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第236課: Intransitive & Transitive: Part 7

In this seventh installment about verbs that are both intransitive and transitive, we’ll look at another handful of verbs that deserve special attention. In this lesson, all verbs discussed are typically taught as being primarily used with に, but their usages with を mustn’t be overlooked. As was the case last lesson, these usages with を typically fall under the three categories below:

1. Either the intransitive or the transitive usage is relatively new in the language. Meaning, some speakers will think it’s wrong to use it a certain way but many speakers still do.
2. The use of the verb in a transitive sense is done so to implicitly show a connection between an agent and an action.
3. The use of the verb in a transitive sense is done so to emphasize the agent’s volition in said action.


注目する means to “to pay attention to/notice.” Traditionally, it only takes the particle に. This is because に注目する can be seen as the Sino-Japanese equivalent of the native phrase に目を注ぐ meaning the same thing. Essentially, concentrating one’s eyes on something is the same as paying attention/noticing it. Using を would essentially cause two different things being marked with を in the same clause, which is grammatically incorrect.

However, this ungrammatically is based on the assumption that people lexicalize 注目する as 目を注ぐ. Since so much time has elapsed since 注目する has entered the language, and due to the fact that the English equivalent “notice” is a purely transitive verb, more speakers use を to emphasize that the listener notice what を is attached to.

Incidentally, there is already another Sino-Japanese verb that can be used this way without any particle trouble, and that is 注視する. 注視する is only used with を. As the example sentences demonstrate, when the content of your statement is closer to monitoring than simply noticing something, 注視する is more appropriate than 注目する. However, there are plenty of speakers that no longer differentiate between the two.

1. 画面左下(がめんひだりした){に・△ を}注目(ちゅうもく)する。
Notice the bottom left of the screen.

2. 今後(こんご)どうなるか{に・△ を}注目(ちゅうもく)してください。
Please pay attention to what becomes of it from now on.

3. 毎日(まいにち)ツイート{に・△ を}注目(ちゅうもく)してください。
Please pay attention to the tweets every day.

4. 医療業界(いりょうぎょうかい)()()きを{注視(ちゅうし)・△ 注目(ちゅうもく)}する。
To observe the development of the medical care industry.

5. 画面(がめん)右下(みぎした){に・△を}注目(ちゅうもく)してないよね。
You aren’t paying attention to the bottom right of the screen, huh.


The verb 負ける is generally an intransitive verb meaning “to lose (to).” It can even mean "to break out in a rash (due to shaving, etc.). However, it has one transitive meaning that is equivalent to安くする. In other words, in addition to meaning to succumb to defeat, it can also be mean reducing the price of something.

6. 試合(しあい)()けました。
I lost (in) the match.

7. (はだ)(よわ)いので、どうしてもかみそりに()けて出血(しゅっけつ)してしまいます。
My skin is tender, and so no matter what, I break out from razors and end up bleeding.

Spelling Note: かみそり may also be spelled as 剃刀.

8. 値段(ねだん)()けて()ることの不合理(ふごうり)に、(まった)我慢(がまん)できません!
I absolutely can’t stand the irrationality behind lowering the price and selling it!

9. 日本(にほん)やアメリカなどでは、値段(ねだん)()けてもらうということが(すく)ない。
There are few instances in Japan and America where you get the price down on something.

10. 仲介手数料(ちゅうかいてすうりょう)()けてくれない不動産会社(ふどうさんがいしゃ)(おお)い。
There are many real estate companies that won’t lower brokerage fees.


当たる creates an intransitive-transitive verb pair with 当てる. Unfortunately, things get complicated due to the fact that they both have several nuances and because 当たる also happens to have transitive uses that cannot be replaced by 当てる.

当たる (intrs.): To be hit; to be equivalent to; to win (a lottery); to be stricken (by heat, food poisoning, etc.); to hit well (baseball); to feel a bite( in fishing); to be bruised (fruit); to be called upon (by a teacher); to be assigned to; to be right on the money; to lash out at.

11. (いし)がガラスに()たっても()(づら)く、もし()れたとしても(いし)がガラスを貫通(かんつう)しない。
Even if rocks hit the glass, it’s hard to crack. Even if it were to crack, the rock won’t penetrate the glass.

12. 長期間(ちょうきかん)日が()たらないと、うまく(そだ)ちません。
If it isn't exposed to the sun for a long period of time, it won’t grow well.

13. スーツの(まえ)ボタンを()めないのは、失礼(しつれい)()たりますか。
Would it be rude not to fasten the front button of a suit?  

14. (おや)(わる)(おも)うだけでも(ばつ)()たります。
Even by merely thinking bad about your parents, you’ll incur punishment.

15. (あめ)天気予報(てんきよほう)()たってよかった。
I’m glad that the rain forecast was right on.

16. 通常(つうじょう)要人(ようじん)身辺警護(しんぺんけいご)()たっている。
Normally, (the individual) is assigned to the personal protection of important persons.

17. フグに{当たったら・中ったら}、首から(した)(つち)()めろ。
Fugu ni atattara, kubi kara shita wo tsuchi ni umero.
If you get poisoned by a puffer-fish, bury yourself from the neck down in dirt.

Spelling Notes: フグ can alternatively be spelled as 河豚. When used to mean “to be stricken,” 当たる can seldom be seen spelled as 中る.

18. それは{あたってる・(いた)んでる}だけでしょう。
That’s just bruised, you know.

Nuance Note:  A lot of speakers do not understand what is meant by あたる when used in the context of indicating that food produce is bruised. This is because although it is in dictionaries, it is dialectical in nature. Some people will be confused because of how に当たる can indicate food poisoning. After all, one way of saying “food poisoning” itself is 食中り. When using 当たる to indicate bruising, there is a nuance of the bruising being caused by the produce hitting each other, likely during transport. To avoid confusion, using the verb 傷む is your best bet.

