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Please explain to me why に is used instead of を in these sentences

彼に会います
彼に連絡します

Is that because 会います is a transitive verb? Please give me more detail.

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  • There might be some historical reason but I don't think you are going to get a satisfying grammatical explanation. It's just one of those irregularities you have to learn. Nov 5, 2023 at 10:24
  • Related or dup に versus を with 会いました verb
    – sundowner
    Nov 5, 2023 at 10:47
  • @user3856370 What's irregular about it? Using に with intransitive verbs is just a normal thing in Japanese, no?
    – Leebo
    Nov 5, 2023 at 12:34
  • @Leebo I meant irregular in the sense that you expect it to the the direct object in English but that it isn't so in Japanese. Nothing more. Nov 5, 2023 at 12:37
  • 1
    Indeed, English verbs like "look", "listen" and "kiss" seemed very "irregular" to me at first :)
    – naruto
    Nov 5, 2023 at 18:00

1 Answer 1

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会います (or 会う) doesn't take を because it is an intransitive verb, not a transitive verb. Transitive verbs take を, and intransitive verbs don't.

In general, the transitivity of verbs in English and Japanese is the same in, say, 80% of the time, but there are also many exceptional cases. Just because "to meet" or "to contact" is a transitive verb in English doesn't mean that the Japanese equivalent 会う or 連絡する is transitive. There are many similar examples, and you simply have to remember them one by one. Please take a look at this list: に vs. を in "to pass a test"

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