Transitive - Intransitive Verbs - Grammar Discussion

Done through action vs. occuring on its own.

とす ・落 ちる → To drop・To fall
ける ・つ → To attach・To be attached

Transitive verbs are verbs that should be used with を (direct object marker), which indicates the object with which the verb “operates”
[“I drop the battery” - the operation is “dropping” and the object of the operation is “battery”. “I attach a ribbon.”]

Intransitive verbs do not need an object (marked by を) and describe the action someone/something is subjected to (without an agent)
[“The battery falls (by itself).” or “The ribbon is attached.”]

[There are some exceptions.]

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Hi, I have a question about this question:

Would this not be more accurately translated using the passive tense? If using as an intransitive verb, shouldn’t there be the absence of an object doing the action (i.e., the police)? So to be more accurate, the sentence should be expressed as, “the thief was caught”?

Hoping someone can set me straight. Thanks!


Hey and sorry for the late answer :bowing_man:

You are right! The sentence has been fixed!

Thank you for the feedback, and we are really sorry for the inconvenience :bowing_man:


No worries! Thanks for letting me know!


How are you supposed to know which is intransitive/transitive, and how do you make intransitive/transitive verbs? Just curious…


There’s a bit of helpful info here – don’t have to watch the video (which many find off-putting) as the article has some pretty good concise tips.

I also struggle with transitive and intransitive pairing but I figure it’s something that will probably become more natural as I consume more material. Is learning via osmosis a great study plan? Not sure but here I am praying that it is :pray:



I’ve recently added the “Transitive - Intransitive Verbs” grammar point to my reviews, and I’m constantly failing this point because of how these questions work: I’m expected to already know the “other” verb already.

Most tips I’ve seen around the internet about guessing which verb transitive and which is intransitive, are based on seeing both together…it’s harder to guess based on a single verb.

So in the reviews for this grammar point, if I don’t already know the other verb then I usually fail – even though I do generally understand how to use transitive and intransitive verbs, and I can sometimes recognise which is which if I see the two together.

What is the best way to go about making proper progress on this grammar point? It is something I would like to work on, but it just doesn’t feel helpful in its current state.
I’ve seen a couple other threads on this forum on the same topic without a lot of input…