分かる

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Japanese[edit]

Kanji in this term

Grade: 2
kun’yomi

Etymology[edit]

From Old Japanese. Derived as the passive or intransitive conjugation of Old Japanese root verb 分く (waku, to separate, to break into pieces; to be separable or distinguishable). Compare ()ける (wakeru).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • Tokyo pitch accent of conjugated forms of "分かる"
Source: Online Japanese Accent Dictionary
Stem forms
Terminal (終止形)
Attributive (連体形)
分かる [wàkáꜜrù]
Imperative (命令形) 分かれ [wàkáꜜrè]
Key constructions
Passive 分かられる かられ [wàkáráréꜜrù]
Causative 分からせる からせ [wàkáráséꜜrù]
Potential - - -
Volitional 分かろう かろ [wàkáróꜜò]
Negative 分からない からない [wàkáráꜜnàì]
Negative perfective 分からなかった からなかった [wàkáráꜜnàkàttà]
Formal 分かります かりま [wàkárímáꜜsù]
Perfective 分かった った [wàkáꜜttà]
Conjunctive 分かって って [wàkáꜜttè]
Hypothetical conditional 分かれば れば [wàkáꜜrèbà]

Verb[edit]

()かる (wakaruintransitive godan (stem ()かり (wakari), past ()かった (wakatta))

  1. 分かる, 解る: (......~) to understand, to be understandable
    はいわかりました
    Hai, wakarimashita.
    Yes. I understood.
  2. 分かる: to tell (one thing from another), to distinguish
  3. 分かる, 判る: to recognize, to realize
    わかった
    Wakatta!
    I've got it! / I know!
  4. 分かる: to become known, to turn out

Usage notes[edit]

The Japanese verb wakaru is most often glossed as to understand. However, wakaru is intransitive, and it takes the thing that is understood, distinguished, or recognized as the subject (usually marked by particle (ga)), and not the object (usually marked by particle (o)). Strictly speaking, wakaru is thus closer to English to be understandable, as the verb wakaru describes the thing itself, unlike English to understand, which describes the action of the person doing the understanding, distinguishing, or recognizing.

Wakaru can take an agent (what would be the subject of the English verb to understand) marked by the particle (ni).

  • 分かる (incorrect, ❌)
  • 分かる (correct, ✔)
  • 複雑(ふくざつ)でも、((わたし))この事情(じじょう)()かる
    Fukuzatsu de mo, (watashi ni) kono jijō ga wakaru.
    Although it's complicated, this situation is understandable (to me).

Compare the difference in usage of transitive verb 知る (shiru, to know).

Conjugation[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1998, NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 (NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: NHK, →ISBN
  2. ^ 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN