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さくら: さくらです
よし: よしです
Peter: Peter here. Beginner lesson #148. As always, brought to you by Erklaren, the translation and interpretation specialists. We are back with an important lesson today. Today we are going to be talking about intransitive and transitive verbs. Now in Japanese, verbs can be divided into two categories transitive and intransitive. Now while many of them share the same kanji, what comes after that kanji differs a bit. So what we are going to do today is we are going to get your feet wet. We are going to help you get more and more used to the differences. One sure-fire way to tell can be found through looking at the particles. What particles are used will determine what verb is used. Again this takes time in getting used to but today we are going to get you started. Then next week, we have another lesson related to this. Then in the near future, we are going to have another lesson related to this and we are going to keep building and building until you get them down pat. Okay so today’s conversation is between Sakura san
さくら: It’s between mother and son.
Peter: Yes and Yoshi san, who is playing that son?
よし: Me.
Peter: Yes. Today we get another original Yoshi san character.
さくら: Hmm…
Peter: Yoshi san, you never cease to amaze me with your voice acting ability.
よし: Thank you.
Peter: I believe this was a いえいえ、そんな事ないです but yeah sure thank you.
よし: いえいえ、そんな事ありません
Peter: Thank you words.
よし: いまさら
Peter: A little late there. Okay but anyway enjoy today’s lesson. Here we go.
1. 母: 只今!
2. けんじ: お帰り。
3. 母: あれ!ママの大好きな花瓶が壊れている!うそ!けんじくん。
4. けんじ: はい。
5. 母: 誰が私の花瓶を壊したの?
6. けんじ: 僕じゃない。家の猫が壊した。
7. 母: けんじくん。
8. けんじ: はい、ごめんなさい。犯人は僕です。許してください。
9. 母: わかった。わかった。今回の嘘は目をつぶってあげるけど、これか
10. けんじ: わかった。
1. 母: 只今!
2. けんじ: お帰り。
3. 母: あれ!ママの大好きな花瓶が壊れている!うそ!けんじくん。
4. けんじ: はい。
5. 母: 誰が私の花瓶を壊したの?
6. けんじ: 僕じゃない。家の猫が壊した。
7. 母: けんじくん。
8. けんじ: はい、ごめんなさい。犯人は僕です。許してください。
9. 母: わかった。わかった。今回の嘘は目をつぶってあげるけど、これか
10. けんじ: わかった。
1. 母: 只今!
1. MOTHER: I'm home.
2. けんじ: お帰り。
2. KENJI: Welcome back.
3. 母: あれ!ママの大好きな花瓶が壊れている!うそ!けんじくん。
3. MOTHER: What! My favorite vase is broken! No way! Kenji!
4. けんじ: はい。
4. KENJI: Yeah.
5. 母: 誰が私の花瓶を壊したの?
5. MOTHER: Who broke mom's vase?
6. けんじ: 僕じゃない。家の猫が壊した。
6. KENJI: Wasn't me! The cat broke it.
7. 母: けんじくん。
7. MOTHER: Kenji!
8. けんじ: はい、ごめんなさい。犯人は僕です。許してください。
8. KENJI: I'm sorry. I'm the guilty one. Please forgive me.
9. 母: わかった。わかった。今回の嘘は目をつぶってあげるけど、これか
9. MOTHER: Okay. I'll look past your lie this time, but make sure you tell the truth
from now on.
10. けんじ: わかった。
10. KENJI: Okay.
Peter:Natsuko san, let’s ask Yoshi san what he thought of today’s conversation.
さくら: よしさん、今日の会話どう思いましたか
よし: 何でも正直に言ったほうが良いですよね、最初にね
さくら: そうですね
Peter: Honesty is the best policy. You should tell the truth right from the start but what a nice story. A happy ending.
さくら: Yeah good boy, isn’t he?
Peter: Now yes for the moment. Let’s see what happens in the future. Also stop by japanesepod101.com and check out the informal track. Now I think you get your fair share of animals covered in this one. Stop by japanesepod101.com to see what we are talking about. Okay let’s move on to the vocabulary. Yoshi san first word
よし: 花瓶
よし: (slow) かびん(natural speed)花瓶
Peter: Now this is made up of two kanji, two Chinese characters. Yoshi san, what does the first character mean?
よし: Flower.
Peter: And the second character
よし: Bottle.
Peter: Flower bottle. Now makes sense. Makes sense to me.
さくら: Yeah sure.
Peter: And I think it’s pretty safe to say at least in my house. Let me rephrase that. Before I met my wife, any base in my house consisted of an empty bottle with a flower. So it makes a lot of sense. Flower bottle, so this is what makes kanji the Chinese characters so interesting. There is a lot you can take from these. We really, really recommend that you get into it as soon as possible and that’s why at japanesepod101.com, we have lots of tools to help get you through this plus we are there for you. Any questions, just mail us. The best you get into kanji, the better plus with all the tools out there on the web. I mean now is as good a time as any especially Rikaichan. We are going to have to do a special on that because I know for fact that there are people still out there not using Rikaichan, the plug in for Firefox which allows you to see the reading of the kanji but more about that in different lesson. Next word.
さくら: 壊れる
Peter: To be broken, to break.
さくら: (slow) こわれる (natural speed)壊れる
