A little help with differentiating vocab

Evening lads,

How do you guys differentiate between 下げる and 下がる. Ones like these and similar. I keep getting them mixed up. This is probably nothing as i’m only level 2 but its getting frustrating. Maybe I just need to go over the lesson more but even the meanings are kind of similar.

Thanks guys :slight_smile:

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Maybe you know this, but:

The important distinction to remember is that 下げる is transitive (it takes an object, the thing that is being lowered by the subject), while 下がる is intransitive (it takes no object, the thing being lowered is the subject).

So, for example 音量下げる means that somebody lowers the volume, while 音量下がる means that the volume lowers. (Often the particle used is a telltale sign of an intransitive vs a transitive verb)

As for your actual question of how I remember which one is which: for these two I actually use the mnemonic that came with the vocab… for whatever reason you’re lowering a sage (さげ), so the げ one is transitive!

There are general rules for these transitive/intransitive pairs (there are a lot of them!) as well, but I’m not sure they’re 100% and I also don’t know them that well! :slight_smile:


I’ve been studying these for almost a year and I still get them confused (apprentice/guru), I clearly haven’t understood the concept yet.

I think of the hiragana け as a keg - think this is how I learnt it originally. Therefore I would be lowering a keg of beer (as it is precious), but if no keg is involved, it could just fall for all I care.

to lower something - 下げる

To fall - 下がる

This made more sense in my brain :smile:


on a separate note - this is a brave use of 'lads" as a collective noun, in this day and age.

Maybe “Morning people of unspecified gender, race, or sexual orientation” would be more appropriate? :wink:

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So is が and げ a particle in the vocab? also thank you very much

Does it actually bother you?


No, they’re not particles. I meant the bold が (subject marker) and を (object marker) particles in the sentences.

Another example with the pair 止める (transitive) vs 止まる (intransitive):

(私が)車止めた = (I) stopped the car.
止まった = the car stopped.

Notice how the car is denoted by the objective marker を in the first example, and with the subject marker が in the second?

That is because the car is the object in the first sentence, which means that the transitive version of the verb must be used.

In the second sentence the car is the subject and no object is involved. This means the intransitive version must be used.

I’m not sure if I’m making this easier or harder for you to understand :sweat_smile:

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The ~ある・~える and ~える・す rules are pretty much 100% (at least within the context of verb pairs).

lads and lass, and everything in between:

lads, laes, lafs, lags, lahs, lais, lajs, laks, lals, lams, lans, laos, laps, laqs, lars, lass


No lacs or lats though! Hate those jerks!


Honestly, it took me about 5 minutes, but I’ve never forgotten the meaning or reading. Just do the following:

  1. Say 上がる
  2. Stand up.
  3. Say 上げる
  4. Raise your right hand.
  5. Say 下がる
  6. Sit down.
  7. Say 下げる
  8. Lower your right hand.

Repeat this a few times and it should stick. Feeling silly while doing it will also help it stick. As will saying it in a sing-song voice. :wink:


woah thats actually really good !!

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Not really sure how I feel about it - it was just an observation. :nerd_face:

It just came across strange cause I am aware many of the users of Wanikani are not lads, or guys (although I have no proof). I understand that collective pronouns like ‘lads’ and ‘guys’ are common when referring to both genders, especially in certain geographical areas.

In the same way, I would have thought it was strange if you had started the post with ‘evening ladies’, and signed off with ‘thanks girls’.

This is brilliant. :slight_smile:

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