当たる (trans.): To check (by comparison); to probe into; to shave.

This usage typically takes に as well; however, when used to mean “to check (establishments),”を is typically used.

19. イライラして旦那(だんな)息子(むすこ)(いぬ)にまで()たってしまいました。
I got irritated and lashed out at my husband, son, and even my dog.

20. 原本(げんぽん)()たって校正(こうせい)してほしいです。
I’d like you to proofread by checking with the original script.

21. 詳細(しょうさい)本人(ほんにん)()たってください。
For details, please see the person himself.

22. 小さな個人経営のお店を当たっています。
I’m checking small businesses.

23. (ほか)()たってください。
Please check (another store).

24. (かお)()たりますか。
Shall I shave your face?

Word Note: In certain lines of industry, instances of 剃る (to shave), 擂る (to grind), and other things resembling the two two in pronunciation such as 鯣・スルメ (dried squid/cuttlefish) have そる・する replaced by 当たる.  As for スルメ, it turns into 当たりめ.

当てる (trans.): To hit; expose; to put (on/against); to allot; to make a hit (in a lottery); to guess (an answer); to call on; to sit (on a cushion); to address.

25. 座布団(ざぶとん)()ててください。
Please sit on the floor cushion.

26. 和語(わご)漢字(かんじ)()てる。
To attach Kanji to native Japanese words.

27. 観葉植物(かんようしょくぶつ)昼間(ひるま)屋外(おくがい)()()てていたら、()れてしまった。
When I had left my decorative plant exposed to the sun outdoors in the afternoon, it died.

28. ポイントが()まると、このポイントを利用(りよう)して航空費(こうくうひ)旅費(りょひ)(みつる)てることができるようになったりします。
When points build up, by using them you become able to do things like allot them to air fares and travel expenses.

Spelling Note: When used to mean “to allot,” あてる is spelled as 充てる.

29. 今度(こんど)(はは)()てて手紙(てがみ)()きました。
I wrote a letter addressed to my mother.

Spelling Note: When used to mean “to address” as in a document of some sort, あてる is spelled as 宛てる.

30. 授業中(じゅぎょうちゅう)()たりたくないと(おも)って、先生(せんせい)()()わせないようにしていたら、()てられてしまった。
During class while I was trying not to lock eyes with the teacher so that I wouldn’t get called on, I got called upon.

31. うまく()てた。
I guessed right.


The verb 喜ぶ can incidentally be used with either に or を. The nuance is slightly different and so it is often the case that you can switch up the particles in most instances without making a grammatical error. に喜ぶ means “to be delighted/pleased with” and を喜ぶ means “to rejoice at/congratulate.”

32. 相手(あいて)(しあわ)せを一緒(いっしょ)(よろこ)ぶと、好感(こうかん)()てる。
When you celebrate another person’s happiness together, you give a positive vibe.

33. 私達(わたしたち)何故他人(なぜたにん)不幸(ふこう)(よろこ)ぶのか。
Why is it that we rejoice at other people’s misfortune?

34. 震災(しんさい)(よろこ)ぶようなブログなどがネット(じょう)(なが)れているのも事実(じじつ)である。
It is also true that there are blogs and such circulating on the internet that seem to rejoice at natural disasters.

35. 美味(おい)しいデザートに(よろこ)ばない女性(じょせい)はいません。
There isn’t a woman who isn’t pleased with a delicious desert.

36. (おお)きな成果(せいか)(よろこ)ぶこともあれば、うまくいかず落胆(らくたん)し、葛藤(かっとう)()(かえ)した経験(けいけん)(おお)くあるでしょう。
If you're ever delighted at great results, then you will surely also have experienced things not going well, getting discouraged, and then having repeated those troubles.

37. 選手(せんしゅ)たちは久々(ひさびさ)勝利(しょうり)(よろこ)んでいる。
The athletes are delighted about their long overdue victory.


When used with the particle に as an intransitive verb, 怒る means “to get mad at…” As a transitive verb with the particle を, it means “to scold.” There is also the verb 叱る which also means “to scold,” but 叱る is thought to be constructive whereas 怒る is usually not constructive.

38. 子供(こども)(おこ)って、怒鳴(どな)ってしまいました。
I got mad at my kid and accidentally shouted at him/her.

39. 飛行機(ひこうき)(おく)れに(おこ)った女性客(じょせいきゃく)客室乗務員(きゃくしつじょうむいん)暴行(ぼうこう)(くわ)える様子(ようす)撮影(さつえい)した動画(どうが)炎上(えんじょう)している。
A video is receiving a flood of criticisms which captures a female passenger who got angry at the plane’s delay assaulting a flight attendant.

40. 実際(じっさい)自分(じぶん)(おこ)っているのに、(つま)浪費癖(ろうひくせ)(おこ)っていると(しん)()んでいる(おっと)(おお)い。
There are many husbands who are convinced that they are mad at their wives’ reckless spending habits even though they are mad at their actual selves.

41. 部下(ぶか)(おこ)った感情(かんじょう)はどれくらい継続(けいぞく)するのか。
How long do your feelings continue from having scolded an underling?

42. 生徒(せいと)(おこ)ったあと、あなたはどうしますか。
What do you do after scolding a student?

43. (いぬ)を{(しか)る・(おこ)る}ときは(はな)(たた)けばいいですか。
When scolding a dog, should you hit its nose?

44. 自分(じぶん)のために(おこ)る、相手(あいて)のために(しか)る。
You tell someone off for oneself; you reprimand someone for that person’s sake.

45. 子供(こども)感情的(かんじょうてき)(おこ)ってしまった。
I accidentally emotionally scolded my child(ren).

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