I'm just studying Japanese, and i know that 泊まる is like you Staying a night like hotel / some place that temporary , but i just found 留まる is also meaning stay/staying too in Basic Kanji book , but i don't know what does this word specifically mean to and when to use both of this word.

marked as duplicate by istrasci, Blavius, BJCUAI, Eiríkr Útlendi, Chocolate Feb 17 at 9:18

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.


Since 「泊まる」has already been answered I'll try explaining 「留まる」. 留まる describes the position and movement of an object/person/anything, more specifically, "staying in place"/motionless state of an object, which could potentially move. e.g: Bird stopping on the tree, chemical molecule in space.

  • 1
    So it's like temporary 'Standing Still' isn't it ? The main scope is an object that stand still [留]まる(its like a bird that has already stopped on the tree and can fly anytime) , If the bird comes and stopping on the tree its [止]まる , CMIIW – lanolunip Feb 16 at 4:20
  • 1
    @lanolunip Even the native Japanese gets 止まる and 留まる mixed up, but 止まる would have an image of 'complete stop' 'abrupt stop' as if bird has slammed into a tree but people often use it too so no problem. Just a sidenote when you write 留まる, in many context it would be read as "Todomaru", and this gives more emphasis on potential movement of a object in stationary. It is confusing but very different from 止まる. – user32966 Feb 16 at 5:00
  • Oooh , i think i get it , Thank you for your answer and that sidenote too. – lanolunip Feb 16 at 6:48

「泊まる」 should only be used to refer to,

  1. An animate living thing spending the night at a place
  2. A ship spending the night at a place


  • 1
    Hmm, i don't understand with the link that you send me because i'm still a beginner ... Maybe you could tell me which one is it ? / how to find the word that i looking for... but i understand your explanations about 泊まる , thank you very much – lanolunip Feb 16 at 4:25
  • 1
    Here is a link on the same website for E<>J definitions: ejje.weblio.jp/content/%E3%81%A8%E3%81%BE%E3%82%8B – sazarando Feb 17 at 3:24

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.