Just for example, can I say both 手を伸ばす and 手を伸べる? Is there any difference between them? Are they interchangeable?

If it's possible, make similar examples, please.

1 Answer 1


手を伸べる (or 手を差し伸べる) is a set phrase that means "to offer/extend a helping hand". I confirmed 47 out of the 50 examples of 伸べ in BCCWJ are used as part of this set phrase. Although dictionaries explain several other historical usages of 伸べる, you have almost no reason to use 伸べる outside this set phrase in modern standard Japanese. (Not to be confused with 述べる, which is very common. 延べる is uncommon but usable in modern Japanese.)

伸ばす is a very common verb that means "to extend/elongate/lengthen". 手を伸ばす can mean several things:

  1. to (physically) extend one's arm (to pick an object); to (physically) reach for


  2. to extend an (often evil) hand (to dominate/harm)


  3. to diversify and try (something new)


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .