V + 合う ( = au )

「Alex 今日もイケてるね。」

= Alex kyou mo iketerune.

= You are cool as always Alex!


= Necla mo itsumo kawaiiyo!

= You are always cute, too, Necla!

Hi Everyone!
Today’s guest teachers are these beautiful budgies, Necla-Sensei and Alex-Sensei
The one with the blue beak is Alex-Sensei, he is one-year old. He is very shy and follows Necla-Sensei  wherever she goes.

They’re a cute couple, aren’t they?


= Naka ga ii desune.


= Konnichiwa, minasan!

= Hello everybody!


= Alex to Necla desu.

= We are Alex and Necla.

What? You think we’re beautiful?

Thank you!!! But we are very aware of our beauty. :wink:

Actually we praise each other, 褒め合う=ほめ合う=  homeau,  all the time.

So today we will give you a mini lesson on:

⭐️How to use verb + 合う(=au)

The verb 合う(=au) itself has a meaning such as to fit, to match, to be correct, etc. but today we will just focus on the verb + 合う form.


!star! How to form:

*verb plain form

褒める= homeru = to praise / to give a compliment


1) make ます(=masu) form

 :rrrr: 褒めます=ほめます= homemasu

2) delete ます(= masu) and add 合う(= au)

 :rrrr: 褒め合う= ほめ合う(= homeau) = to praise each other, to give a compliment each other.

Note: When you use verb + 合う(= au), you often use the word,

:rrrr:お互い(に)(= otagai (ni)), each other, one another

Ex. お互いに褒め合う

= Otagai ni homeau.

= to praise each other

Ex. AlexとNeclaは、お互いに褒め合っている。

= Alex to Necla wa otagai ni homeatte iru.

= Alex and Necla are praising each other.

⭐️ When to use:

When two people/parties do something to each other/ interact with each other or do something together.


*話す= hanasu = to talk

 :rrrr: 話し合う= hanashiau = to talk each other,to discuss

Ex.  この件に関しては二人でよく話し合って下さい。

= Kono ken ni kanshitewa futari de yoku hanashiatte kudasai.

= You two should really talk this matter over.

*見つめる= mitsumeru = to stare/ to look at ~

:rrrr: 見つめ合う= mitsumeau = to look at each other

Ex. 彼等はずっと見つめ合ったままだった。

= Karera wa zutto mitsumeatta mama datta.

= They kept looking at each other for a long time.

*分つ = wakatsu = to share (literal)

 :rrrr: 分かち合う= wakachiau

Ex. この幸せを誰かと分かち合いたい。

= Kono shiawase wo darekato wakachiaitai.

= I would like to share this happiness with someone.

*助ける =tasukeru = to help

 :rrrr: 助け合う= tasukeau = to help each other

Ex. 困った時はお互い助け合わなければいけません。

= Komatta toki wa otagai tasukeawanakereba ikemasen.

= When we are in trouble, we have to help each other.

*愛する(=aisuru) = to love

 :rrrr: 愛し合う(=aishiau) to love each other

Ex. 愛し合っていれば人生どんなことも乗り越えられる。

= Aichiatte ireba  jinsei donna koto mo norikoerareru.

= If you love each other, you can overcome any of life’s problems.

*励ます= hagemasu = to encourage

 :rrrr: 励まし合う= hagemashiau = to encourage each other

Ex. 私達はお互いに励まし合った

= Watashitachi wa otagai ni hagemashitatta.

= We encouraged each other.

2) When you do something with other people, to do something together.

*喜ぶ = yorokobu = to be pleased

:rrrr: 喜び合う= yorokobi au = to share one’s joy with someone

Ex. いい知らせを聞いて皆で喜び合った

= Iishirase wo kiite mina de yorokobi atta.

= We all got excited about the news. (sharing the joy)


You can also say

Ex. 喜びを分かち合う

= Yorokobi wo wakachi au.

= to share the joy

*話す= hanasu = to talk

 :rrrr: 話し合う= hanashiau = to talk to each other, to discuss

Ex. クラスで文化祭について話し合った

= Kurasu de bunkasai ni tsuite hanashiatta.

= We talked about the school cultural festival in the class.


OK we will give you a few more example sentences.

Ex. 皆でお金を出し合ってマギー先生に豪華なプレゼントを買った。

= Mina de okane wo dashiatte Maggie sensei ni gouka purezento wo katta.

= We all pitched in and bought a luxurious present for Maggie Sensei.

(🐶 From Maggie: Oh… you guys…..Really?? You didn’t have to do that. 

