What is the difference between 勝つ and 勝てる ? Also, how do I use these two different forms with ために and ように? Thank you.

  • 2
    Does seeing it as //kat-u// ⇒ //kat-eru// make it clearer to you what is going on? Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 5:20
  • 1
    @DariusJahandarie Should be /kat-e-ru/, though. Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 6:00
  • 3
    @ThomasGross I intentionally excluded the latter dash. It's common to exclude morpheme boundaries you don't consider relevant. Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 6:03
  • @DariusJahandarie Who get's to decide what's relevant? Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 8:10
  • @ThomasGross Relevant to this context.
    – Angelos
    Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 9:53

2 Answers 2



To win, to beat someone. You use this word if you are convinced you will / can win.

  • グーはチョキに勝{か}つ。 Rock beats scissors.

  • 誘惑{ゆうわく}に勝{か}つ。I'll beat the temptation.

  • レッドソックスが勝{か}つだろう。The red socks will win for sure.


(Potential form of 勝つ) Could win. Maybe can win. If there's a chance of losing it's better to use this one.

  • レッドソックスになら勝{か}てるかもしれない。There's a chance we can win if it's against the Red Socks.

  • お父{とう}さんはお母{かあ}さんに勝{か}てない。Mom (always) trumps Dad.

  • 喧嘩{けんか}してもお兄{にい}ちゃんに勝{か}てない。There's no point in fighting your older brother.

  • 最初{さいしょ}から勝{か}てると分{わ}かっている試合{しあい}はつまらない。It's not fun to play if you know you could probably win the game (already).


To win, in order to win, so as to be able to win. There's no difference in meaning really, but I think 勝{か}つため is used more frequently.

  • 勝{か}つために練習{れんしゅう}する。I will train (hard) to win.
  • 勝{か}てるように練習{れんしゅう}する。I will train (hard) so that I can win.
  • 負{ま}けないように練習{れんしゅう}する。I will train hard. I won't lose.

勝つ -> To win This is the dictionary form/ the base form of the verb. As much as you wanted to use this form for conversation purpose, it would be not recommended for you may sound rude to some. You have to inflect it before using it. If you want this verb to be used with one of the mentioned articles, it would best work with ため. 勝つため or 勝つのため would mean "for the sake of winning".

勝てる -> a chance or a possibility to win. At this form of the verb 勝つ, it expresses possibility. This form is follows the conjunctive form of the verb followed by a ーる. As for this form of verb, it would work with ように.

As for which is more frequently used, 勝つのため is more used, most especially on the younger age bracket.

  • 1
    I've never heard 勝つのため being used. Where did you pick that up?
    – Earthliŋ
    Commented Jan 1, 2015 at 13:16
  • 2
    They probably heard me say 「トンカツのためなら何でもする!」 last night and mistakenly thought I was talking about winning.
    – user4032
    Commented Jan 2, 2015 at 0:33

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