“tōru” vs. “wataru”：Which Do We Use in Crossing A Bridge?
What is the difference between “通る(tōru) and 渡る(wataru)”? Which do you use in crossing a bridge? After reading this, you would be answering this question. Let me introduce what their subtle differences are and how you correctly use them such as native speakers today!
Pass, Walk, Go (Though) / 通过 / 통과하다 / Vượt qua, đi qua
“通る(tōru)” means “Pass/Walk/Go (Though)” and which has been used as the meaning of “to move in a specified direction.” The basic way to use it is “私は___を通る。(I pass ___.)”, etc. For instance, “私はここを通る。(I pass here.)”, etc. The tips for using it are that basically “通る” is used not only for people, animals but things are also used such as “車が通る (A car passes.)”. And it is used as the meaning of “People/Animal/Things Pass/Walk/Go (Though)”. Everybody could use this in daily conversations and business situations as formal such as “私はここを通るよ。(I pass here.)” as casual and “私はここを通ります。(I pass here.)” as formal and used as the polite way.
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通れる？ (Can you pass though?) (你能通过吗？) (지나갈 수 있어?) (Có thể đi qua được không?) (tōreru?)
ここ通ってきたの？ (You passed/walked through here?!) (你路过这里来的吗？) (여길 통해서 왔어?) (Bạn đã đi qua chỗ này để đến à?) (koko tōtte kita no?)
後ろ通るね。 (Behind you.) (我要从你背后通过哦。) (뒤쪽으로 지나갈게.) (Tôi đi qua phía sau bạn đấy nhé.) (ushiro tōru ne.)
さっきパトカーが通ったよ。 (A police car passed through a while ago.) (刚才有辆警车经过。) (아까 경찰차가 지나갔어.) (Lúc nãy một chiếc xe cảnh sát vừa đi ngang qua đấy.) (sakki patokā ga tōtta yo.)
Cross, Go across / 渡过 / 지나가다 / Đi qua
“渡る(wataru)” means “Cross / Go across” and which has been used as the meaning of “to go or stretch from one side of something such as a road, river, room, etc to the other” The basic way to use it is “私は___を渡る。(I cross/go across ___.)”, etc. For instance, “私は川を渡る。(I cross/go across a river.)”, etc. The tips for using it are that “渡る” is used for “RIVER, ROAD, FOOTBRIDGE, etc.” which we can GO FROM ONE SIDE to THE OTHER” and it includes the meaning of “通る”. So, we can say “私は歩道橋を渡る。(I cross/go across a footbridge.)” and “私は歩道橋を通る。(I walk through a footbridge.)”. Although we could imagine about “私は歩道橋を渡る。(I cross/go across a footbridge.)” which has the END OF THE FOOTBRIDGE, “私は歩道橋を通る。(I walk through a footbridge.)” is JUST “to WALK THE FOOTBRIEDE”. Everybody could use this in daily conversations and business situations as formal such as “私は歩道橋を渡るよ。(I cross/go across a footbridge.)” as casual and “私は歩道橋を渡ります。(I cross/go across a footbridge.)” as formal and used as the polite way.
横断歩道を渡る前は気をつけてね！ (Be careful before crossing the crosswalk.) (穿越人行道前要小心！) (횡단 보도를 건너기 전엔 조심해야해!) (Hãy cẩn thận trước khi băng qua đường dành cho người đi bộ nhé.) (ōdan hodō wo wataru mae wa kiwotsukete ne!)
この川渡ってきたの？ (You crossed this river?!) (你穿越这条河过来的吗？) (이 강을 건너왔어?) (Bạn đã băng qua con sông này à?) (kono kawa watatte kita no?)
この橋を渡ってね！ (Go across this bridge!) (请渡过这座桥！) (이 다리를 건너와!) (Hãy băng qua cây cầu này nhé.) (kono hashi wo watatte ne!)
道を渡るときは手を上げてね！ (Raise your hand when you cross the street!) (穿越马路时要举起手哦！) (길을 건널 때는 손을 들어줘야해!) (Khi bạn băng qua đường hãy giơ tay lên cao nha!) (michi wo wataru toki wa te wo agete ne!)
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