頼る transitivity

WK lists this is an intransitive verb, but the example sentence provided (below) uses it with the object marker. Can anybody clarify?

彼の事を頼っていいものか決めかねています。

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Good question. Never thought deeply about it.
It’s listed as intransitive in my J-J dicts too.

It’s mostly used with に like you expected.

It seems to take the を particle for one of the meanings though. I googled around a bit but didn’t find a simple explanation in the short time. Hinative has some discussion but it’s pretty much “both seem fine” “not too sure” kind of territory.
を seems to be only used with concrete people too.
助けになるものとしてそこへ行く and たのみとする。つてを求めて近づく were the definitions in the two dictionary that used the を. Both having relying for movement as a rough meaning.

Seriously hope someone more experienced can pipe in

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I was under the impression it could be either a transitive or intransitive verb, depending on how it is used.

The top answer here cites a dictionary that mentions the use as a transitive verb:

Fwiw, Jisho also lists 頼る as both a transitive and intransitive verb.

@mods, maybe someone ought to take a closer look at 頼る where it’s listed only as intransitive on WK?

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I hate Yahoo

お知らせ

2022年4月6日 (水) よりYahoo! JAPANは欧州経済領域(EEA)およびイギリスからご利用いただけなくなりました

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I’m also not a fan of it; it came up in the Google results for “頼る他動詞”.

I wouldn’t have even bothered linking it to it were it not for the fact that it listed a dictionary source.

In looking a bit closer, though, that dictionary doesn’t ever directly call it a transitive verb, just gives comparisons to some transitive verbs… Jisho is the only one I am finding that will directly call it that, so maybe someone else should chime in, still. :sweat_smile:

The answer in question:

た‐よ・る【頼る】

[類語分類]思う/信じる
〘他五〙
①自分を支え助けてくれるものと信頼して、それをあてにする。頼りにする。 「姉を━・って上京する」「地図を━・って山道を行く」
②自分を支え助けてくれるものと信頼して、事の成就じょうじゅをそれにゆだねる。頼りにしてそれにすがる。 「住宅資金を親(の財力)に━」「援助を隣国に━」 [語法]「腕力に頼って解決する」「山勘やまかんに頼って捜査する」のように、自動詞的にも使う。これを他動詞で表現すると、それぞれ「解決を腕力に頼る」「捜査を山勘に頼る」となる。 ◆「手た寄る」の意。 [可能]頼れる [名]頼り 明鏡国語辞典 第二版 (C) Taishukan, 2011

(Forgive formatting, on mobile at the moment)

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Your entry flat out calls it transitive though

I took a second look and 新明解国語辞典 also lists it as both (自他五)〈なに・だれ━/なに・だれ━〉

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…yes it does. For some reason, I misread that entirely as only being 五段. Despite them looking nothing alike (apart from both having the 五). The hazards of a quick skim for relevant information in a language I’m still very much a beginner in, I guess. :laughing:

I also fully admit I suck at using J-J dictionary entries still; I’ve only recently made the switch, so growing pains are to be expected. :sweat_smile:

Thanks, everyone. It seems like we’re at a “it can be both” answer? A question then arises for me about some of the example sentences on jisho, like this one:

彼女はけっこん結婚あと後でもりょうしん両親にたよ頼っている

What makes this use に instead of を? To my admittedly limited knowledge it seems like 両親 is an object. They are the thing being acted upon, in my mind. Sorry if this is something simple I’m failing to grasp.

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Using the に particle vs the を particle is something I still don’t feel like I’ve gotten my head around entirely, but this blog post might help explain it a bit?

They are speaking specifically about the example of 気づく, but I think the basic reasoning of:

I think one could argue that 頼る is something that kind of naturally occurs, as opposed to actively being done, especially in the case of a daughter relying on her parents. The parents are also essentially the completion point of that action (given that they are the ones to be relied on) moreso than an object. It does feel rather nebulous, I agree.

Maybe somebody else has a different opinion, though. I’m just extrapolating from something I’ve seen elsewhere with a different verb entirely.

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This was really helpful. Thank you!

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