I looked up both words in a dictionary, but they both meant the same thing, "to sell".

I was confused because I've been playing around with verb conjugation, and one site told me that 売る was a godan verb meaning "to sell", hence naturally the potential form of this godan verb would be "売れる." However, it appears that "売れる" isn't merely a conjugated form of "売る” and is itself a verb, having its own conjugations....I'm confused

Maybe conjugations have conjugations?


1 Answer 1


売る is a transitive verb which means "sell". 売れる is a specific verb because it has two types: a potential verb of 売る and an intransitive verb. It is generally used as an intransitive verb. The meaning of 売れる is written here.

For example, the 売れる of この本は、よく売れる doesn't have the meaning as potential.

In addition, when [五段活用]{ごだんかつよう} verbs change to [下一段]{しもいちだん}活用 verbs, they sometimes become potential verbs and they are called [可能動詞]{かのうどうし}. For example, when a 五段活用 verb 書く changes to a 下一段活用 verb 書ける, it is a potential verb of 書く.

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