Like, for example, I understand 折れ but in what case should one use 折れろ?

Also, jisho says the negative imperative is 折るな but what about 折れない?

  • What is the problem with a verb being intransitive and imperative at the same time? Do you speak a language where verbs can't be both?
    – user1478
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 6:31
  • 7
    Huh? My question was not aggressive in any way, but your response is. You'll need to Be Nice if you want to participate in this community. I am genuinely curious what problem you have with a word being both intransitive and imperative, since your question doesn't include any explanation of why you think this might be a problem.
    – user1478
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 6:45
  • 2
    @user27223 I'm not a native speaker of English, but I feel that "How can a verb be --" in your title is so strongly associated with the rhetorical question that we almost read it "A verb can never be --". Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 7:29
  • 4
    By the say, "Go away" is an example of a verb that is "intransitive and imperative at the same time" :-)
    – naruto
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 7:52
  • @broccoliforest yeah the title was bad, but I was just confused about a verb being both imperative and intransitive that I couldn't think of an example! Also the transitivity in other languages isn't as evident as it is in Japanese since almost every transitive verb has an intransitive counterpart. Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 8:19

3 Answers 3


折れろ is the imperative form of 折れる as an intransitive verb.
As you know, 折れる is also the potential form of a transitive verb 折る.

The following sentence shows you how 折れろ is used as a verb being intransitive and imperative at the same time.

  • 犯人{はんにん}はその細{ほそ}い枝{えだ}にぶら下{さ}がった。「折{お}れろ折{お}れろ!」と見{み}ている人{ひと}は期待{きたい}したが、犯人{はんにん}はその枝{えだ}を伝{つた}って塀{へい}の向{む}こう側{がわ}へ逃{に}げて行{い}った。 The criminal hung from the thin branch. The crowd shouted "Break! Break!" hoping the branch would break, but the criminal hung along the branch and fled to the other side of the fence.

what about 折れない?

折れない is the negative form of an intransitive verb 折れる or the negative potential form of a transitive verb 折る, not the negative imperative form of it like:

  • negative intransitive: この枝{えだ}は折れないからブランコを吊{つ}り下{さ}げることができるよ。
    You can hang a swing because this branch will not break.
  • negative potential and transitive: その枝{えだ}を僕{ぼく}は折れないが力{ちから}の強{つよ}い君{きみ}なら折れると思{おも}う。 I cannot break the branch, but I think that you can, because you are stronger than me.


  • Oh thank you that was very enlightening, and yeah I mixed things up with 折るな and 折らないでください Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 5:38

折る is a godan transitive verb ("to break something"). It conjugates like:

折らない, 折ります, 折って, 折れば, 折れ, 折ろう.

折れる is an ichidan intransitive verb ("to be broken"). It conjugates like:

折れない, 折れます, 折れて, 折れれば, 折れろ, 折れよう.

折れる is also the potential form of 折る. It conjugates like:

折れない, 折れます, 折れて, 折れれば

折れろ is perhaps "intransitive and imperative at the same time". It can mean "Break (by itself)!" or "Give up!"

The negative imperative of 折る is 折るな ("don't break it"), and the negative imperative of 折れる is 折れるな ("don't break by itself; don't be broken; don't give up"). 折れるな is a way to say "Don't give up", so it's heard more often than 折れろ.

取る (transitive "to remove something") and 取れる (intransitive "to be removed" and potential "can remove something") conjugate exactly like these.


simple verb form is 折る, negative form of it is 折らない.

折れ is an imperative form of 折る. In English 'Break it'.

折れろ is also imperative form of 折れる. 折れる is 'to be able to break' as transitive verb or 'to be breakable' as intransitive verb. Therefore, in this case 折れろ means 'Be able to break it!' or 'Be able to be broken!' in English. This is weird sounding, yet this makes much sense since Jp rarely use an imperative form that way.

折るな is an imperative negated (donno specific grammatical term for it) form of 折る.

  • Negative form is 折れない? Don't you mean 折らない? Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 4:33
  • sry misleading there. 折れない is ’not be able to breakable’ or 'to be able to break'. 折らない is negative form of 折る. thk you. Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 4:53
  • Seems to me that the explanation would be more straightforward just using break (transitive) and break (intransitive). Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 5:42

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