6

I know the difference between 訪ねる and 訪れる, but I don't understand when 訪問する is used.

3

In short, I see the difference between the three as:

  • [訪]{たず}ねる: to visit/call on, with the nuance of demonstrating a purpose behind the visit, perhaps going out of your way to do so (e.g. 友人を訪ねる。/ 世界遺産を訪ねる。) Used for places or people.

  • [訪]{おとず}れる: to visit/arrive, but with the nuance that there's no purpose/intention behind the visit. It rather objectively describes the fact/state/situation that the visit/arrival is occurring. It is used as a transitive verb (e.g. 友人の新居を訪れる), in which case I believe it is only used towards inanimate things, not people. Comparing to the examples above, 友人を訪れる would therefore not be used, but 世界遺産を訪れる would be fine. It is also used as an intransitive verb for situations or the seasons/time (e.g. チャンスが訪れる。/ 夏が訪れる。).

  • [訪問]{ほうもん}する: the same in meaning to 訪ねる, but as it is a kanji compound, it sounds more formal/erudite than the 訪ねる. Perhaps therefore used at work, say, rather than in more casual conversation with friends.

Not a native speaker so happy to take corrections on this!

1

訪ねるも、訪問するも。意味に違いはありません。 「訪問」は同じ意味の漢字を二つ重ねた漢語です。「訪ねる」は、古来の日本語(和語、大和言葉)です。 「訪問」は漢語なので、「訪ねる」より改まった(堅苦しい)言い方になります。

There is no difference in meaning. The word "訪問" is a Chinese word made up of two Chinese characters with the same meaning. The word "訪ねる" is an ancient Japanese word (Japanese, Yamato language). Since "訪問" is a Chinese word, it is a more formal way of saying "訪ねる".

-2

I'd say that 訪ねる can be used wider than 訪問する. 訪問する sounds business-like.

Ex. トルコを訪ねる and トルコを訪問する the both mean "to visit Turkey" but the former sounds a personal visit, the latter sounds more official.

These are some examples from Reverso.

訪ねる: 彼は来月おばさんとおじさんを訪ねるつもりです。 私は時々友達の家を訪ねる。 明日彼を訪ねるつもりだ。 その旅行の目的はおばあちゃんを訪ねることでした。 彼女は京都のおじさんを来週訪ねる予定です。

訪問する: 今夜は他にも訪問する所があってね。 皇后はコペンハーゲンに住む親戚を訪問する予定であった。 私達は明日スミス氏を訪問するつもりです。 オスマン帝国の秘密軍事施設を訪問すると、… 特定のサイトを訪問すると最後に表示されるページ。

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