2

When I first heard of "自転車に乗る" in a song, I thought it was about riding on a bicycle instead of riding a bicycle, because of the kanji "." Then, I realized that 乗る does not only mean riding as a passenger, e.g. "電車に乗る," "taking a train ride."

For example, there is also

「飲んだら、乗るな。乗るなら、飲むな。」

This tells me that 乗る can be used to mean "operating a vehicle," or, in the case of a bicycle, to ride one.

However, is it possible that "自転車に乗る" also means "to ride on a bicycle," or do I have to say something like "(私は)自転車に乗られる"?

If I want to specify riding in/on something as a passenger as opposed to 運転する, how do I go about this using 乗る, or is there a different verb/expression involved?

For instance, how do I say something like, "My friend's giving me a ride to the park on his bicycle now"? Given my rather limited Japanese, I can only think of:

今(僕は)友達が乗ってる自転車で公園に行ってる。

This is quite a mouthful, if not unnatural. Nonetheless, if this works, does it apply to cars and other vehicles as well?

今(僕は)友達が乗ってる宇宙船で木星に行ってる。

いつもお世話になっております。ご教授お願いいたします!

2

(<乗り物>に)乗る is an unspecific verb that basically says nothing about whether you're a driver or a passenger. Imagine how people usually use that vehicle/boat/etc. 自転車に乗る usually means riding a bicycle, but it can be used regardless of whether you're holding the handlebars or not.

Of course 乗る in 飲んだら乗るな only refers to driving a car, but it's a well-known rhythmical slogan which everyone should understand without explicit 運転. 電車に乗る said by a layperson safely means getting on a train as a passenger, because everyone understands that most people do not operate a train.

how do I say something like, "My friend's giving me a ride to the park on his bicycle now"?

This is a good chance to use もらう: 「友達の自転車に乗せてもらって公園に行っている。」

自転車に乗られる means "I am mounted by a bicycle", which makes almost no sense.

  • Doesn't 行く express a state instead of an action? 行っている means "has gone to..." rather than "is going to" or "is on the way to", right? – Sweeper May 16 '18 at 7:00
  • @Sweeper The OP's sentence includes both 今 and 僕. You can interpret it with that. – user4092 May 16 '18 at 7:13

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.