Commonly Confused Words: 閉まる and 閉める
I’d say when you study Japanese, there are a lot of confusing words. Let me introduce one of the commonly confused words which are 閉まる and 閉める that has been quite often used in daily conversation and you would be using 閉まる and 閉める from today!
閉まる is an intransitive verb, unlike 閉める. Thus, The subjects are not people which are things such as ドア(doors), 学校(schools), 窓 (windows), ふた(lids), 店(stores), 図書館 (the libraries) and so on. The basic way to use it is “___(things)が閉まる” (___ is closed.).
閉める is a transitive verb, unlike 閉まる. Thus, the subjects should be people, so the way to use it is “___(people)が___(things)を閉める’___(people) close ___(things)'”. For instance, ドア(doors), 窓(windows), ふた(lids), 店(stores), 本 (books) etc. 閉める and 閉じる are quite different. 閉じる means “to make it back to the original” such as eyes, mouth, legs, umbrellas, books and so on. 閉める means “to fill the gaps” such as doors, windows, lids, shutters and etc. Furthermore, the difference between 閉じる and 閉める is that basically 閉じる is used for things which are pretty small and 閉める is not used for things which are small.