Help me remember this

I’m struggling so hard to remember which is which with these stupid vocab words. It’s like the only thing I’ve had trouble on out of everything so far. I know how to say them, I just can’t remember the meanings
Like just the time it took to type this out, I already can’t remember which is which.
The mnemonics helped me remember how to say it but it didn’t do crap for meanings.
I guru’d them out of pure luck.

Does anyone have anything that might help me remember these?


I’m a fan of this mnemonic.


That might help. I’ve been struggling to come up with something to help and just failing epically.

intransitive(が)上がる - 旗が上がる - hata ga agaru - the flag rises (of its own volition, or by machine pulley)
transitive(を)上げる - 旗を揚げる - hata wo ageru - raise the flag (you hold it up!)
intransitive(が)下がる - はたが下がる - hata ga sagaru - the flag droops/lowers (it’s lowering by itself)
transitive(を)下げる - はたを下げる - hata wo sageru - lower the flag (you lower it!)


The more experience you get with transitive/intransitive pairs, the less you’ll struggle with this. So I guess, the bad news is more are on the way, but the good news is that will establish a level of comfort with them.


My way of remembering is げ looks like 2 people/things, therefore you are lowering/raising something. 2 people/things required for the action. が is only one person/thing, so it is rising or falling itself.


Oh I have a weird way to remember it, I think it’d just confuse you more so I’m not going to share.

On 2chan あげ is used to refer to bumping a thread and さげ means to post without bumping the thread, so that’s how I remembered it.

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Lol go for it, I have weird thought processes sometimes too.
It might help

This might help.

ーがる is often intransitive
ーげる is often transitive

and actually it’s more of
as you can see in chart

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I already knew (from watching lots of anime) that 上げる can also mean “to give”. Giving is definitely transitive (it usually involves two persons and an object), so 上げる is “to raise” (I’m raising something) - and 上がる “to rise” (the sun rises [on it’s own]).

This is gonna take a little while to get used to, but these links help.

A bit late to the party, but I’ve always remembered shounen protagonists getting beaten up, and then struggling to their feet. At that time the villain would give a line like “Naze tachiagaru no?” or “Why are you standing up?”. Tachiagaru (立ち上がる) meaning to stand up. Since agaru is part of tachiagaru I’ll always remember that it’s getting up on your own, so I can always figure out the other three just by figuring out which parts of them are different from agaru.

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Visually the kanji communicate “up” and “down” pretty well, so that’s covered.

The only thing to remember then is which is intransitive and which is transitive. Generally, with Japanese verbs where one version uses an え vowel and one doesn’t, the one with the え vowel will be transative. That’s the case here, so you’re in luck. There are exceptions where it’s the opposite, because languages are weird, but you won’t hit them for a little while.

There are other general patterns to these linked verb sets, like す endings being transitive while る endings are intransitive, so look for them as you start to pick up more vocab. Just remember that no rule applies one-hundred percent of the time.

The golden rule in Japanese: All rules have exceptions, including this one.


This. I just learned ages back that e, e.g. げ is transitive and a, e.g. が is intransitive, and that rule follows for all verbs that I’ve come across. For example, はじまる, intransitive. はじめる, transitive. If you keep this in mind it’ll stick pretty fast.

出る (でる) - to exit
出す (だす) - to take out

Level two vocab that goes the other way.

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Someone already mentioned the す・る rule of thumb that overrides that.


I wouldn’t call this an exception – it’s just another type of transitivity pairs you’ll see. For example:

壊れる - to break/be broken (intransitive)
壊す - to break something (transitive)

消える - to go out/disappear (intransitive)
消す - to erase (transitive)

落ちる - to fall (intransitive)
落とす - to drop (transitive)