Peter: Now this verb is intransitive okay. What comes next? We are not going to give you a sample sentence yet. First, we are going to give you its transitive counterpart. Now in Japanese, we’ve had a lot of questions and a lot of people have been asking for more lessons about this. This is why we are doing it today. In Japanese, they have a lot of transitive and intransitive pairs, pairs of verbs. One verb being transitive, one being intransitive. Now to break, we just gave you the intransitive. Yoshi san, what’s the transitive?
よし: 壊す
Peter: Again to break, break it down.
よし: (slow) こわす (natural speed)壊す
Peter: Now with this verb 壊すthe transitive, we need an object. So this sentence is going to have an object marker をor it will be inferred. Not said but if it was proper Japanese, it will be there. So the transitive, there was a action from the subject on the direct object. This is the transitive okay. Let’s take a look at these two verbs in action in today’s dialogue. Can we say that in action?
さくら: Yeah.
Peter: Okay let’s take a look at these two verbs that we had in today’s dialogue. Natsuko san, what was the first line you gave us?
さくら: ママの大好きな花瓶が壊れている
Peter: Mama’s favorite base is broken. Now let’s leave off the descriptive part about the base and just let’s take a look at the base of the subject and the verb 壊れる. One more time.
さくら: 花瓶が壊れている
Peter: Okay. First thing we want to notice here, the subject 花瓶base. What particle are we marking this with?
さくら: Ga
Peter: This is followed by the verb
さくら: 壊れている
Peter: Which is in the present progressive tense. Now again, we go over this over and over. In Japanese, we don’t have the perfect tense. So the present progressive can represent an ongoing state and it’s broken. It’s in the state of being broken. So the subject here is marked by ga and the verb is in the present progressive form. That doesn’t have to be the case with intransitive verbs but we just want to point out here that right now, it’s in the state. Now let’s take a look at the transitive verb. Natsuko san, next line
さくら: 誰が私の花瓶を壊したの
Peter: Who broke my base? Here we have direct action. So the subject is marked by
さくら: Ga
Peter: Then the direct object, what was broken? What received that action is marked by
さくら: を
Peter: That direct object is
さくら: 花瓶
Peter: And in this case, we have the transitive verb to break which is
さくら: 壊す
Peter: And in this sentence it was
さくら: 壊した
Peter: Because the action already took place. Now in last week’s lesson, we had the same thing. We had the intransitive and transitive pair, to turn on the light and the light being on. Again in that case, when you turn on the light, when you turn on the TV, when you turn on that electric appliance, the appliance that is turned on is marked by direct object particle, Natsuko san
さくら: を
Peter: For example, Yoshi san, turn on the lights.
よし: 電機をつける
Peter: Natsuko san, turn on the TV.
さくら: テレビをつける
Peter: Okay を direct object receiving that action of being turned on. Then we have the state of being on, the TV is on. Yoshi san
よし: テレビがついている
Peter: Again notice the subject is marked by the particle
Peter: Ga
Peter: And this too is in the present progressive representing a state. It’s in the state of being on. Okay so we have another lesson coming up where we are going to go over these intransitive versus transitive’s. Okay now let’s think of a nice pneumatic to remember transitive and intransitive. Transitive sounds a bit like train or tram, something that moves. So with transitive’s, the action is moving from the subject to the direct object, transitive. That action is being transferred, transferred, transitive where the intransitive, no action is being transferred at all. So let us know if that helps you out because this is one of the key points to really master in Japanese. Intransitive versus transitive and we are going to help you through this. Now we are going to give you some sentences using 壊れる and 壊す. Pay attention to the placement of the particles in the following sentences. Okay Yoshi san, give us the first one.
よし: おもちゃが壊れた
Peter: The toy is broken. Give us one more
よし: コンピュータが壊れている
Peter: The computer is broken. Here intransitive, no action taking place. The toy is broken, the computer is broken. No action taking place. Now Natsuko san, give us the transitive counterpart 壊す in a sentence.
さくら: ゴジラがビルを40件壊した
Peter: Godzilla broke 40 buildings. Again give us that sentence one more time nice and slow.
さくら: ゴジラがビルを40件壊した
Peter: Notice the subject Godzilla marked by the particle
さくら: Ga
Peter: Then the buildings marked by the object marker
さくら: を
Peter: Followed by the counter, the counter actually comes after をright before the verb
さくら: 40件
Peter: And this is followed by
さくら: 壊した
Peter: Broke. Okay let’s move on to the next one.
