I’m fairly certain I understand the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs regardless of language, but please correct me if I’m mistaken: transitive verbs take a direct object, and intransitive verbs do not. So like, “throw” is a transitive verb because you throw a ball; but “live” is intransitive because you can’t live something, you simply live.
So by that definition, there are a couple of Japanese verbs that I’ve run into that WaniKani labels intransitive that I would have assumed were transitive. Here are the couple that are confusing me:
- 分かる - you could just say “I understand,” but the it is implied; or you could say, “I understand the instructions,” etc.
生む - in English, you would give birth to something, so “birth” in English is not transitive; but the definition of this Japanese verb is “to give birth to,” or “to produce.” That requires an object, no?Sorry, I suffer from intermittent retardation.
- 通る - similar to the previous, in that the English version “pass through” has a preposition attached, but the Japanese seems to kind of include that as part of the verb, so would need an object, right?
- 合う - but doesn’t “suit” require an object? I.e., something can suit you, but it can’t just “suit.”
I kind of really love grammar, so I know this question is super nerdy. I’m hoping there are some other grammar geeks out there who’ve already thought about this and can explain it to me.