Grammar Info
N4 Lesson 1: 16/18

他動詞(たどうし)・自動詞(じどうし)
Done through action vs. occurring on its own

する and なる can also be thought of as a transitive-intransitive pair

Structure
Casual
Formal
Transitive・Intransitive

とすちる
To drop・To fall

ける
To attach・To be attached

見つける見つかる
To find・To be found

げるがる
To lower・To be lowered
Transitive・Intransitive

としますちます
To drop・To fall

けますきます
To attach・To be attached

見つけます見つかります
To find・To be found

げますがります
To lower・To be lowered
Details
Register Standard
使用域 一般
Information
The two most fundamental divisions that can be made with Japanese verbs are 他動詞(たどうし) (transitive verbs - the subject is moving/acting upon something else), and 自動詞(じどうし) (intransitive verbs - the subject themself is moving/acting). Sometimes these terms are simplified even further to ‘other-move’ (transitive), and ‘self-move’ (intransitive).
Basically, this is the difference between verbs that require an object marked with (transitive verbs), and those that only require , to show that the subject itself is moving (intransitive).
In Japanese, there are many transitive/intransitive pairs of verbs, and these will need to be memorized.
  • ローソク消(け)
    To put out a candle.
  • 風(かぜ)ローソク消(き)え
    For a candle to be put out by the wind.
  • 木(き)からバナナ​​落(お)ち
    The banana fell from the tree.
  • 木(き)からバナナ落(お)と
    To drop a banana from a tree.
Fun Fact
In Japanese, the two ways in which all verbs can be described are 動作(どうさ) (an act/motion), and 作用(さよう) (an act/motion upon something).
Fun Fact
Although they are not traditionally grouped this way, する and なる may also be thought of as a transitive/intransitive pair. This is due to always implying that something is being controlled (acted upon), while なる always implies that something happens on its own, or cannot be controlled.
  • 来年(らいねん)からアメリカ住(す)むことにした
    From next year I am going to live in America. (I have decided to live in America starting next year)
  • 来年(らいねん)からアメリカ住(す)むことになる
    From next year I am going to live in America. (I will be living in America starting next year due to work/school/family matters beyond my direct control)
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試合(しあい)始(はじ)め試合(しあい)始(はじ)まった
I started the match • The match started.
[transitive・intransitive]
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忘(わす)れ物(もの)見(み)つけ・忘(わす)れ物(もの)見(み)つかった
I found the lost item • The lost item was found.
[transitive・intransitive]
Play  
虫(むし)集(あつ)め・虫(むし)集(あつ)まった
I gathered bugs. The bugs gathered.
[transitive・intransitive]
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Books
[DBJG] A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
Page 6 & 12
Genki II 1st Edition
Page 116
Genki II 2nd Edition
Page 144
Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Guide
Page 62