さくら: 嘘
Peter: Lie.
さくら: (slow) うそ (natural speed)嘘
Peter: Now Natsuko san, in the conversation give us that line one more time. Give us the preceding line, the word we are covering now and what came after that. Give us that whole line you said.
さくら: ママの大好きな花瓶が壊れている!うそ!けんじくん。
Peter: So you just said the meaning is lie or actually I just said the meaning is lie. In this context, is it lie?
さくら: No.
Peter: What does it mean?
さくら: It means really or it can’t be.
Peter: Are you serious?
さくら: Yes.
Peter: Here it should be interpreted as really. Are you serious, no way, impossible! You are doubting what is said or in this case, you are doubting what took place or kind of wishful doubting.
さくら: Yeah.
Peter: You are kind of wishing that wasn’t…
さくら: You don’t want to believe.
Peter: Exactly.
さくら: What you saw.
Peter: Exactly and this is a very common, in this context a common phrase that you will hear over and over especially in casual Japanese. Don’t expect to hear this in a business meeting I guess unless like there is real shock. The market crashes and our stock is worth nothing. Maybe the protocol will be thrown out the window but kind of for informal situations and this is informal situation, conversation between a mother and her son. Okay next we have Yoshi san
よし: 犯人
Peter: Criminal.
よし: (slow) はんにん(natural speed)犯人
Peter: Can you give us a sample sentence?
よし: 犯人をさがす
Peter: To look for the criminal. Okay here the subject is inferred. Maybe it’s the police. Yoshi san, can we say the police will look for the criminal?
よし: 警察が犯人をさがす
Peter: The police will look for the criminal. Here the criminal is the direct object and that’s why it’s marked by を. Again many times in Japanese, the subject will be omitted and that’s why you have to pay attention to what is used, the different particles and object marker. Okay next we have
さくら: 許す
Peter: To forgive.
さくら: (slow) ゆるす (natural speed)許す
Peter: Next
よし: つぶる
Peter: To close the eyes.
よし: (slow) つぶる (natural speed)つぶる
Peter: Now Yoshi san, what did we have in today’s dialogue?
よし: 目をつぶる
Peter: Now this is an idiomatic phrase meaning let it go. I will kind of look past what transpired, look past something. Yoshi san, what’s the literal meaning?
よし: To close the eyes.
Peter: Yeah so it’s funny. In English, we have the same expression, to close one’s eyes but we also have to look past which means literally to look beyond but also means to let something go. And here it has the same meaning. The mother says to the child, Yoshi san
よし: 今回の嘘は目をつぶってあげるけど
Peter: I will look pass this lie. I will let this lie go but she follows up with, from now on tell the truth. Now Yoshi san, is this a pretty frequent idiomatic phrase? In Japanese, do you use this a lot?
よし: You hear this on TV a lot in dramas.
Peter: So kind of a dramatic expression?
よし: Right.
Peter: Yeah but what about the regular person not acting.
よし: I think it depends.
Peter: On how eccentric that person is and how much he’d like to build things up
よし: Right.
Peter: Plus you kind of have to be in a higher position than the person speaking.
さくら: Yeah right. You are kind of like…
Peter: You have that power to let it go.
さくら: Oh yes right.
Peter: So it’s not like you can use it in any situation. You kind of have to have that power to let that incident go but really we want to make you and help you think like a Japanese person and idiomatic phrases are a big part of this. Some of them you will see are quite common with western ones as today’s idiomatic phrase shows, close one’s eyes to, look past, turn the other way, look the other way but some are quite different as you will see in the future. Okay next we have
さくら: 正直
Peter: Honesty.
さくら: (slow) しょうじき (natural speed)正直
Peter: Okay. Running short on time today. So we are not going to have time to dissect this conversation but we will have time to go over few things that we need to point out. Natsuko, after you came home and had the standard coming home greetings ただいまand おかえりyou said a phrase, a one word phrase. What was that?
さくら: あれ
Peter: Now this can be used to express surprise, something you didn’t expect to occur happened and you are kind of lost for words, you can use this word.
さくら: Yes.
Peter: So at times when something unexpected occurs, you can use this. Okay. All right, anything else we need to cover?
よし: I think we are pretty good.
Peter: All right. So that’s going to do it for today. Again stop by japanesepod101.com, pick up that PDF. In there is a detailed write up plus in the learning center, questions, quizzes, things to help you bring it altogether. All right, that’s going to do it for today.
さくら: じゃまた明日ね


