How do you handle learning new verbs that have both transitive and intransitive forms? Is it best to immediately memorize both forms?

  • 1
    Slightly off topic for this question, but instead of intransitive/transitive I would memorize the keigo (both humble and honorific) to save yourself the trouble of going back to do it anyway in a few years time. – Ali Jun 1 '11 at 13:26
  • Would this be a learning question? – Andrew Grimm Sep 19 '11 at 5:42

There are rules to transform each others most of the time, you don't have to memorize both.

Here is a list about 1200 verbs and derivation to transitive and intransitive forms.


Instead of memorizing the words and which form they are, you should memorize a sentence or two using each form. This way of memorizing is especially useful for transitive and intransitive verbs.


I would say "yes", it is probably better to learn the pairs (sometimes triplets) at the same time. That way you can know the context of when to use which one. If you only learn the 他〜 or 自〜, you may use it incorrectly when you should have used the other one.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.