Verb Course

Admin bar avatar
JLPT Basic, JLPT Course
  • 15 lessons
  • 0 quizzes
  • 96 week duration

Verb Course

Transitive Verb & Intransitive Verb

In this lesson, I will teach you Intransitive Verb(どう) and Transitive Verb(どう) in Japanese.

What are どう and どう

どう is just like intransitive verb in English.
A verb that does not require a direct object is an “Intransitive verb”.
The action or state identified by an intransitive verb relates only to the subject of a sentence.

どう emphasizes the state and doesn’t need a direct object. Besides, when we use どう, the listener will only know something happened, but he/she won’t know what caused this happen.
どう is just like transitive verb in English.
A verb that requires a direct object is a “Transitive verb”.
It usually expresses an action in which the activity is directed towards someone or something, as indicated by a direct object. Transitive verbs take subjects, and direct objects (receiver of the action marked by the particle を).

どう emphasizes the action and needs a direct object. Besides, When we use どう, the listener will not only know something happened, but he/she will know what caused this happen. (If the subject is eliminated, then the subject will be the speaker.)
Please look at the example below.

The fire has been put out.

I have put out the fire.

In the first example, we don’t know who put out the fire, maybe it’s been put out by the speaker, maybe it’s because of the wind.
But in the second example, we know that it’s the speaker who put out the fire.

How can I know a verb is a どう or どう?

There isn’t a rule you can use directly.
But I will help you by grouping the verbs.
There are four groups.

どう only. (there isn’t another verb with the same kanji to act like a どう)いる(there is..)
く(to bloom)
く(to go)
る(to come)
る(to go to sleep)
く(to cry)
ねむる(to sleep)
どう only.(there isn’t another verb with the same kanji to act like a どう)う(to buy)
る(to sell)
はなす(to talk)
く(to ask, to listen)
む(to read)
く(to write)
る(to see)
つ(to hit)
おもう(to think)
どう(can be used as bothどう and どうく(to blow)
ひらく(to open)
わらう(to laugh)
す(to increase)
じる(to close)
どうペア(a pair that has the same kanji can be used as どう and どう(1)all verbs that has す in the end is どう. and the verb with the same kanji but has る in the end is どう.
(2)most of the type-two verbs (aka ichidan verb) are どう. and the type-one (aka godan verb) verbs with the same kanji are どう.
(3)most of the type-two verbs that has れる in the end are どう(exception is れる, which is a どう). and the type-one verbs with the same kanji are どう.
(4)verbs(has む、める in the end) that the kanji can be used as an adjective are often どう.

How can I make sentences using どう and どう

If you want to know the difference between は and が, here is a lesson to help you.

Subject + は/が + Verb.
The bell rang.

He died.

She is crying.

The game started.
Subject + は/が + Object + を + Verb.
I’m listening to music.

He watched the movie.

She is reading the book.

I opened the door.

8 thoughts on “Transitive Verb & Intransitive Verb

  1. So が is used for inanimate nouns while は for animate nouns?


    1. Admin bar avatar

      It has nothing to do with inanimate and animate, you can find the lesson about は and が here.


  2. can you explain to me the difference in ending between い て る and で い る like the words 聴 い て る and 読 ん で い る at the end of a sentence plz?

    sorry if my English is bad


    1. Admin bar avatar

      You should learn the Te Form lesson. 聴く⇨聴いて、読む⇨読んで


  3. If 開く is あく or ひらく, how can I know which one to use?

    開く can be transitive/intransitive. When it’ll be used as Transitive, how does it differ to 開ける?

    I searched for sentences which use 笑う as transitive, but I found none sensei.

    Thank you in advance if anyone answers this! It’s just confusing to me.


    1. Admin bar avatar



  4. so i need to learn by heart all the word in this lesson to use it, right?


    1. Admin bar avatar

      You don’t have to, but remembering them will be better!


Leave a Reply