Consider this sentence:


This is translated as:

"For some reason the microphone didn't work earlier."

When I looked up the definition of 入る

  1. to enter; to go into
  2. to break into
  3. to join; to enrol
  4. to contain; to accomodate
  5. to have (an income of)
  6. to get; to receive; to score

Non of the definitions listed indicates "not working". Perhaps the closest one would be 2. but it seems to indicate breaking into a place.

Can someone explain how 入る works in this sentence?

Shouldn't 壊れる be used to indicate it's not working and how would it be different from 入る?

  • 2
    「入る」 has more meanings than that. Any monolingual dictionary would have solved your problem instantly . Jisho is just .... crappy!
    – user4032
    Mar 3, 2018 at 13:37
  • Jisho displays the content of JMDict and other resources, most of which anyone can contribute to. Anyone who sees something lacking can contribute to the project and improve it.
    – Leebo
    Jun 16, 2022 at 7:55

2 Answers 2


「入{はい}る」 means "to be turned on" when talking about electric devices.

Likewise, 「入{い}れる」 means "to turn on".

"The microphone didn't get turned on for some reason a while ago." or

"I couldn't turn on the microphone for some reason a while ago."

As far as pure grammar, the original sentence means the first of the two translations above. 「マイク」is the subject of the original sentence.

  • Ah that makes sense..my japanese is not good enough to understand monolingual dictionaries unfortunately :( Isn't there a word already for turning on and off? Like つける,消す,消える how is using 入る different from these words?
    – shade549
    Mar 3, 2018 at 13:54
  • 1
    @shade549 You'd generally use (transitive)「つける(点ける) - 消す」(intransitive:「つく(点く) - 消える」) for turning on/off a light, TV, air-conditioner, heater, etc. (≂ turn on and have the electronic goods go running), eg 「電気/テレビ/エアコン/ストーブをつける/消す」, and (transitive)「[入]{い}れる - 切る」(intransitive: [入]{はい}る - 切れる」) for turning on/off the power (電源), eg 「ストーブの電源を入れる/切る」
    – chocolate
    Mar 3, 2018 at 16:47

In this sentence, 入る means 'to pick up'. The microphone didn't pick up your voice somehow. Your voice did not go into the microphone. It does not necessarily mean that the microphone is broken.

EDIT: so this is confusing I know, but yes つける means to turn on. It really depends on objects. If you want to turn TV on, its テレビをつける。 but if you say マイクをつける, that means to attach a microphone on your clothes. つける is used for light, like TV or lamps, where 入れる is used for things like microphone, AC, etc.

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