Spacing Out Transitive & Intransitive Verbs

Do you have an ETA for the higher levels? :slight_smile:


I’m hyped for this change! The difference between those verbs is hard to remember when learning out of context, so spacing them out a bit might be less confusing.


I always wondered why this was never the case.
Some of my teachers in school/uni, when asked why they would wait a week or so to teach a similar concept to one we learnt about a week before, they would tell us that students often confused the two concepts when they were taught together. Through trial and error, they realised that it was better to give people time to get used to the old concept, before introducing them to the new one.

Though it’s basically late for me at this point, I like this change.

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Oh yes! Needed! :caught_durtling:
Spacing is a great idea!

This would be a durverted April joke :durtle_durverted_lvl2:

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Yeah, I found this to be a problem, so I’m happy to hear about this.

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The changes are now live.


Thanks, Viet!

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Not yet! We’ll share as soon as we know.


Uhh my review sessions keep losing connection

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Ah good! I was so confused and thought my script broke because it was showing burned items way before I knew my first burn reviews would happen on some levels…


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Have you checked Cure Dolly’s article on it? I found it the most helpful. I still get a few wrong sometimes, but I can guess most of the ones I forget: Mastering Transitivity Pairs – Remembering Japanese transitive and intransitive verbs the easy way


I’m torn as to whether this is beneficial or not. I think with large amounts of similar material it can be beneficial to spread it out temporally. An example would be my Japanese class.

The book introduced: 何か and 何が (with their fellow words どこ、だれ、いつ)which worked well to practice short dialogues. But then the teacher decided to include 何も and 何でも (with their fellow words). Given that the definitions included one or more of the following depending on the situation: anything, something, nothing, everything and some paired with positive tense verbs, some with negative tense verbs and some with both we were left confused by all the permutations and subtle distinctions.

However in the case of transitive / intransitive verbs, I agree with some of the other commenters that it is actually beneficial to learn the pairs at the same time for the following reasons:

  1. Begins to consciously introduce english speakers to transitivity, which most never think about and often don’t understand.
  2. Allows one to see patterns that emerge between transitive and intransitive verbs. Here’s a helpful list of pairs grouped by characteristics: Japanese Verbs - Transitive and Intransitive Pairs About 50% of transitive verbs include an え sound changed from or added to the intransitive verb , ex. 上がるー上 る、立つー立 る、下がるー下
  3. Allows people who like to stretch learned material to its limits to do so without unintentionally practicing incorrect ideas. Ex. If one learns 立つ without learning 立てる one might mentally go around standing up objects using the intransitive verb. Every repetition reinforces an idea regardless of whether it’s correct or incorrect.

A change which might be more beneficial would be to codify the definitions, since most english verbs are both transitive and intransitive, to always include the object for transitive verbs while using similar language for intransitive verbs.

下がるーto lower, to hang 下げるーto lower something, to hang something

立つーto stand up 立てるーto stand something up

I actually already gave this idea via the website but thought I’d reiterate (or perhaps more accurately re-literate) it in case it got lost in the shuffle.



Frankly I’m glad this has been changed. Wanikani is not a way to learn grammar, and trying to learn technical points of grammar (transitive/intransitive) is suboptimal- if I’m really interested in the technical meanings of these things great, but I’ve managed to learn english with no such knowledge, so I find it hard to believe it will really help me learn Japanese.

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In regards to transitive and intransitive verbs I would say that I struggle the most with providing the English translation. Maybe it’s just because I am a low level, or I am rushing, but I find it kind of difficult. Determining which verb of a transitivity pair is transitive or intransitive I have found to be easy since there are some patterns that work the most of the time for figuring out which one is which.

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You are going to have to learn if a verb is transitive or not sooner or later. I don’t see how learning it sooner is suboptimal. I do not see it as learning grammar. It is just another part of learning a vocabulary word. Some other parts of learning vocabulary include learning what group a verb is in, how a word is pronounced, and how to write it.


I think this is a great move on your part. Though, I must say, too late for me. :sob: The ones I already are able to keep apart are fine, but too may of these pairings are still a bit of a muddle for me.

I’m down to traditional studying techniques for them essentially. But, it’s great that younger wanikanians will get to experience these improvements you’re making! :slight_smile: