Recognizing 回る and 回す

Hello everyone, I always have difficulty distinguishing these two words and tbh I keep randomly guessing (wrongly) in my reviews every time… Is there a grammar point or something to differentiate their meanings using the ru and su endings?

Is it a bird?!

Is it a plane?!

NO! It’s Omun bringing up CureDolly for the 4.368th time!


I’ll just refer to CureDolly’s video on transitive/intransitive pairs

TLDW: when a verb pair has one with a す ending, that one is most often the “other move” version, ie. someone is doing the action to something. In this case, 回す turns something, whereas 回る is the “self move” and something turns by itself.

Edit: Dang, I’ve been omunned!


Thanks for the link, I will check out the article! Actually I have seen your previous links to curedolly and have checked the yt channel out, however I just cant handle the voice or the robot its a bit… unusual!


Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s a bird


Thank you, that must be a great channel seeing as how everyone recommends it


What!? You don’t like elderly Irish aliens with lisps? Y’know, after awhile I kind of started to like the sound of it…


I just dont understand why they would ruin the sound of their videos, it could still be watched if the voice was normal!

1 Like

I can certainly understand that. ^^ I had honestly forgotten she has a site with articles until the amazing @Oshin reminded me. I’m sure it’s a format many will find easier to get through.

To be fair, you put in the kind effort to actually explain it already, whereas I just linked.


Oh I get it now, the “to turn” meaning means to turn yourself, not to turn a knob or something! Thank you!!
Edit: Actually is this right?

I believe all of the videos have captions if you want to just turn the sound off and read along. :woman_shrugging:

Personally I prefer the robot voice over “umms” and "you know"s and awkward silences of other videos. But you do you.


Depends. One of them means “to turn”, and the other means “to turn” :slight_smile:


Well wanikani lists まわす as to turn, and まわる as to revolve…

Learn a few example sentences to use them with so that you can get a better feel for their meaning.


That is a great idea, thank you!

1 Like

I remember that まわる = to rotate (oneself / intransitive) because it’s in the name of the anime Mawaru Penguindrum (rotating penguindrum)

That probably doesn’t help if you haven’t seen it, but the first 5 seconds of the OP have enough rotating things to get the point across (also it’s a cool show)

Edit: the first two lines use 回る:

クルクル 回る 君の瞳

クルクル = round and round
回る = to rotate (/spin)
君の瞳 = your eyes

探して 回る 駅のホーム

探して回る = to look around
駅のホーム = the station platform


I always think of the School Rumble opening which has the same line: グルグル回る~

1 Like

Hah, I literally just started singing that in my head when I read @pensei’s post, though I hadn’t quite placed exactly which song that was until I came to your post. :slightly_smiling_face:


It’s easier to bear when changing the speed to at least 1.5.

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.