But just out of curiosity what did you get for me?? )

Ex. カナダに帰ってからも連絡を取り合おうね。

= Kanada ni kaette kara mo renraku wo toriaou ne.

= Let’s keep in touch after you (or I) go back to Canada.

Ex. お二人はどこで知り合ったのですか?

= Ofutari wa doko de shiriatta no desu ka?

= Where did you two know each other?

Ex. 子供達はゲームを取り合って喧嘩ばかりしている。

= Kodomotachi wa geimu wo toriatte kenka bakari shiteiru.

= The children always fight over a game.

Ex.  お互いのことを理解し合おうという努力が大切です。

= Otagai no koto wo rikai shiaou toiu doryoku ga taisetsu desu.

= It is important to try to understand each other.

maggie-senseiマギー先生より= Maggie Sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei


=Necla-Sensei,  Alex-Sensei, arigatou!

=Thank you Necla-Sensei and Alex-Sensei!


= Korekara mo gesuto sensei to kyouryoku shiatte ippai tanoshii ressun wo tsukurimasune.

= We will work together with guest teachers and make a lot of fun lessons.


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  1. Hi Maggie,

    I was just curious with the other usage of 合う which means “to fit/suit”, what is the difference between 「合う」and「向く」?

    – この仕事は彼女に向いています。

    – この仕事は彼女に合っています。

    Also, I’d like to ask as well, does 「合う」or “fit” also refer to size? Like if “I think those shoes will fit your foot”


    1. Hi JP Archilla
      – この仕事は彼女に向いています。

      – この仕事は彼女に合っています。
      There is not much difference and they are interchangeable in conversation but I think it is similar to the difference between “suitable”and “to be suited”.
      向いています to be suitable for ~ 合っています to suit ~to

      Yes, you can use it to refer to size.

  2. Hi Maggie,

    I found this sentence and wondered if the pattern relates to verb + 合う, but I’m not sure:


    I think it’s saying something like “can you not just meet up with each other?”

    I’ve not seen verb + だけ + て-verb before…

    Many thanks!

    1. Hi Peter,

      First 合う and 会う are different verbs.
      合う= to fit V+ 合う = to do something each other
      会う = to meet / to see someone

      (くれぬ is a literal expression which means “くれない” in modern Japanese.)
      The grammar pattern here is
      VだけVて = at least doing something

      会うだけ会ってくれない? (くれぬか)
      means “Can you at least meet/see (* someone/me)” ?

      *Depends on the context.

      1. That’s great, thanks so much!

        I had a feeling 会う probably wasn’t related to 合う, but glad I checked as I now understand the VだけVて pattern :)

  3. I have understood this use of au but it is something that i can’t understeand at all ,the diference between に合う and 似合う.

  4. It’s a relief to know -au doesn’t have any weird conjugations; just a compound verb like ugokihajimeru and others, I assume. Whew!
    Okay, so using “phrase” + toki when I want to speak about a certain occurrence is better in this case- “phrase” + koto ga aru is a bit long, and “phrase” + no is more explanatory, and “phrase” + nara is referring to something that happens after so that doesn’t work either… And teineigo definitely makes more sense by shortening the sentence.
    Thank you sensei!

  5. Konbanwa Maggie Sensei,
    Kono kotoba au wa, teinei gokei ga nandesuka? Tatoeba, hanasu ga hanashiau wo nattanara, teinei wo imasutai to hanashiaimasu itte mo ii desuka?
    Eigo de,
    Good evening Sensei,
    About au, what is it’s polite form? For example, after hanasu becomes hanashiau if I want to be polite, should I say hanashiaimasu?
    Also, if anything I say in Japanese has incorrect grammar or something, please correct me! ^^ I really need to get better I think…
    Arigato gozaimasu!!! !Anapple! !greenapple!  !greenapple! 

    1. @Shiani

      Hi Shiani

      Yes, the masu form of 合う(= au) is 合います(= aimasu)
      話し合う(=hanashiau) →話し合います ( = hanashiaimasu)


      OK, let me help your Japanese.

      Tatoeba, hanasu ga hanashiau wo nattanara, teinei wo imasutai to hanashiaimasu itte mo ii desuka?

      →There are a few ways to say this but how about
      Tatoeba, hanasu ga hanashiau ni nattatoki teineigo wa hanashiaimasu de ii desu ka?

