見当たる to discover?


#1

How can it mean to discover if it is intransitive?


#2

Hmm. I don’t know if we use “to be discovered” a lot in English?
We more say “the book was discovered” (which isn’t that intransitive? or no… I’m not sure)

But I’ve noticed that whatever API I have that shows the Edict synonyms often shows synonyms that sound transitive, but are not, for intransitive verbs. An unrelated example being to break. Something can be broken on its own, like a rock discovered, or it can be purposefully broken by a person.

Perhaps it should be worded as to be discovered. I don’t know.


#3

on Jisho.com is “to be found”.


#4

It doesn’t mean to discover, transitively. Email them if you want.


#5

I will do.


#6

btw I’ve got the same question about 直る which here is translated both as ‘to be fixed’ and ‘to fix’, however, marked as intransitive only. Can it be so?


#7

I’ve wondered about 直る before as well.


#8

I’ve just discovered another one. 聞こえる Hearable (strange word to use)
AUDIBLE (much better word), TO BE ABLE TO HEAR, TO BE HEARD, TO BE AUDIBLE, CAN HEAR
USER SYNONYMS
PART OF SPEECH INTRANSITIVE VERB, ICHIDAN VERB

Agreed, this makes no sense to me. A thing can fix itself I suppose, but the word would normally be to heal.


#9

I think some of these are just because of how you might want to translate them if doing it naturally. Sure 聞こえる isn’t transitive, but the way people use it in conversation correlates best to the way we say “I hear…” rather than “…can be heard”


#10

“the book was discovered” is the same usage as “to be discovered” and is intransitive as far as I know. The book is not doing anything to anyone, it is having something done to it, which is the definition of intransitive.

“An intransitive verb has two characteristics. First, it is an action verb, expressing a doable activity like arrive, go, lie, sneeze, sit, die, etc. Second, unlike a transitive verb, it will not have a direct object receiving the action.
Grammar Bytes! :: The Intransitive Verb - Chomp Chomp
www.chompchomp.com/terms/intransitiveverb.htm

Yes, to break can be either transitive or intransitive as we say two different things using the same wording. We can also say ‘to be broken’, not sure what that is grammatically.


#11

‘I hear’ on it’s own is intransitive I guess. But normally you would say ‘I can hear’ as in ‘I am not deaf’. As soon as you say ‘I hear what you say’ it becomes transitive. I think it has an intransitive use when you say ‘Have you heard from Fred recently?’

However ‘I can hear’ is a bit of a weird thing to say. And ‘I can hear such and such’ is a transitive use.


#12

With 聞こえる the verb on its own means whether you are able it hear something or not. Even saying “I hear” is still whether you are able to hear.

Examples: http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/je/15829/meaning/m0u/きこえる/

The descriptions in wanikani can be a little weird, but if you want to know how to use something properly, you’re most likely going to be using other sources anyway.


#13

Surely some of those are transitive? Maybe it’s just the translations. I found a list of trans/intrans pairs and it says

聞く [きく] TRANSITIVE
(v5k) (1) to hear; to listen; (2) to ask

聞こえる [きこえる] INTRANSITIVE
(v1) (1) to be heard; to be audible; (2) to be said to be; to be reputed

http://nihongo.monash.edu/ti_list.html


#14

Yeah I think its just that the English translation makes it seem that way.

So these sentences are similar, but uses a pair like you said:

知らせを聞いて驚いた (I was surprised to hear the news) 聞く; transitive, and it uses a direct object with を
変な物音が聞こえた (I heard a strange sound) 聞こえる; intransitive, even though it gets translated so it seems transitive in English, but in Japanese a direct object isn’t specified with を


#15

Good point about looking for the を。


#16

This is not an example of intransitivity. “to be discovered” is the passive voice of “to discover”, and it actually has an object (disguised as subject). So in your example, “the book was discovered”, “the book” is the object. I know it’s confusing because it looks a lot like a subject. but “the book” suffers the action of being discovered (it doesn’t do the action of be discovered). If we write down the actual agent (or subject), it may be easier: “the book was discovered by my friend”. And if we pass this sentence to the active voice “my friend discovered the book”, we can clearly see what is what : )

About the intransitive 見当たる, I think that it just doens’t translate well in English, the same way that some intransitive constructions in Spanish don’t translate well
el libro se lee rápido (the book reads fast, in a sense that it is an easy book, and you can quickly read it) as opposed to
el libro es lido rápido (the book is read quickly, which is a passive voice).

Other verbs translate better their intrasitivity (however, in English, they become a linking verb… so syntactically they don’t work the same way as in Spanish, but they sound close)

la música se escucha bien (the music sounds good), la casa se ve bonita (the house looks good).

So yeah, I think that’s the case in 見当たる, where “to be found” is a better translation than “to discover - intransitive” (the passive form makes more sense in English than the intransitive, whereas other verbs translate ok for both transitive and intransitive form, as “to break” (the car broke - 車が壊れた (くるまがこわれた), I broke the car 車を壊した(くるまをこわした). As mentioned by audball, を is the key.

I hope it didn’t make it more confusing :relaxed:


#17

I suddenly got it. It’s probably what you were saying. They use ‘can hear’ like ‘I can hear it’ as in ‘it is audible’. So if we forget about the English and think about what it means in Japanese, it has no object and is intransitive.


#18

Yeah, pretty much. It’s one of those things where a Japanese person is likely to say 声が聞こえる in the same situation where an English speaker would say “I hear a voice” even though grammatically 聞こえる is intransitive. It just sounds bizarre to say “A voice is audible” in English conversation.

An example everyone has hammered into them early on is 分かる and “understand.” It helped me back then to think of 分かる as “to be clear” rather than “to understand,” because of the transitive/intransitive gap.


#19

Not sure, I just woke up in the middle of the night so my brain’s even slower than normal.

見付かる is listed in WaniKani as intransitive, and also on the list of transitive and intransitive pairs at http://nihongo.monash.edu/ti_list.html so it’s definitely intransitive. At that link they list it as ‘to be found’, ‘to be discovered’, which are very similar in meaning. ‘The fossil was discovered’, ‘the wallet was found’, they don’t have an object because the fossil or wallet did the receiving, not the doing. The proof of the pudding will be in Japanese sentences, do they contain a を? I doubt they will. I looked at some on the net and none had an object marker. So I still fail to see where ‘to discover’ fits in.


#20

Well I’ll be buggered. So ‘To understand’ is intransitive. I never noticed. And now I understand why, in an intransitive kinda way. わかりました!