To mix and it's variations HELP

混じる 混ざる 交じる 混ぜる 。。。
So these two kanji 混 and 交 has multiple words that mean transitively and intransitively as ‘mix’. Is there a difference between these kanjis? Does anyone have any helpful tips to remember which one is transitive and which one is intransitive?

Thanks in advance.

The kanji 混 refers to mixing where you lose the ability to separate the original items, like mixing paints, or flour and eggs.

The kanji 交 refers to mixing where you can separate the items again after mixing them, like colored marbles, or numbers and letters in a string of characters.

まぜる is transitive, まざる and まじる are intransitive.

That page explains the kanji meanings, but then goes on to talk about some confusing usages. Such as 混合リレー for a race where men and women run together, or トランプにジョーカーを混ぜる for mixing a joker into a deck of cards.

You can tell men and women apart, and cards are identifiable, so you would think 交 is better, but the page explains why those use 混. Basically, because the members become a single team, and because the purpose of mixing the joker into the deck is so that people don’t know where it is, so 混 is more appropriate.

Whether that makes sense to you, or you just have to remember those as exceptions, I’m not sure.


That helps alot.
I keep getting lost but the える versions are transitive. 交える 混ぜる
So what’s the difference between 混じる 混ざる???

There may have been a distinction at some point, because まざる is the “natural” intransitive partner derived together with まぜる, while まじる has a separate etymology, but in reality まざる and まじる are basically used interchangeably in many scenarios.

This thesaurus entry includes the line 「混ざる」は … 実際には、「混じる」と同様に用いられる。


Here’s my table, if it helps:

交じる__ (vi) to be mixed/blended with
交ざる__ (vi) same, but indistinguishable after mixing*
交ぜる__ (vT) to mix/stir/blend sth.
交わる__ (vi) to cross/intersect/join/meet
交える__ (vT) to mix/combine/include sth.
交う___ (aux) to take turns/mingle**
交わす__ (vT) to exchange eg. words

*: 交ざる has the connotation of being indistinguishable after mixing, but otherwise the same meaning as 交じる

**: eg. 行き交う to go back and forth; 飛び交う to fly/flutter about

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