Transitive and Intransitive Verbs

All verbs are either transitive (someone performed the action) or intransitive (the action occurred automatically or the actor is not important).

Prerequisite lessons

It is important to remember whether a verb is transitive or intransitive since it changes the particles used with the verb.

Transitive verbs

Transitive verbs are used with an active actor that performed the action, let's look at an example:



I opened the window.

Intransitive verbs

Let's look at the intransitive version of the previous example sentence:



The window was opened.

Intransitive verbs cannot have a direct object since there is no direct actor performing the action.
The following sentence is incorrect:


_ __

The window was opened.

This means that the particle _ cannot be used with intransitive verbs.

Verb pairs

A convenient feature of transitive and intransitive verbs is that they often come in pairs, meaning there are two similar verbs using the same kanji that act as a pair (one being transitive and intransitive respectively). It is recommended to learn the two verbs as a pair as they are very similar.


Here's some more very common transitive/intransitive pairs you should remember.


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