I’ve had these two words forever. Any good mnemonics for distinguishing them? I guess WK’s isn’t sticking to well.
化ける 化かす

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I remember that an お化け is a ghost, which has the power to transform. :slightly_smiling_face:


Or the word 化け物, which I think many beginners know.

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化かす is transitive and 化ける is intransitive. This should be easy to remember once you know that with す・~える verb pairs, the す verb is always transitive and the ~える verb is always intransitive. From there, it should be clear that “to bewitch” is transitive. “To transform” is less clear, which is why I prefer to translate it as “to transform oneself into” or “to take the form of”. (I know those translations may still sound transitive, but they would take に, not を, so they are still considered intransitive.)


お化け / 化け物 for 化ける
化かす ends in す , so it’s transitive, something done to other, so it’s bewitch/enchant

Edit: seanblued ;_;


I wanted to proofread my answer before posting, but I saw you typing so I had to get my answer in first. :stuck_out_tongue:


Huh, for some reason I never thought about bewitch/transform in in/transitive terms (in English). That actually will probably fix my problem. Haha thanks for pointing that out!

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Late by just an inch. But thanks anyways, really appreciate it!

i think 化 can transform into け in 3d space.

But ghosts can also have the power to bewitch!

a woman will bewitch a man, so he’lll become ばか
(it’s sexist but that’s why it works)

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