Mistake in 伏せる?

For some reason it’s only listed as transitive but it’s often used intransitively as well, like when you’re telling someone to take cover.

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“When you’re telling someone to take cover” doesn’t sound intransitive to me. Imperative, perhaps, so you’re not even getting the classic intransitive/passive confusion that English speakers can get.

Can you give an actual example sentence?


It’s both intransitive and imperative, like 帰れ. My dictionary also lists it as both.

Here’s an example:


Here’s a non-imperative, intransitive example from Angel Beats その父が床に伏せた


In my Kojien, they say that 伏せる is transitive. I suppose that means you can think of that kind of usage as implying an omitted 体を, when you see it.

Either way, WK and Kojien are both making the “mistake” you’re describing, so WK could point to that if they choose to.


明鏡国語辞典 has a usage note about this: 腹ばいになる意では自動詞的にも使う。 which seems like it stops a bit short of labelling it as actually intransitive :slight_smile: EDICT labels this sense as both ‘vt’ and ‘vi’. Daijisen doesn’t seem to bother marking verbs as transitive or intransitive at all, unless I’m missing something.

I guess I agree with the Meikyou that the best way to think about the verb is “transitive, except for this special case”.


There do seem to be examples of 体を伏せる online so I guess that’s a plausible explanation

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