Difference between 効くand 利く


#1

I searched the forums, but the topic about them didn’t actually answer the question.
I also trawled 知恵袋 and got the following:
ワサビが利く: the wasabi tastes like it should (spicy)
ワサビが効く: the wasabi has a physical effect on you
It clarifies the difference a little bit, but I’m still not 100%. Any input?


#2

Wisdom dictionary just lists both together for the same entry, is there a difference?


#3

効く means “be effective” or “be good for something.” and
利く means “to work,” to function" or “to be useful.”


#5

So, from this article, which I’ve made sure to reread several times but still double checking, I believe 効く is used when something is effective at a function whereas 利く is used for something that is good generally.

So, 効く could be used to describe medicine and propaganda.
As opposed to 利く which can be used to describe your nose, practical uses, etc.

In English if you would rather say something is good rather than effective, you would use 利く, even though both きく mean the same thing definition wise.

Of course, I’m rather a novice on these sort of things so I would trust Leebo or Syphus more. This article is the best I’ve got. :man_shrugging:


#6

Lul, you linked the exact thing that Leebo deleted.


#7

I thought about it for a while and understand a little bit better.
効く expresses a general cause and effect, while 利く expresses whether or not the subject did what it was supposed to do. But there are some examples where the difference blurs so it’s sort of confusing.


#8

I think the other words that both Kanji are in should help as well, 効果 compared to 利用 for example.


#9

Because the OP already read it, according to their first post.


#11

Yup, it looked like it. I just wanted to reiterate what was said in the article to see if it would help.