Help with Kana after kanji

Is there a pattern or set meaning for various kana after a kanji? Specifically with る ending?



Etc… some seem to still just be the verb to do X… but sometimes it’s to BE X instead… I keep mixing them up and I’m looking for some help to clear up the various kana after each kanji…

Thank you.


If you mean… is there a rule in Japanese that relates to how we translate the words into English… no.

If what you mean is “are there rules of thumb that relate to transitivity” then that’s a question that is more concrete, because it just deals with how the words are handled within Japanese themselves.

It’s transitive verbs vs. intransitive verbs ^^
Here’s an Imabi article on it (There’s actually a couple on it so I would go through the Table of Contents and look for them if you want to fully understand it!)

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Early on I saw words like:


And 外れる

To be born
To be disconnected

So I thought I was seeing a pattern of れる with kanji to mean… to be X…

I guess you are staying that isn’t the case.

This is not what Leebo was saying… I think he meant there are no rules that will cover all possible cases. There is no easy answer but there are rules you can use. Please see this article,

Yah. “To be X” is Koichi’s way of representing intransitive verbs, because it’s not real easy to write them distinctly in English. You should read the articles on transitivity already posted. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I’m not sure how helpful it is, but apparently you can use the okurigana to help determine if -iru and -eru verbs are ichidan or godan. If the “e” or “i” sounds is part of the okurigana, it’s more likely to be ichidan. It at least seems to work on the kaeru verbs, as 帰る and 返る are godan, while 変える 換える 代える and 替える are all ichidan (assuming I read Jisho correctly).

There’s a bunch of exceptions and it doesn’t work for verbs too small, but it could be worth keeping in mind when tackling grammar.

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It’s just that sometimes translations won’t be the same transitivity, or use that “be” you were mentioning. So it’s just clearer to talk about the transitivity directly. (and I’m aware the below examples oversimplify the situation, but I don’t want to go 100% into it)

歩く (intransitive)
to walk (intransitive)

知る (transitive)
to know (transitive)

分かる (intransitive)
to understand (transitive)

I was just hoping to find a pattern for the kana bits on the intransitives.

Thank you for all the replies !

Click: Transitive & Intransitive words in Japanese

Drawing from your examples:


These all end with ~ある sounds. Therefore, there is a very high chance these are all intransitive.


These alone don’t tell us much, unless we know their pairs. However, there are TONS of ~ある・~える verb pairs, where ~ある nearly always defaults to being intransitive. So, given absolutely no other information
to work with, the best guess for these ~える verbs would be that they are transitive. (Many ~す・~える pairs exist as well, where ~える would be intransitive, but these pairs are not as common.)

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