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I often see 浮く in contexts relating to floatability, like:

氷は水に浮きます

However, sometimes I see 浮く used where I'd use 浮かぶ. When should one be used over the other? Are there any cases where both are acceptable?

  • You should add 浮かべる too. – istrasci Dec 28 '13 at 2:36
  • Can it's meaning not be deduced from 浮かぶ? – Daniel Safari Dec 29 '13 at 15:00
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浮く to float, float to the surface. 「魚が浮いた」 「泡が浮く」 「木が水に浮く」 「空に浮く」

浮かぶ to be floating at a surface, float with no movement (think of the かぶ like ~ている)。 「氷が浮かぶ」 「白雲が浮かぶ」

  • To whoever down voted me, this is how my Japanese-Japanese dictionary explains it (大辞林). – Jon Jan 4 '14 at 12:04
  • Does your dictionary say 魚が浮た, not 魚が浮いた? (ところでダウンボートしたの私じゃないです) – user1016 Jan 6 '14 at 1:22
  • @Jon: It seems to me like 浮く is simply an antonym of 沈む, wouldn't you agree? – Daniel Safari Jan 6 '14 at 16:57
  • @DanielSafari In meaning and being intransitive, sure. "simply~" is not how I would make statements about high-context languages, however. – Jon Jan 8 '14 at 2:29
  • @Jon: Could you elaborate? I'm not quite sure I follow, since in this case it seems "simply" applies? Or do you mean generally about Japanese? – Daniel Safari Jan 8 '14 at 16:30

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