下がる vs 下げる help

hey all.

Been using wanikani for like 4 or 5 years on and off, and I can not for the life of me figure out a way to memorize these words. If anyone has any tips I would love to hear them. The mnemonics dont work for me. I’m about to hit level 8.

I have the same issue with 上がる and 上げる

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Is your issue with the whole aardvark - tree scenario not triggering the word, or not being able to tell which is transitive/intransitive?

In Japanese, intransitive verbs are known as “self-move” words, because the subject moves their own self. Transitive verbs are known as “other-move” words, because they move something else.

Some self-move/other-move word pairs include a word ending in the sound 「ある」. The verb ある means “to exist”, and does not impose an action on anything else. It’s a self-move word.

In these ある/える word pairs, you can thus determine that the ある words are self-move (intransitive), and the counterparts are other-move (transitive):

Word Type Meaning Note
上がる self-move to rise oneself Ends in ある sound.
上げる other-move to raise something Ends in える sound.
下がる self-move to lower oneself Ends in ある sound.
下げる other-move to lower something Ends in える sound.

Further reading:

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I think you meant to write 下がる and 下げる for those last two :smiley:

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I know this sounds kinda silly but I remember 下がる is to fall because if i were falling i would make an ah!!! sound so sagaaaaaaru hahaha and then im able to remember 下げる as lowering something since its not screaming and falling like sagaru. Idk if that makes any sense but thats the way i was able to memorize it

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I too had to come up with something silly to memorize transitivity. The difference is in the ga/ge for both these verbs, so I just thought that if it’s sageru or ageru - I need to get something to do this action with. With just that I was able to tell them apart. Hope this helps!

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Copy and paste is hard.

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Following…this is me too. It’s somehow reassuring that I’m not the only one?

I have trouble with these too. But I always think of あげる, which can also mean that I give something to someone. So this one with げ is transitive, then the other one must be intransitive. The same げ/が pattern works for 下げる/下がる.

You should probably practice speaking/writing. You’ll understand/internalize the difference much faster then when studying flashcards or even reading.

There’re also patterns in these transitive-intransitive word pairs. In A/E pairs like 上がる/上げる a-version is intransitive and e-version js transitive.

The mnemonic that works for me is: When you make the “e” sound, the tongue points outwards, so it’s pointing to some object you’re acting on. When you make the “a” sound, the tongue points a bit more inwards, so it’s pointing at yourself because the action is happening to you.

For example, with 私が上げる, my tongue points outward, so I make something rise, i.e. I raise it. With 私が上がる, my tongue points inward, so it’s me that’s rising, i.e. I rise.

It only works for the ーえる/ーある verb pairs, but by level 8, those are the most common. The only other common pair at this point is ーす/ーる for which I don’t have a nice mnemonic. (That one just worked for me without one.)

Hey,

Just wanted to share how I memorised it. Been struggling with this so much too, until I thought of it this way.

So, you know A is the first letter of the alphabet right. If you look at vowels A E I O U it’s also first. Way before E. And who should you always think of first? Yourself. So if I have “agAru” it means to rise myself. I should always think of myself first. Only after I rise, can i raise things (“agEru”). So, if I have “a” it’s usually to do something with myself.

Not sure if that makes sense to other people, but it worked really well for me :slight_smile:

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this is the best way I have ever seen it explained. I think this will help me memorize it, however, I believe wanikani shows the two “下” words as to lower / to get lower / to drop / to fall.

I get confused because in english all of those words mean the same thing, but in Japanese they don’t.

Going to try to focus on the ある / える part.

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English has some transitivity pairs too, and 上げる/上がる is an easy example of that: to raise and to rise. If someone raises something, you need the someone raising the something. If something rises you don’t need the someone. The someone doesn’t have to be “you” as is often used to explain in the wanikani description blurb, or a person at all. The jack raises the car. The balloon rose.

Not all transitivity pairs come in this え/あ pair explicitly as transitive or intransitive, though there are a lot that do. 止める/とまる both mean to stop, but the former is “I stopped the car” and the latter is “the train stopped”. Others might be like 倒す as something knocks something over, and 倒れる as in “the building collapsed”.

I learned this stuff on Imabi: https://www.imabi.net/transitivity.htm#:~:text=Most%20verbs%20are%20usually%20either,related%20to%20action%20or%20state.

This lesson deals with the pairs and their relative commonality ie how often they appear. Another good way to practice this is when you learn a verb, learn it’s partner in transitivity as well. 済ます and 済む、建てる and 建つ、終える and 終わる、預ける and 預かる, explicitly check their transitivity and look at some examples to really get a feel for it. You’ll start to see the patterns and it will feel natural soon enough. When you’re reviewing make your brain remember the pair and call attention to which is the transitive and which is the intransitive.

Sorry for the novel, hope it helps.

To lower and to get lower aren’t the same in English. They are the same transitive / intransitive relationship as 下げる / 下がる

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You must have missed my surefire method™, so here it is in all its glory:

  1. Say 上がる

  2. Stand up.

  3. Say 上げる

  4. Raise your right hand.

  5. Say 下がる

  6. Sit down.

  7. Say 下げる

  8. Lower your right hand.

Repeat this a few times and it should stick. Feeling silly while doing it will also help it stick. As will saying it in a sing-song voice. Preferably to the tune of Yakko’s World.

:slight_smile:

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