How to use the せる verbs

with verbs like 乗せる and 見せる I am tempted to connect them with に almost exclusively, but I also know that at least 乗せる can take で in certain cases. I am assuming that means a ride is being given as a means to something else, but when it’s just the ride, is it correct to use に?Given that, how would you apply this information to 見せる? (or other -se verbs I might not know yet!)

I am working with a sentence that I hope translates to:
" Today, I gave my friend a ride"
<<今日, 私は 友達 ? 乗せりました。>>

what would be the best connector to use here?

I’d use を. Ain’t nothing special about the ~せる ending on 乗せる - it’s just the transitive pair of 乗る.

Side note, particles aren’t connectors but post-positions. They modify the word that comes before them.


今日、私は友達を (車に) 乗せました。

Maybe it gets clearer when you add the means of riding.

So 友達を車に乗せる means “to put my friend in a car” if you get hyper literal.

If you omit 車に, people will just assume you gave your friend a ride in whatever would be normal for you to do.

Note that 乗せる is an ichidan verb, so it would conjugate as 乗せました when alone, not 乗せりました.


I’m confused now. So would this sentence be incorrect?


Do I need to flip the を and に particles? I thought you used に to modify the giver/receiver in a てもらう/てあげる sentence.

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Oh, yeah, you’re right, I added てあげる as an afterthought without thinking about how it would impact the rest of the sentence. I’ll just change it back to the simpler sentence.

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Any thoughts on why you wouldn’t use [車で] in these cases? に does sound/feel better to me, I must admit

I’m just going to take a stab at it until Leebo gets here (and I might be super wrong and I’m sure I’ll get corrected if I am :stuck_out_tongue: ), since に also feels right to me, but I just sat here thinking about why it wouldn’t be で and there’s only a conversation with a native I had that comes to mind.

I asked, “Why do we use 友達会う and not 友達会う?”
The response I got was, “Because you have to travel to them to meet them.”
I’ve tried to keep this in mind when I see sentences like 電車に乗る, since 電車 isn’t the method that I’m getting on the train. For example, if one used a wheelchair lift to get on a bus (I don’t know the word for this), you’d say “[wheelchair lift]でバスに乗った”

Similarly, I think if you had someone get on a bus via a wheelchair lift, you’d use the same structure with 乗せた.

But like I said, that’s just how I view it while I wait for Leebo’s bomb drop.


Oh thanks! I completely missed that this is just 乗る, and basically means to get on (the bus/train etc.). I totally knew this and have used it plenty of times, I just had a brain freeze, or something here.

My understanding is that it’s because 乗る and 乗せる describe the act of getting on, or allowing to get on, something. The actions in question are that momentary, initial movement to a location on or in something. They don’t describe a sustained action.

If you say 車で乗る or 乗せる, I think it sounds like you are either using a car to get onto something else, or getting onto something else inside the car.


Like, perhaps, boarding a ferry with a car?


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