I’ve been struggling with the transitive vs intransitive versions of verbs in reviews for … a while now.
And then yesterday I was listening to Koichi and Kristen talking about the difference in a Tofugu podcast, and realised that didn’t help me either. So I did some additional reading, and finally found a way to remember that it’s nothing to do with passive or active, but to do with the object. Which, to be fair, Kristen said in the podcast on transitive vs intransitive.
A lot of resources online use passive vs active verbs when they describe the difference, which I think confuses things. But then I made my own example, so I’m sharing it in case it helps others. This is not a pair, exactly, but it’s two very active verbs, so no active/passive issues to confuse things.
You play a game of volleyball (I’ve been watching Haikyu!), and thrash the opposition.
You can say “I won!”, but you can’t say “I beat!” because you have to beat someone - instead you say “I beat you!”.
I won! Intransitive, no direct object needed.
I beat you! Transitive, you need a direct object.
Turns out that, plus the verb endings (iru/eru vs aru) is all I needed to get the concept completely.
I’ve gotten all the verb forms right since. Hooray!