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Uki Uki Japanese Lesson 43 - Transitive vs. Intransitive Verbs

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Uki Uki Japanese Lesson 43 - Transitive vs. Intransitive Verbs
oday's topic is transitive and intransitive verbs.

First, I want you to imagine 2 doors side by side.
With the 1st door, you see a man standing next to it. He holds the handle and opens the door.
With the 2nd door, you see only the door. Somehow, the door opens. You saw the opening of the door all by itself.

The first door represents a transitive verb. Here, you clearly saw two things: the man opening the door, which is a direct object. Like this, a transitive verb always shows who caused the action, and the thing that's affected by it.

Now, the second door opened without anyone’s help, right? That’s how an intransitive verb is. It’s a sort of self-moving action that just happens without an external force.

So the basic difference between the two is that transitive verbs take a direct object, and intransitive verbs don’t.

If you get confused, look closely at these points:
Is the verb followed immediately by an object? Then that’s a transitive verb.
Is the verb standing alone? Then that’s an intransitive verb. (Prepositions like at, on, from, etc. are not a direct object.)

The man opened the door. open = transitive
The door opened. open = intransitive

I accidentally woke the baby. woke = transitive
The baby woke. = intransitive

I killed the plants while on vacation. kill = transitive
The plants died while I was gone. died = intransitive

Let’s move the chair to the conference room. move = transitive
The train is moving so slowly today. moved = intransitive

Did you notice that in English, oftentimes the transitive and intransitive pairs sound exactly the same, like "I opened the door," and "The door opened?" In Japanese, they are almost always different. Some of them may sound a bit similar, but they’re still not the same verbs.

Now, we'll look at the previous sentences in Japanese with the correct particles.

The rules are:
Objectを Transitive Verb
Subjectが Intransitive Verb

男の人はドアを開けた。Otokono hito wa doa o aketa.
ドアが開いた。 Doa ga aita.

赤ちゃんを起こしちゃった。 Akachan o okoshichatta.
赤ちゃんが起きちゃった。 Akachan ga okichatta.

留守の間に、花を枯らしてしまった。 Rusu no aida ni, hana o karashite shimatta.
留守の間に、花が枯れてしまった。 Rusu no aida ni hana ga karete shimatta.

椅子を会議室に動かしましょう。Isu o kaigishitsu ni ugokashimashou.
今日は電車がノロノロと動いています。Kyou wa densha ga noronoro to ugoite imasu.

In summary, here are the key points.

1. Transitive verbs take a direct object; Intransitive verbs don’t.
2. In Japanese, transitive and intransitive pairs are usually different words.
3. Particle rules are:
Object を Transitive Verb
Subject が Intransitive Verb
ドキュメンタリー - Documentary
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