Normally I understand the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs, they’re often taught in pairs in Wanikani to make the distinction clearer. But then there’s these two in the topic.
I’d assume 当たる means “to be hit” and 当てる “to hit” (and other associated meanings, “to guess right”/“to be guessed” vs “to guess” and so on) just like usual but it doesn’t seem to work this way or rather it sometimes does, but you shouldn’t count on it. Depending on what online source I’m referring to at the moment, my theory is either quite right (wiktionary.org), sometimes kinda right (jisho.org) or simply leaving me in despair (Wanikani).
I just don’t know. I decided to stop thinking about Wanikani’s meanings too much and during reviews I “cheat” by answering “to hit” to both. I remember which is transitive/intransitive and I was mostly content with that until today. Today I’m finally asking for help. Are there any decent guidelines I could use for this pair of vocab?
As a note: Japanese to Japanese dictionaries are still too tough to me - they’re not very useful if I have to look up most of the words in the explanation of a word.
What exactly is the issue you’re having? Your summary of the meanings seems like you have the basic understanding, so is it just that WK doesn’t have “to be hit” for 当たる, only “to hit (intransitively)”? All that changes with those is the perspective, but these words have many definitions in Japanese and can be translated in many different ways. If “to be hit” isn’t accepted, I would just add it as a synonym.
BTW, answering “to hit” for both isn’t really cheating, since hit can be transitive or intransitive. You said you remember which Japanese word is transitive and which is intransitive, so there should be no issue.
It’s mostly the meanings like “to touch” or “to apply (to)” for 当たる. There seems to be a lot of actions falling under 当たる (according to jisho.org at least) that could be explained as “something was touched/hit” but work better in English worded differently, like the two above. However, if they work better in English like that, then I think one’s more likely to associate them with 当てる instead and it’s where my confusion comes from.
Sorry, I don’t really see what the confusion is coming down to. That’s not to say that the words aren’t tricky… like I said, they have like… dozens of definitions because of how broad the base meaning is.
あたる is the intransitive “to hit” (the ball hit the wall; the light hits the plant)
あてる is the transitive “to hit” (I hit him in the head with the ball; I hit the target)
All the other meanings come from those two broad meanings of “a thing makes contact with another thing” or “an agent causes an object to make contact with something”
I personally would not go with “to be hit” for あたる, since that really does flip the perspective and make it sound like the thing being hit is the subject, but it’s not impossible to translate a sentences that uses あたる with “to be hit” due to the way things get phrased in both languages. Sometimes it’s just more natural to frame something a certain way.
Try to look up example sentences and see the words being used in context. Just because the word has multiple meanings, it doesn’t mean all of them are being used at once.
Yeah, I find that usually there’s one main meaning (the first definition) that extends to a wide variety of applications, which English has more specific words for (or more accurately, doesn’t have an equally versatile verb that matches).
Yes exactly! And then there’s verbs like break that have 4 variations, and words to put on shit for every part of your body.
Japanese is fun.
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