Today’s Question

What’s the difference between the following two?
a. 進路(しんろ)について話(はな)しました。
b. 進路(しんろ)について話(はな)し合(あ)いました。

Today’s Grammar Point: ~合(あ)う


[selected verb stem] + 合(あ)う


2 or more parties do the same thing
to do something with each other


I discussed with my parents about my future after leaving school.

You must not separate the two who love each other.

My husband and I always help each other.

My husband and I consult with each other on everything.

Those two don’t get on. They are always clashing with each other.

John is going out with Emily.

The bus was rather full.

All of us compared our marks with each other.

While we were trying to give a seat to each other on a train, somebody else came and sat there.


You cannot use ~合う with verbs which require 2 parties to start its action at the same time, such as 結婚(けっこん)する(to marry) and 試合(しあい)する (to play a match with…).

Also, ~合う cannot be used unless the two or more parties are equally involved in the action.

Mother and daughter cried for a while hugging each other.
Mother and the baby cried for a while hugging each other.
The mother cried while holding her baby tight.

Answer to Today’s Question.

a. 進路(しんろ)について話(はな)しました sounds like there was not much discussion while b. 進路(しんろ)について話(はな)し合(あ)いました sounds like both sides exchanged their view and had a reasonable discussion.

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