The 3 Kings Of Japanese Verbs — 12 Comments

  1. I see all 3 of these used so often it blows my mind. I can’t wait until I have mastered them so I can look cool as well (I’m so jealous of those who can use these like a native).

  2. for the cards that have a principle definition and then corresponding sub definitions on each e.g. a i u e…. do you only include the sub definitions or should the original overarching definition be included as well on each of them.
    If you only leave the sub definitions on the card, do I need to make an individual card for the principle definition. Normally it doesn’t come with an example sentence which makes that even more annoying. Or if you learn the 5 nuances you don’t really need to learn the principle one separately?

    it’s words like these that make studying Japanese difficult. I always have difficulties discussing these things in English because I’ve never learnt ‘transitive/intransitive or any of those other English defitions for Japanese concepts really (except in the J-E phase a little bit). For me another one would be
    切る。。。 that word drives me wild. I guess it would be helpful to just go through and add a card for each definition. I think I have cards for all of these words, for at least one of their definitions. Not even close to all of them though, plus it’s a fast way to make cards :P

    • Interestingly. The supa daijirin (built in mac osx and iOS dictionary) lists each definition on 出す as an individual entry. Whereas tends to group them. Only for definition number 1 do they have a ‘parent definition’. I decided to include the parent definition on each card, as it’s easier to delete information later than add it.
      Comparing that with sanseido it’s pretty clear that dictionaries are all very different.

    • If an overarching definition also has a sample sentence, I used to include that as well (but if it doesn’t don’t worry).

      If you learn all the sub definitions without a sentence entry for the principal definition you’ll be fine. Searching for a principal definition sentence will often be fruitless as it will most likely fall under one of the sub definitions.

      切る is a good one also!

      And yes it’s words like these that make Japanese difficult, but also so rich and rewarding. I forgot what word it is but in English we have the same thing with 100s of uses for one word.

  3. A one-stop-shop for all your compound verb needs:

    Example sentences, definitions, language options, entries not in major dictionaries…

    • Another good one! And one that also feels like it blends together with the meanings of かける and つける.

  4. What’s interesting about these (and others that have been brought up in comments like 張る、切る、回る…) is that their logic is really similar to English “Phrasal Verbs”.

    For example, think about how 言う compares to 言い出す, and how “speak” compares to “speak up” or “speak out”.

    Much like English, their meaning tends to be idiomatic, so it can be really hard to wrap your head around them even with a dictionary definition. I think the best thing you can do is try to get a tenuous grasp on their meaning through direct study, then just go out into the world of immersion and soak in them until they start to feel natural =)

    • I agree. Going through these definitions is only a start. Real world experience is how you will really gain control of them.

      Phrasal verbs are where native Japanese have a lot of difficulty in learning English, so it is only fair that we must suffer too (笑)

  5. has anyone got a resource with a list of all these power verbs? I’ve encountered plenty naturally, but I’d like to knock them all out of the park at once if anyone knows of a comprehensive resource.

    Also, special thanks to Kreeb. That compound verb website is absolutely incredible. Heaps of things that aren’t on goo dictionary with simple example sentences and explanations, absolute life saver! Thank you. Have been able to branch so many words that I had to ignore previously.

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