How can you distinguish two verbs when the dictionary form of one is exactly the same as the "potential" form of another. E.g:
開く [Godan verb with ku ending, intransitive verb] (Potential form: 開ける)
開ける [Ichidan verb, Transitive verb] (Potential form: 開けられる)
As I understand it, both are related to opening something so they'd be used in similar contexts, & both in "masu" form (with 開く firstly put into potential form) would be "開けます". In this case 開ける is transitive & 開く intransitive, so they'd differ by を or が respectively when used in a sentence; however, I can imagine that this isn't always the case.
Would you be able to consistently tell the difference by particle used? Is this just a case where it comes down to context / homonyms? Or am I fundamentally misunderstanding something?
Edit 1: Didn't realise that the kanji I picked actually related to two different sets of words where the above applies;「あく」&「あける」as well as「ひらく」&「ひらける」. I'm getting the feeling, looking at some of these cases, that it'll just be contextual + memorisation, and sometimes it could actually just be both & it's up to the speaker / listener to clarify; if anyone has tips though, I'd be happy to hear them.
Edit 2: Just came across: Potential form vs Intransitive Verbs, but I don't feel like the answer really squares. The example I gave seems to line up with the example the asker there gave, except「あける」is both the potential form of「あく」, and also an intransitive verb. Conversely, both「ひらける」and「ひらく」can be intransitive (according to the dictionary I'm looking at).