I was looking through example sentences in wwwjdic ( http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi?11 ) and noticed it uses these, however from looking at the examples, I don't know which one to use when, can I get some clarification on this please?


She stooped to pick up a pebble.

I bent over to pick up the pen.

1 Answer 1


Basically they mean the same thing except for when they don't. 拾う has a lot of definitions that sometimes do and sometimes don't have much to do with the "pick up" definition, as in the opposite of 捨てる. By adding the 上げる suffix to it you're limiting the scope of the usage of the word and emphasizing or clarifying the meaning with which it will be used. If you look at the entry for 拾い上げる you'll see that its usage is limited to the action of picking something up plus a few other metaphorical uses that stem from this basic action.

  • I see, interesting, thanks for clearing that up for me :)
    – Jamal
    Feb 24, 2013 at 12:07

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