In this third lesson on verbs with both intransitive and transitive usages, we’ll continue to uncover peculiarities in Japanese at the individual word basis.
する is the most important verb in the Japanese language as we have already learned due to how many usages it has and how important those usages are to the entirety of the language. Unsurprisingly, its usages can be classified as either being intransitive or transitive in nature.
As an intransitive verb, する can demonstrate a sense being sensed, in some state (often with onomatopoeia), show the worth of something (as in price), or the elapse of time (with time phrases).
The atemoya has a flavor like that of an apple boiled down in sugar.
Spelling Note: Ringo is seldom spelled as 林檎.
I got dizzy as if my eyes were spinning.
Is it true that a ghost is next to you when your ears ring?
There was the sound of an intense explosion in the background.
Let’s go after a little while.
Spelling Note: しばらく is sometimes written as 暫く.
How much was this necklace?
Spelling Note: いくら is seldom spelled as 幾ら.
I feel cramped.
I got sunburned.
As a transitive verb, its primary meaning is “to do.” Aside from its complex grammatical usages that happen to be transitive, it can be used to show occupation, mean “to play (a game/sport/etc.),” “to wear (an accessory)", or even “to be...(shaped)/to have a…(face)/etc.” when describing appearances.
What should I do?
This here is an old bakery past down for generations.
Please wear your cloves.
He has long hair.
How about we shop or something?
There were several people who play pachinko at the company where I work.
What sort of shape do planets have?
Don’t make weird faces.
Spelling Note: 為る may very well be the Kanji for “to do,” but it is no longer used in regular writing. If, though, you feel compelled to know how in its truly transitive sense of “to do” is spelled in Kanji, then this is how.
増す is a literary verb that means “to increase.” In this regard, it is very similar to the intransitive/transitive verb pair 増える and 増やす. 増える, unlike 増す, is commonly used in both the written and spoken language. It, though, can have emotion attached to it whereas 増す is only used in an objective sense. However, unlike 増す, it cannot be used to express (dramatic) increase in degree (See Exs. 17, 18, and 21).
With the loss of King Bhumibol, suspense over Thailand’s future is massing.
The far right political party is gathering strength.
In Japan, the elderly population is increasing.
In the heavy rain the other day, the river’s banks enlarged, causing the river to inundate.
The seismic waves are increasing in depth as well as speed.
The number of researchers has increased.
Why is that the number of traffic accidents is increasing?
Because robberies have risen, strong crime prevention measures are necessary at places such as jewelry stores.
増やす is used in the sense of “to increase the number of (resources).” When used in the sense of “to increase (fortune/animals/plants)” as in promulgation, it is often spelled as 殖やす. When this meaning is used in an intransitive sense, 殖える can be used.
Your inheritance will increase.
By increasing the variety of merchandise, I would like to expand sales in Canada.
I would like to increase the diversity of living things.
To increase assets by utilizing real estate.
As an intransitive verb, 働く means “to work” or “to function.” As a transitive verb, it means “to perpetrate.”
In China, a lot of migrant workers seem to work at places like factories.
I’ve incidentally noticed that my boss is committing fraud.
Spelling Note: たまたま is seldom spelled as 偶々.
There are few people who don’t feel anything from having committed an evil deed.
I didn't want to think that my son was committing robberies.
As a transitive verb, ひく can mean a variety of things with just as many ways to spell it. 引く just happens to be the most basic way to spell it. As an intransitive verb, it simply means “to ebb/fade.”
I tried drawing a lot.
Spelling Note: くじ may also be spelled as 籤.
It had been drawing the participants’ attention.
Spelling Note: When used to mean “to attract/captivate,” ひく is usually written as 惹く.
I caught a cold the other day.
Please draw a straight line.
Spelling Note: まっすぐ may alternatively be spelled as 真っ直ぐ.
Please consult a dictionary.
When you subtract 2 from 3, you get 1.
Please draw a card.
Refrain from going out for two to three days after the fever has receded.
You can walk across once the tide has ebbed away.
Mr. Sun has retired from the center stage of politics for many years.
Spelling Note: When used to mean “to draw back/retire,” ひく is often written as 退く but it becomes indistinguishable from the verb しりぞく, which is far more common and used for the same purpose.
I’d like to mince ground meet by myself, but what sort of meat should I prepare?
Spelling Note: When used to mean “to saw/mince,” ひく is usually written as 挽く.
Coffee grains have a good scent when you grind them.
Spelling Note: When used to mean “to grind/mill,” ひく is often written as 挽く. It may also be traditionally written as 碾く.
Why is it that you grind matcha in a stone mortar?
Culture Note: 抹茶 is powdered green tea.
As I was riding straight ahead on my bicycle, I was knocked down by a car turning left which had come from ahead.
Spelling Note: When used to mean “to run over (with a vehicle)", ひく is usually spelled as 轢く.
Can you play the piano?
Spelling Note: When used to mean “to play (a string instrument)", ひくis spelled as 弾く.
Spelling Notes: ひく may seldom be spelled as 曳く with a nuance of “to tow.” This is especially the case with towing boats, which may be expressed alternatively with the verb 曳航する. When used to mean “to pull/drag ahead,” ひく may seldom be spelled as 牽く. In this sense of “traction/hauling,” the verb 牽引する would be far more common.