WWWJDIC does not tally their meanings of 掛ける and 掛かる so i find it hard for a beginner like me to properly learn these 2 words..

Do all these meanings of 掛ける and 掛かる tally: (is this list correct):

1a) to hang 地図を掛ける

1b) to be hung 地図が掛かる

2a) to take (time/money) 時間を掛ける

2b) to be taken.. 時間が掛かる

3a) to multiply 2と3を掛ける

3b) to be multiplied2と3が掛かる

4a) to wear (glasses/necklace) ネックレスを掛ける

4b) to be worn.. ネックレスが掛かる

5a) to make a call 電話を掛ける

5b) to be made.. 電話が掛かる

6a) to make an insurance 保険を掛ける

6b) to be made.. 保険が掛かる

7a) to set (engine/alarm) into "on" mode テープレコーダを掛ける

7b) to be set.. テープレコーダが掛かる

8a) to fix (toothache/headache) 頭痛を掛ける

8b) to be fixed.. 頭痛が掛かる

9a) to lock 鍵を掛ける

9b) to be locked.. 鍵が掛かる

10a) to secure (seatbelt) シートベルトを掛ける

10b) to be secured.. シートベルトが掛かる

11a) to apply (salt/toppings) 塩を掛ける

11b) to be applied.. 塩が掛かる

12a) to spread over/around (cloth/dust/tape) テープを掛ける

12b) to be spread.. テープが掛かる

13a) to cast (spell) 魔法を掛ける

13b) to be cast.. 魔法が掛かる

14a) to trick (someone) トムを掛ける

14b) to be tricked.. トムが掛かる

15a) to have a feeling (pity/hope) 情けを掛ける

15b) to be felt.. 情けが掛かる

16a) to present (someone to court / idea to conference) 質問を掛ける

16b) to be presented.. 質問が掛かる

Is it true that the only meaning that is not available in both 掛かる and 掛ける, is:

  1. to depend on (someone/something) 我々が彼の手伝いに掛かる

PS: if some of the example phrases are wrong please correct me thx!

PS: i think i will leave out "standard phrases" out of the discussion, like: 腰を掛ける, 迷惑を掛ける, お目に掛かる

  • At a glance, it seems many of your examples for 掛かる don't make sense. The transitive-intransitive pairs don't work like that.
    – Zhen Lin
    Commented Aug 22, 2011 at 11:23
  • @Zhen Lin i'm confused about how would they work, could you elaborate on it?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Aug 22, 2011 at 12:45
  • They're just pairs of verbs with related meanings. There's nothing particularly systematic about it, like the way you've drawn up your list above.
    – Zhen Lin
    Commented Aug 22, 2011 at 13:03
  • 2
    What does "do all the meanings ... tally?" Is this non-American English??
    – istrasci
    Commented Aug 22, 2011 at 14:23
  • I think Pacerier mean (in a very clunky way): do all pair of meanings match. Which they kinda obviously do, since these are the usual two forms ("active"/"passive" or whatever you wanna call it) of the verb. I honestly don't see the difficulty...
    – Dave
    Commented Aug 22, 2011 at 15:18

1 Answer 1


There are a few of these uses that I'm not familiar with, but the uses I do know all look ok to me (yes meaning both transitive/intransitive forms ok). Sorry this is not a complete answer:

  1. Yes
  2. Yes
  3. Yes
  4. Yes - I've never heard it used with necklace, but definitely with megane.
  5. Yes
  6. not familiar with this usage
  7. Yes
  8. not familiar with this usage
  9. Yes
  10. Yes (9 & 10 could be considered the same - secure a seat belt, secure a lock)
  11. Yes
  12. Yes, but it 12b looks like a typo - I assume you meant テープが掛かる
  13. Yes
  14. Yes
  15. not familiar with this usage
  16. not familiar with this usage

I'm not a grammar expert, but it doesn't seem to me that the "depend on" usage is an exception to the rule either. I don't think it would sound funny to say "あなたに掛けている", we're counting on you (or we're betting on you?).

  • typo fixed =D. in the second part I mean we couldn't use it like this: あなたを掛ける or あなたが掛かる.. or could we actually use them that way?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 1:54

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