Similar sounding verbs (and other vocab) driving me nuts!


I just have to vent a little about having the absolute hardest time remembering verb vocab that is so similar! I can’t come up with any clever mnemonics for these in English.
e.g. right now I’m having trouble with:

おくる - to send something
おくれる - to be late
くれる - to be given
つくる - to make
つかれる - to get tired

I don’t know the kanji for most of these yet, so I can’t even get any hints from that.

Anyone else have a set of non-kanji vocab that they just can’t untangle? What is it? Any hints from more advanced learners on how to separate these in my head? :slight_smile:

Usage really helps me. Whether it be reading or texting natives on HelloTalk, if you can use words you have trouble with in sentences it should help you memorize them better.

I think 作る should be a kanji you’ve learned already in WK btw ;p

My speech still comes to a screeching halt mid-sentence whenever I want to say either 作る (つくる) or 使う (つかう) because I have to pause to remember which one it is.


What’s that? You’re going to make a phone? Sounds tedious.

Yes. This is horrible.

I’ve mostly put a stop to it now. Very simple and very boring way I started to think about them was their length in romaji. Tsukuru is longer than tsukau and make is longer than use. I’d challenge anyone to come up with a duller way of remembering, but…it worked for me.

The important part to remember is く vs か. The endings る and う can change through conjugations, so not very helpful: つくって , つかって

And then you just make mnemonics:

  • When you make something, your friends think you are very cool (く).
  • You use something to get around quickly. It’s going to be a car (か) more than likely.

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