I am looking for the differences in terms of meaning between 認める and 通じる. I have 3 related questions which I have numbered across this answer to make it clearer.

Now, 通じる has a myriad of different meanings I am not concerned with, but I want to focus on the meaning "To be understood; be accepted", to quote my textbook:


I don't understand how 通じる is different from 認める in this instance.

  1. Would both of the following sentences be valid, and if so would they mean the same?



  1. Is there any overlap in meaning between both words, or I am not understanding 通じる at all?

  2. I tried looking up example sentences but I couldn't find sentences where 通じる is used to mean "being accepted". Could you provide some simple example sentences that clearly ilustrate how is 通じる used to mean "be accepted"?

2 Answers 2


The second sentence doesn't make any sense.

The short English definition in your textbook makes it difficult to understand the difference in usage, but if you look hard enough it's there. Your textbook defined (が)通じる as "to be understood". Xが通じる means that X is being understood, not doing the understanding. Let's look at an example:

The meaning of the words are understood (by someone).

This is very different from 認める, which is a transitive verb where the subject is the one doing the understanding/accepting. In addition, 認める has a nuance of either admitting something is true, or recognizing something as correct/right.

通じる can sometimes be loosely translated as "be accepted" but as the word suggests, it mostly implies that the point gets across. デジタル大辞泉 defines this usage of 通じる as the following:

2 意志やものの意味などが相手に伝わる。また、伝える。「冗談が—・じない」「気脈を—・ずる」

This has less to do with accepting than it has to do with understanding.


通じる is a verb for being understood, to be understood. Hence 意味を通じる doesn't work while 意味が通じる does. There's no real way to translate, but the former is kind of like saying "doing the action of being understood to the meaning", i.e. it sounds weird and is technically incorrect. In the latter case with the が particle, you're saying "the meaning does the action of being understood", which makes sense.

The difference between 意味を認める and 意味が通じる is simple: the former is on the side of acceptance or "agreeful acknowledgement", "recognizing as legit" (「相手を味方として認める」- recognizing them as an ally/accepting them as a buddy), while 通じる is simply understanding, their point comes across, regardless of whether you agree with it or not.


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