In the first lesson of みんなの日本語初級II (lesson 26), the word 片【かた】づきます shows up as "be put in order, tidy up." I looked in a couple of dictionaries, and can only find 片【かた】付【づ】けます, which has the same definition.

Does the book have a typo, and is 片付けます the right spelling?

  • 1
    What dictionaries did you check? Should be in any dictionary as 片付く (unconjugated form). Most dictionaries will find it even if you search in ます form though.
    – Leebo
    Commented Nov 28, 2023 at 2:12
  • 1
    Other similar pairs include: 続く/続ける, 並ぶ/並べる, 届く/届ける, (and of course, 付く/付ける).
    – sundowner
    Commented Nov 28, 2023 at 2:24
  • The main one I use is jisho.org, @Leebo, and I just realized either I did something wrong while searching earlier, or their search is not parsing my request properly. My previous search was for 片付きる (erroneous conjugation, I now see), which gives me nothing. Then I tried 片付る which gave me 片付ける. But I just now re-tried the original search but in kana, and かたづきる does take me to the right word... :\
    – JNat
    Commented Nov 28, 2023 at 10:16
  • @JNat 片付る is an irregular spelling, it should be either 片付ける or 片づける. Also, it's a good idea to get accustomed early on to dictionary forms (片付ける/片付く) as opposed to conjugated forms ( 片付けます/片付きます), because having attached ます sometimes obfuscates conjugations and verb groups and you don't want that when learning how conjugations work.
    – jarmanso7
    Commented Nov 28, 2023 at 10:34
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    Appreciate the tip, @jarmanso7! When I learn new stuff on WaniKani it does give me the dictionary form, and whatever I add manually to Anki is also in that form — I just search sometimes using ます because みんなの日本語 has the vocab in that format.
    – JNat
    Commented Nov 28, 2023 at 16:31

1 Answer 1


Is 片付きます a word?


Does the book have a typo, and is 片付けます the right spelling?


片付{かたづ}けます and 片付{かたづ}きます are two different but complementary words with the same basic meaning. One of them, 片付{かたづ}けます is transitive and the other one, 片付{かたづ}きます, is intransitive. This difference is sometimes highlighted in bilingual dictionaries by using a passive English voice:

  • 片付{かたづ}けます: "to put in order, to tidy up"
  • 片{かた}づきます: "to be put in order, to be tidied up"

Compare the difference in usage. For transitive verbs, there's an agent doing the action and the object takes the particle を:

弟が部屋片付{かたづ}けます。My younger brother puts his room in order.

On the contrary, there's no external agent for intransitive verbs, and there's no object either, so we use them with the particle が:

私の部屋片付{かたづ}いていません。 My room is not put in order. (literally, not tidied up).

On a side note, I think that between both words, the transitive version 片付{かたづ}けます is the one used more frequently. For the intransitive version, it's difficult for me to find a natural example sentence that doesn't use the negative, progressive tense, to indicate that the room is an untidy state.

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    For the intransitive version, it's difficult for me to find... 引っ越しの後で「やっと片付いたわ~」とか
    – chocolate
    Commented Nov 27, 2023 at 23:06

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