Lv. 19 definition of 自動詞

There were many threads in the past on transitive/intransitive verbs in Japanese, recent one


and I think the main ideas are:

  • It does not match English classification of transitivity exactly
  • It is not active/passive
  • We probably never get it completely, similar to は vs が problem.

:shrug:

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“Vanished the card” may be more common, and the meaning is largely the same. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I know you’re proving a point, but have you ever heard or used that construction? Everyone is different, but I have not. Typically it would be “The magician made the cat disappear.”

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Obviously can’t speak Leebo, but, yes, I’ve heard disappear used in the transitive manner. Many multiple times.

In the end, even if it’s not a common construction, it’s still perfectly valid English which was Leebo’s point. The claim that he and I both responded to was saying that disappear was not transitive in English which is not true.

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I totally agree. I wish my ears knew grammar better. It just sounded so strange that I had to ask. Thanks for the update.

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No problem. :slight_smile: But, yes, it can sound a bit awkward when used in the transitive sense, but that’s English for you.

I have, or I wouldn’t have even thought to mention it. Wasn’t trying to start anything.

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Huh. Thank you for the corrections. I’m surprised to find that even the OED agrees that disappear can be transitive; I stand corrected. For some reason, I always thought that transitive use was being made tongue-in-cheek, with an awareness that it’s faulty grammar… it makes for much more entertaining reading, particularly in relation to criminal activity (… “they disappeared the bodies over night” etc.). I stand corrected and slightly less entertained.

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I think you’re all putting the cart before the horse. If I say “to disappear something”, and you understand what I mean then it’s correct, if unusual.

If enough people use it like that, someone adds it to the OED anyway.

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This really helped, thanks. I love how he (she?, I’m pretty sure it’s just a guy that puts a female avatar because of reasons) gives a tip to differentiate between the ある and する
groups and how that hints at “transitive”/“intransitive”-ness of the verbs. Very interesting!
Anyway, I think the subject was way deeper than I initially thought, in the end what I extract is that the translation of 自動詞 is just trying to make it similar to something we have in many (occidental?) languages, but it’s not exactly the same.
I know that everyone and their grandmas translates the term as “intransitive verb”, but this leads to confusion and headaches. I would suggest going with a different definition altogether to mark the difference, like the one in the recommended youtube video.
Thanks for the replies guys, oh and btw imho disappear is an intransitive verb, “the magician disappeared the card” is just bad grammar, I don’t care if it’s accepted by the dictionary or the pope, to make disappear is transitive but to disappar is not. Fight the power.

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Oh

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Transitive and intransitive are the correct terms. The problem comes when you try to transfer the way it’s realised in one language to another.

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Going back to the original post, I do think it might be helpful if WK edited the entry to mention "transitive and intransitive verbs work a little differently in Japanese than they do in English… but for now… (something about transitivity in Japanese)…

… Remember to study grammar some grammar too, ya!" :slight_smile:

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Unfortunately, that’s not how English grammar works (your opinion doesn’t dictate what is grammatical or not. :stuck_out_tongue:) . The transitive form has been in use for well over a century. So you’re a little late to the party by trying to claim it’s ungrammatical.

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