I'm trying to understand the difference between 蘇生する{そせいする} and 蘇る{よみがえる}. My research thus far tells me that 蘇る is intransitive and can be used for recalling memories in addition to the mutual meanings of "to be revived/resuscitated". However, I'm having trouble determining if 蘇生する is transitive since my dictionary only lists it as a noun (and doesn't have an entry for the noun+sure verb).

So in summary, what are the differences between the two?

As a bonus question, what's a good resource to look up noun+する definitions? Or is there some easy rule like noun+する verbs are always transitive?

1 Answer 1


蘇生する can be used both transitively and intransitively. Basically it only means resurrecting dead people/animals. 蘇生 is also a medical term for (cardiopulmonary) resuscitation.

  • 死者が灰から蘇生する (intransitive)
  • 死者を灰から蘇生する (transitive)
  • 死者を灰から蘇生させる (intransitive + causative)

蘇る is always intransitive. It can be used with 記憶, 思い出, etc., too.

  • 死者が灰から蘇る
  • 死者を灰から蘇らせる

復活する is almost always intransitive.

  • 死者が灰から復活する
  • 死者を灰から復活させる

(The only exception I know is the title of this game. But I remember quite a few people claimed this title is unnatural.)

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to tell which suru-verb is transitive or intransitive...

  • キャラクターを強化する (fortify/buff): almost always transitive
  • キャラクターを弱体化する (debuff): both intransitive and transitive
  • 剣が劣化する (degrade): almost always intransitive
  • Is 替わる another example of both transitive and intransitive? 喫茶店だった店がラーメン屋に替わった: intransitive. 彼女と席を替わって窓際にすわった: transitive. ?
    – max
    Commented Mar 12, 2023 at 20:18
  • @max Yes, there are a few non-suru, ambitransitive verbs including 替わる, 休む. 吹く and 閉じる.
    – naruto
    Commented Mar 13, 2023 at 0:41

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