Difference between 止(と)まる and 止(や)む [JLPT grammar]

What is “to stop” in Japanese?

Did you answer 止(と)まる/止(と)める?

Yes, that is correct, but do you know that sometimes we use 止(や)む?


[Unnatural sentence]




-It started raining earlier but stopped soon.


Can you find a mistake?



[Sensei’s correction]





止まりました→ ◎止みました

(The rain) stopped.





What’s the difference between 止む and 止まる?



自然(しぜん)にストップするもの Things that stop naturally


風(かぜ wind)が止む

雪(ゆき snow)が止む

雷(かみなり thunder, lightning)が止む



自然(しぜん)にストップしないもの Things that don’t stop naturally


車(くるま car)が止まる

人の動き(うごき movements of people)が止まる

時計(とけい clock)が止まる


止む is often used for natural phenomena as well as for acts of willlessness.

For example, 赤(あか)ちゃんが泣(な)き止む(The baby stops crying) is used mainly for babies and very small children, so it is considered that there is no strong will there.



Did my explanation enhance your understanding?


止(や)む is an N4-N3 word.

Even if you are more advanced, you have strengthened your Japanese by reviewing it in my video.

Beginner you, you’ve learned a new difficult word today!😊


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