A list of all transitive-intransitive pairs taught in WK

After failing a burn on another transitive/intransitive pair (I want to learn the difference, so I don’t want to use the ignore button if I get them wrong) I got really freaking frustrated. So I made a list of all the pairs I encountered thus far. Thought I would share in case it is useful to anyone else.

You can find it here:

I identified some patterns to make it easier to remember, but please note that these patterns can’t be used to identify any verb that you see. You need to at least know the pair (a verb ending in ~eru could be part of all the patterns for example). Even if you know the pair, it might be an exception. I just categorized these verbs to make it easier to memorize them in a group.

If I made any mistakes or missed any, please leave a comment and I will change it :slight_smile:.


In terms of identifying patterns, this is the best article I’ve found about it :slight_smile:


Thank you for the link!
I do find it a little overcomplicated though just for remembering them. It’s probably more correct to have 8 patterns, & if you want to change them from one form to another then this is useful, but I kinda compressed them into 4 :stuck_out_tongue:.
For example, ~su is always transative as far as I know so then it doesn’t matter to me if the other verb ends in ru or not.

Edit: I put 'em in there with colors. But that still leaves a whole lot uncolored so I’m still not sure how helpful it will be


Have you listened to the Tofugu Podcast on Transitivity Pairs :nerd_face: ?
I found it pretty helpful.


I like your list. I hope you’ll keep maintaining by updating your list until we’re WK highest level. Thanks for your list and for Jp and Mice for the links!

Question: Why did you write transitive as transative and intransitive as intransative over and over? I just googled and found the correct ones are transitive and intransitive. I could edit your title but I’ll let you do that, just in case I’m wrong here or I’m just lack of confidence.


Tofugu seems to be pretty against the ideas of relying on patterns:


No. I can’t tell you how many websites and resources try to make perfect lists showing patterns so you can memorize which verb is transitive and which is intransitive based on its okurigana.

The truth is, they’re are all wrong.

They’ll usually try to say things like, “If a verb ends in す it’s always transitive!” Or “ある verbs are intransitive most of the time! And they change to える” and blah blah blah. But this is completely unreliable.


That was a spelling mistake haha, thank you for correcting me

I know Tofugu is against patterns, but I disagree. I think they can be useful for memorizing (but not for identifying the type of verb at first glance, that I agree with).
They also say in that same article you shouldn’t learn the definition as “to be xxx-ed”, but then that’s what they teach here in WK sometimes so…

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I guess it all depends on how you go about memorizing using the patterns. If it works for you though, I won’t stop ya’ :wink:

Please read the article :slight_smile: Neither I nor the article have said otherwise. Plus, the OP already explained that there are no absolute rules, so I felt no need to rewrite it:

These patterns are very useful and there are indeed absolute rules for some, as far as I’m aware. For example, 高まる and 高める. The める pattern will always be transitive while the まる pattern will always be intransitive. Sure, there aren’t absolute rules for every Japanese verb, but that shouldn’t be a reason to stop you.

I also don’t recommend cold-memorizing the list. See it as a guide. Did you just learn a pair of tran/intran verbs? Go check the patterns. See where they are inserted. Check other verbs in that same pattern that you already know quite well. This whole process will help you solidy the new information. This works just like mnemonics - they work through the power of association.

Sometimes they do too little of this. Saying that both 焼ける and 焼く mean “to burn” won’t help the learner at all.

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That’s my bad. Saw some keywords and I skimmed. This was something I was looking into recently, and I know the Tofugu article was something that helped me, so I focused on making my post faster rather than reading the details of what’s been said x’D I’m too impulsive sometimes, haha.


i heard so many verbs in both versions, and made a lot of speaking mistakes. over the years i somehow remembered them, now it feels natural. i guess osmosis is one way to get it done, albeit slow.

Sooo yea I’m back and I’m updating this list again. Just wanted to alert people to it’s existence even though it’s only the first levels. It’s useful to me at least :stuck_out_tongue:


I recently posted on the resources category, so this is the last post about it. :laughing: I recently made this app for Android, it’s about learning the transitive and intransitive pairs with SRS.

***The app itself is free, but with an option to purchase extra features.

Japanese Transitive Intransitive Verbs - TaJi - 他自

Just finding this thread as I too am having trouble with this.
The spreadsheet is awesome! I have started a similar sheet based with my own sense of logic and will share when I get farther along with it.
There is also an iOS app that I just found. It looks like it has not gotten much attention - only one review and no updates in two years. It’s pretty basic, but it looks interesting to try for a while at least - it’s free!!

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