1

As mentioned in the title, I want to ask about the difference between "ぶら下がる" and "つり下がる" in terms of usage. Both of them are translated as "hang".

For example

服が 鉄棒に つり下がる/ぶら下がる

手が つり革に つり下がる/ぶら下がる

Are the two words interchangeable?

3

The only difference worth mentioning, as far as I am concerned, is in the word formation of the two words.

「ぶら下{さ}がる」 is formed by combining an onomatopoeia and a verb -- 「ぶら/ぶらり(と)」 and 「下がる」.

「つり下がる」 is formed by combining two verbs -- 「吊{つ}る」 and 「下がる」.

For using an onomatopoeia, 「ぶら下がる」 sounds just a tiny bit more informal and slightly more intuitive than 「つり下がる」 for the native speakers. The difference is minimal in actual usage. For this reason, I would say that the majority of native-speaking children would get to learn to say 「ぶら下がる」 before 「つり下がる」.

If you used the two interchangeably, I doubt if anyone would even notice anything.

2

つり下がる and ぶら下がる are not always interchangeable.

  • 服が 鉄棒に つり下がっている
  • 服が 鉄棒に ぶら下がっている

are both correct but つり下がっている sounds like the clothing is attached firmly to the pull-up bar and ぶら下がっている sounds like the clothing is hanging loose with the lower part fluttering in the breeze and not touching the ground.

  • 手が つり革に つり下がる/ぶら下がる

is possible but very weird. Sounds to me that a forearm torn apart from its body is hanging.

  • How about omitting the "手"?  電車に乗る時、つり革にぶら下がってください。 – chika Mar 9 '18 at 4:52
  • 1
    @chika 「つり革にぶら下がる」is grammatically fine, but... 電車に乗るときは、つり革につかまってください。つり革にぶら下がったら、たぶん怒られます。( – Chocolate Mar 9 '18 at 5:43
  • @chika, "電車に乗る時、つり革にぶら下がってください。" is grammatically correct, but is logically incorrect. Because nobody wants you to work out hanging from the rings on the train as if a gymnast performed on the rings. You probably hear a train announcement like "お立ちのお客様は、お近くのつり革、手すりにおつかまりください。" – user28024 Mar 9 '18 at 6:27

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.