The verbs 急ぐ{いそぐ} and 急かす{せかす} both seem to mean to hurry. Is there any difference between them?

Also, Jisho.org says that 急ぐ can be both intransitive and transitive, but doesn't mention the transitivitiy of 急かす at all, which I find particularly weird (for all other verbs I've seen on Jisho, their transitivity was always mentioned). Is 急かす transitive or intransitive (or both)?


2 Answers 2


急かす【せかす】 is transitive, and usually takes a person as an object.

  • 彼を急かした。 I hurried him. / I made him hurry.
  • そんなに(俺を)急かすなよ。 Don't rush me so much.

急ぐ【いそぐ】 is usually intransitive, but it also sometimes takes を as a location marker. 急ぐ also has a transitive usage, and when 急ぐ is transitive, it takes an inanimate object.

  • 私は今、急いでいます。 I'm in a hurry now.
  • この道を急ぎましょう。 Let's hurry in this way.
  • プロジェクトの完成を急ごう。 Let's hurry to complete the project.

Etymologically, I believe 急かす【せかす】 is one of the causative forms of 急く【せく】, which is another rare intransitive verb meaning to hurry. It's the same as the "shortened causative form" explained here, but 急かす is far more common in 急く today. 急く is found almost only in this proverb. I think you can regard 急かす as a separate (transitive) verb.

  • Tae Kim seems misunderstanding that short causative forms are shortened from the longer ones.
    – user4092
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 2:34
  • Thank you very much, great answer. The examples were very helpful.
    – Pedro A
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 19:31

According to Weblio, 急かす is a transitive verb, with 急く being the intransitive form. As far as the difference in meaning, there doesn't seem to be any, though I would venture to guess that 急ぐ is the more common usage.

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