Telling apart the meanings behind 写るand 写す?

so I just got new lessons, involving these two words. how do you personally keep them apart from each other? I know that one of them means ‘to copy’, while the other one means ‘to be photographed’, but I can’t tell for sure which one is what? Since there are cases similiar to this (ex. 出るvs出す), do you have some sort of strategy for remembering the meanings without confusing them with each other? or is there some kind of rule I don’t know about?

Thanks in advance!
ps: I hope this is the right place to ask ;;
pps: sorry for my bad englando ;;

When a transitive / intransitive pair includes one that ends with す, that one should be the transitive one.


your igirisugo is not bad at all, yo!

utsusu= to copy. unimaginative mnemonic: utSUSU, you copy the su
utsuru= to be photographed. they both have an R in it?

Probably not much help, hopefully someone has come up with a more colorful mnemonic

I mostly remember dasu from other vocab I know. Like 引き出す to take money out of the bank
And 引き出し a drawer, which you pull out

The kind of general rule with these ~る・~す pairs is that ~す is usually the transitive one.


For me, I just use a slightly altered memonic.

The 写る has something in the memonic about you being rude, (rude; る) so I just remember it’s rude to photograph someone without their permission.

For 写す I usually use elimination (it’s not る so it’s not photographed). Which I may need to change later, but at this level it works. Maybe there’s a Sue in your life you really want to copy?


I like the mnemonics you’ve listed there. I’m sure they’ll be of much use the next times these words pop up in my reviews, so thank you for supporting my long way to fluency like that! I genuinely appreciate it. (´ ∀ ` *)
I’ll also try to keep the transitive/intransitive thingy in mind. honto ni arigatou!

thats exactly the kind of information I needed. thank you! (:

thanks for the input! I’ll try to keep that in mind the next time these words pop up in my reviews. (:

arigatou gozaimasu!

る looks like a camera. images


But both have camera related meanings.

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What works for me:

Don’t worry too much, let the SRS make you learn it. Choose a mnemonic that suits you and let the SRS game work its way. In a few weeks you’re going to remember without any aid of a mnemonic just by sheer repetition. Other thing you should do, if you don’t already, is use KANIWANI (google it), it will force you to remember without the visual aid of the す る.

BTW, I still get confused between 上がる,上げる,下がる,下げる. But I don’t worry too much, I know that I’ll only really learn the difference when start to see these words in context by reading

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wow, thank you so much for recommending kaniwani. I haven’t heard about it until I read your comment, but I tried it out immediately and fell in love with it right away. It basically has everything I always wanted wanikani to have. Especially the display of pitch patterns are like a gift from heaven for me.

Seriously, I cannot thank you enough for that tip!

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This script might be helpful too: [Userscript] WaniKani Pitch Info

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thank you so much!! <3

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写る has a camera in it so it is taking photos -> to be photographed ?

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