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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

JapanesePod101.com Verified
December 7th, 2006 at 06:32 PM
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Mina-san, Today's location is 北極・hokkyoku - hello to all of our listeners at the North Pole! Yoroshiku onegai shimasu!

JapanesePod101.com Verified
August 29th, 2016 at 01:25 PM
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Konnichiwa. :smile:

Thank you for your post.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask us.

Yuki 由紀


August 19th, 2016 at 02:22 PM
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I had completely forgotten about this lesson from the early days. With the moral being that one should never tell a lie, especially to one's mother, methinks this lesson was not just randomly chosen to replay on August 18 2016 amid various news coming out of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Plaudits for the subtle ways your minds work at JapanesePod 101. 正直がいい! :thumbs: Enough said.

JapanesePod101.com Verified
January 17th, 2016 at 05:28 PM
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You are enjoying learning kanji! That is great!




Yuki 由紀

Team JapanesePod101.com

January 14th, 2016 at 03:13 AM
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Wow, this lesson was jam-packed with great information!

I'm glad transitive and intransitive verbs were covered. I had researched those on my own in the past, but it was good to review them in this lesson. I also enjoyed learning more about kanji. Two years ago when I first began studying Japanese, I hated kanji for being too difficult; however, these days I enjoy kanji (even if they are still a bit difficult to learn to write by hand). :thumbsup:

Could you tell me if the following example sentences are correct?


My car is broken.


The puppy broke the laptop.


Turn on the TV.


She apologized to me, so I forgave her.

JapanesePod101.com Verified
May 27th, 2013 at 09:00 PM
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when we say "ki no eda ga orete iru", it usually means the branch

of the tree is "bent", or it could be even "cut off".

We decribe it in that way, and never "ki kara no eda".

Even if the branch is off the tree, lying down on the ground,

still the sentence is same.

切れる is for something being cut.


Team JapanesePod101.com

May 26th, 2013 at 07:32 PM
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ki no eda ga orete imasu.

describe the branch itself. has been broken into pieces

not as

ki kara no eda ga orete imasu.

branch from the tree is broken


when could be use "切れる"?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
May 23rd, 2013 at 06:35 PM
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1. "ki no eda ga orete imasu." OR "ki kara no eda ga orete imasu."

=> It's "ki no eda ga orete imasu."

2. what the difference between "mado wa aite imasu." and "mado ga aite imasu."?

=> Unless you need to make "mado" a "topic" for some reason,

it's usually "mado ga aite imasu" to describe "the window is open".

If you want to say "mado wa aite imasu", you need a reason for using "wa", such

as "mado wa aite imasu. Demo, doa wa shimatte imasu."

3. When use “kono&sono&ano,”ga”changed to “wa”.right????

isu ga kowarete iru.

kono isu wa kowarete iru.

=> hmmm... I'd say "yes", but you need context to say what's correct and

what's wrong...grammatically, both "wa" and "ga" are correct in second sentence too...

4. gomibako:basket

how i could say “basket is full” or “basket is empty”in japanese?

=> "gomibako ga ippai desu" (= full) and "gomibako ga kara desu" (= empty).

Hope this helps.

Natsuko (奈津子),

Team JapanesePod101.com

May 23rd, 2013 at 03:36 AM
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how i could say "basket is full" or "basket is empty"in japanese?

May 23rd, 2013 at 02:47 AM
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how to say "branch from the tree broken/branch of tree broken" in japanese?

ki no eda ga orete imasu.

ki kara no eda ga orete imasu.


IF~ga~te imasu :indicate current a state of something.

what the difference between (~ga~te imasu)&(~wa~te imasu)

mado wa aite imasu.

mado ga aite imasu.


When use "kono&sono&ano,"ga"changed to "wa".right????

isu ga kowarete iru.

kono isu wa kowarete iru.

JapanesePod101.com Verified
May 22nd, 2013 at 05:33 PM
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??? :roll:

"yabureru" IS used for paper. I wrote "paper thin", not "paper".

"paper thin" means "super thin".


Team JapanesePod101.com