Transitive vs. Intransitive Verbs
  • Are there any free online Japanese-Japanese dictionaries that indicate if a verb or "suru" noun is transitive and intransitive, or is the 明鏡国語辞典 pretty much the only option?
  • So I'm gathering the answer is "no" to my question?
  • Japanese wikipedia says there are quite a few 能格動詞 suru verbs (e.g. verbs that take both transitive and intransitive meanings), as well as a few non-suru verbs. I think these are terms which have been brought in from English, not terms that were historically used to distinguish verbs in Japanese.

    大辞林 has a note that says:
    しかし、日本語では、目的語の表示が必ずしも明らかでなく、また、目的語をとらない「泣く」が「子供に泣かれる」のように受け身に使われたりして、自動詞と他動詞の区別を明確にしにくい面がある
    (so presumably they don't list the transitivity because they feel it is not something for which a clear distinction can always be made).

    I don't really understand the need, at any rate. Surely any dictionary gives you enough examples of how the verb is used; what is the additional information that "transitive" "intransitive" supplies?

    大辞林 does also mention the other half of verb pairs where appropriate, which is useful information. e.g. if you look up とめる it doesn't specify transitivity in the header, but it does say at the bottom:
    〔補説〕 「とまる」に対する他動詞
    (and a similar note in the entry for とまる, and the same for pairs like かかる・かける, etc)

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