Idle speculation: 得る related to potential form?

fish fish, fish fish fish.

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I’m very confused by that first paragraph. What do する and あるhave to do with transitive and intransitive verbs?

As for 得る I think you’re reading into it too much. There maybe a historical connection but I kinda doubt it. Japanese has a somewhat limited set of sounds compared to e.g. germanic languages (like english) so it’s not surprising that some conjugation endings sound like other words.

I know that た endings do clasically come from an auxiliary verb, but knowing that doesn’t really inform my understanding much. Similarly, ている and てある make use of いる and ある as auxiliary verbs but the meanings are only loosely tied to their standalone usage.

ていく and てくる would be my goto examples of auxiliary verbs where knowing they come from いく and くる could help your understanding a little bit. Though they’re still somewhat metaphorical.

Many websites explaining transitive verb pairs discuss the す = transitive / ~ある = intransitive pattern. They tend to relate verbs ending with す to する and the verbs that rhyme with ある to ある itself to explain why this is the case.


Huh I didn’t know that. Is there a linguistic connection there or is that more of a memory aid?

What do you mean loosely? Aren’t those using their literal standalone meanings? For example 食べている means literally to be (いる)eating (食べて), the same way in english we say “I am eating” instead of just “I eating”. The same with ある and other auxiliary verbs I think.


The poster is hung.

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I believe the claim is that there’s a historical linguistic connection, but I have no idea how accurate that is.

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Because they’re being used as auxiliary verbs their original meanings aren’t as important to understanding the sentence, same as in English. The “to be” verb is just there to act as a copula in English. But yes the meaning isn’t too different, I just don’t think it’s critical to understanding ている and てある. Just my opinion on that I guess. Maybe you could make a case that it is helpful.

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