  6. hi 先生! :grin: :grin:
    can you please tell me/explain about しては or してから or something like that because i see it quite often and i also saw my japanese friend using it too.
    thank you!! ^^

    1. @yzr

      してから to have done something (and do something else)./ (To do something) after doing something

      = Shukudai wo shite kara dekakeru.
      = to go out after finishing one’s homework.

      = Tabete kara nemasu.
      = I will go to bed after I eat.

      しては is usually used to describe repeated actions.

      = Tabete wa neru.
      = You eat and sleep (and eat and sleep)

      = Warui koto wo yatte wa okorareru
      = To do something bad and to get scolded. (We can assume that this actions has been repeated.)

      1. oh and some people say 決めるか or 行くか(any verb+か) instead 決めようか or 行こうか。example like バイト決めるか or 学校いくか。is there a slight difference in meaning/context? ^^

        and how to say “it was (so) embarassing”, “i was so embarassed”,”i am/he/she is so embarassing”, “you/he embarassed me” or something like that because something embarassing happened? :D

        1. @yzr

          That kind of か is a male speech and kind of rough and ようか is much more polite.


          “it was (so) embarassing”, それは(とても)恥ずかしいことでした/ことだった (= Sore wa (totemo) hazukashii koto deshita/kotodatta)
          “i was so embarassed”, (私は)とても恥ずかしかった。/恥ずかしかったです。(=(watashi wa) totemo hazukashikatta/ hazukashikatta desu.
          i am/he/she is so embarassing”, ~はとても恥ずかしい人だ。/人です。= ~ wa totemo hazukashii hitoda/ hitodesu.
          you/he embarassed me ~は私に恥ずかしい思いをさせた/させました。= ~ wa watashi ni hazukashii omoi wo saseta/ sasemashita.

          1. Hi Maggie!
            Hmmm as for “you/he embarrassed me” how about => …は私を恥ずかしくさせた
            I know it sounds a bit strange, but maybe it’s OK (/natural). How do you think, Maggie?

          2. @天人

            彼は私を恥ずかしくさせた….It is possible and some people say that but not natural.
            あなた/彼に恥ずかしい思いをさせられた is more natural.

            Also in conversation, we just say


  7. Thanks for the lesson, however, I am still having this question in my mind. From all the literal meanings of 合う, which one conveys the sense of mutuality or doing something together when attached to the stem or a verb?

    I mean there must be a reason why 合う is used here to convey this meaning and it must necessarily be connected to one of its literal meanings.


    1. @Hakken

      I think it depends on the action but basically,
      A does something for B (action towards B)
      B does something for A (action towards A)

      A and B do something each other. (mutual)

      Ex. 愛し合う, 助け合う

      A does something for C or A and B.
      B does something for C or A and B.

      A and B do something together for C or themselves.

      Ex. お金を出し合う。

  8. boucingheart! This site is amazing…first lesson I’ve read from it (literally just heard of your website today. Thanks for all the hard work in putting this stuff together, and also for replying to people who post. That’s really nice of you to answer questions like that.

    1. @David

      Welcome to maggiesensei.com!
      I’m glad you found us! There are many lessons here. Hope you learn something here. :)

  9. konbanwa, Maggie-sensei

    it’s unrelated question again sensei :oops:

    sensei in これ一冊で試験範囲はバッチリ!, what is 試験範囲 mean?

    1. @just a novel lover’s

      You can post unrelated question on Maggie’s room so that other people can also learn from your question. :)
      試験範囲= exam coverage

  10. Dear Maggie, could you tell me please how to reask in Japanese, like “how did you say was “..the word.” in Japanese?”. Thanks!!

    1. @Eva

      Hello Eva!
      I am not sure if I understand your question but you want to say how to ask
      “What did you just say?” If so, 今、何て言いましたか?= Ima nante iimashita ka?
      “What was the word for “a car” in Japanese?” = “car”は日本語で何ていいましたか?= “Car” wa nihongo de nante iimashita ka? (more casual “car”は日本語で何て言ったけ?= Car wa nihongo de nante ittakke?”

  11. Konbanwa Maggie-sensei ^^

    can I ask something not related to the lesson?

    in this sentence 入学式は教頭の演説のみで終わり、すぐに自分の教室に移動。 what the meaning of this words sensei のみで?

    1. @just a novel lover’s

      Hello. のみ means “just” + で with
      So the literal meaning is
      The entrance ceremony ended just with the vice principal’s speech

  12. このレッスンはとても役に立って、いろいろな面白い語彙を勉強になりました。

    1. @教子

      (Note for you : 語彙を勉強になりました→語彙が〜)

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