How to know the difference?

I thought I was losing my mind, but it turns out WaniKani indeed taught me both 代わる and 代える for “to replace”. Every time I’d get it wrong, I’d wonder how… and then I’d answer the other way the next time, and get that wrong!

It’s even worse now that I’m getting the same issue on KaniWani lol. Actually I think that’s where this problem mostly comes up. I’ve been bingeing WK/KW the last few days and don’t know where one begins and the other ends.

Is there any help for this? How can I know which I’m supposed to answer with?

1 Like

These verbs are what is called a transitive/intransitive pair. Here is an article with some tips for telling them apart. In this case, since the first one ends in -aru, it is intransitive.


If you’re talking about how to answer on KaniKani, you could add synonyms here on WaniKani that would help you disambiguate like “to replace (transitive)” and “to replace (intransitive)”. These would have no impact on answering here on WaniKani, but they would show up in your KaniWani prompts and make it clear which one is expected.

I’m not sure I understand what the issue you say you’re having here on WaniKani is though. What are you getting wrong here on WaniKani? The reading is か for both, and the meaning is the same for both… so I would expect that to be fairly straightforward on this end.


Always nice to see another Cure Dolly fan. I didn’t understand so many simple things (like は and が) before stumbling onto her channel.

I think the issue is mostly on KaniWani (and yeah I know I can set up synonyms… I had to for things like しょうじょ, じょし and おんなのこ too because how am I supposed to know which “girl” they want!??).

I’m tired and have been doing way too many lessons/reviews on both sites and am a fuzzy-headed at the moment. I was going to delete this topic since you guys answered and I realized that, but it won’t let me lol.

I didn’t realize stuff I added as synonyms on WaniKani would show up on KaniWani. I will definitely have to start doing that! Thanks!

no need to delete the topic, someone else might have similar questions! better to just mark one of the answers as the solution :+1:t4:


True mikku_desu, thanks. I’m off to bed now, dreaming of crabigators and gatorcrabs…


I was driving crazy in KW with both mother and father because I never knew which mother/dad word they wanted, good to know I can add the synonym here and it’ll appear there.

1 Like

I know right? There are so many of those. I added the synonyms right on KaniWani for those (お父さん = 父, お母さん = 母). I have to take a little break form KaniWani now, just started level 7 here on WK and I feel swamped ugh.

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.