Monday, April 18, 2005

Today in Japanese we went over transitive and intransitive verbs. I find it amusing how the book tries to make it seem so difficult and daunting to get a grasp on what the main difference is between the two. Perhaps knowing English fairly well like I do, I didn't find it as difficult as others may have.

It was amsuing mainly because the book listed off roughly 50 verbs and said that the ones in Column A were transitive and the ones in Column B were intransitive. And they didn't say why they were that way. Needless to say, some people were confused. I guess English is by far the hardest language to learn, especially when we apply our grammatical structures to other languages as a means to understand them.

In case you're wondering what the difference is between the two types of verbs, transitive means that it requires a direct object. It requires someone or something to act for it. Intransitive means that it does the action on its own.

An Example:

Watashi wa suna no shiro o tatemashita.
I built a sand castle. (Transitive)

Suna no shiro wa tachimashita.
A sand castle was built. (Intransitive)

In Japanese, the particle "wo" or, more commonly, "o" marks a direct object. In English, we don't have a paticle to mark direct objects. So, in the first sentence, "suna no shiro" is the direct object because the "o" follows it. It is what is being acted upon, or in the case of this sentence, it is what is being built.

There's your Japanese lesson for the day.


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