代わる confusing description

Hi guys,
I find that the description of 代わる is quite confusing. I memorized it well, but now it actually prevents me from getting the right meaning :cold_sweat:.

It says: “You have to replace your car (か). It is getting old, and seems like it will explode at any moment, literally.” - which makes the verb feel like it’s transitive, since I need to replace my car.

This description fits 代える much better, and here I would rather have something about the Transformer that replaced my old car.

Is this only me who struggles with this mnemonic?

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If you remember the general meaning “replace” it’s possible to guess that it’s intransitive because it has the A sound in the ending:

代わる ⇔ 代える

As this article sats it doesn’t work all the time but I think it’s good enough for many common verb pairs.

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Thanks for the article, I also noticed that with some other pairs. But when I listened to a Tofugu podcast about transitivity they strongly recommended not to use any patterns, but to memorize each word separately.

However, I didn’t intend this topic to be about transitivity pairs :slight_smile:

But about the description which brings confusion into memorization and, thus, requires extra efforts to disentangle the meanings (and can be easily fixed btw).

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After the car wash went to ruins it was replaced

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Yes, the description is incorrect. I would email the support team.

Unfortunately, the uses of transitive and intransitive verbs don’t translate well into English. What personally helped me was learning the Japanese terms for them which makes it a little clearer what they’re really about :slight_smile: .

他動詞 - other move speech part
自動詞 - self-move speech part

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