Transitivity VIII

第280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.


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.

1. 試合しあいけました。
I lost (in) the match.

2. 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.

3. 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!

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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?  

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. フグに{当たったら・中ったら}、首からしたつちめろ。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.

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. 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.

16. 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.

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

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

19. 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 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.

20. 座布団ざぶとんててください。
Please sit on the floor cushion.

21. 和語わご漢字かんじてる。
To attach Kanji to native Japanese words.

22. 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.

23. 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.

24. 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.

25. 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.

26. 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.”

27. 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.

28. 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?

29. 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.

30. 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.

31. 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.

32. 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.

33. 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.

34. 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.

35. 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.

36. 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?

37. 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?

38. 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?

39. 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.

40. 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).