december, i think i'll be taking the 1-kyu this december, but i haven't decided..

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    Mmm, I'm envious you got to spend an entire year over there studying. I've met a few people that have spent a year in Japan.. either they come back with amazing Japanese skills, or can utter a few pathetic sentences. I suppose those that did well chose to integrate themselves. Good for you for choosing the latter.

    Why didn't you try out to be a CIR?

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    Cool Cutie Fighter! Hyakuman's Avatar
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    haha, actually i originally applied to be a CIR and passed the initial phone "test-your-japanese-ability" interview. although, unknowingly i didn't use any keigo during the interview so they were worried that i didn't know how to. i was called by the consulate with the results a week later and they said i passed and i could continue with the CIR interview if i chose. the girl also said that if by chance i didn't 'impress' the japanese delegates present at the interview enough, then i could still be transferred to an ALT position but at the bottom of the latter (which to me at that time meant a good chance that i wouldn't get in). she then told me that it's really easy to switch from ALT to CIR after one year, and that she could change my application to ALT instead if "going to japan" was my main concern. naturally, i thought it over and came to the conclusion that getting to japan is number one, after that the sky's the limit, so i chose ALT instead!

    phew, that's a mouthful. but yeah, i want to switch to CIR maybe next year, but we'll see how ALT goes. either position to me will be really fun. i just want to become newspaper-worthy in my japanese ability and then apply for a job with a japanese company (or multinational company in japan) after. the jet programme is the perfect opportunity to do just that! :wink:

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    Senior Member tedcase's Avatar
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    Transitive verbs?

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