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Grammar detail: こむ/込む compound verbs

こむ/込む compound verbs
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む is a verb which has several useful meanings on its own - for example, it can mean 'to go / put into'; it can also mean 'to be crowded / packed'. It is very commonly added to other verbs to evoke these meanings in addition to the original meaning of the verb.
In fact, 込む is the most verb used in this way to make 'compound verbs' - there are 255! The general rule of thumb is that 込む can be added to almost any verb to 'deepen' or 'strengthen' its intent.
Here's an example of the first type of meaning:
む (rush into)
かれ
コート
まま
へや
部屋
んできました

He rushed into the room with his coat on.
Here's an example of the second:
ねむ
む (fall deeply asleep)
らない
うち
かり
つけたまま
ねむ
りこんでしまった

Without realizing, I had fallen asleep with the light left on.
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See also:

Words used in this grammar

1
'mu' godan verb, intransitive verb
1. to be crowded; to be packed
2. to be complex  (see also: 手の込んだ)
(click the word to view an additional 3 meanings and 4 forms, examples and links)
0
Most common form: かけこむ
'mu' godan verb, intransitive verb
to rush in (at the last minute); to stampede
(click the word to view an additional 6 forms, examples and links)
4
Most common form: 眠りこむ
'mu' godan verb, intransitive verb
to fall asleep; to sleep deeply
(click the word to view an additional 1 form, examples and links)

Kanji used in this grammar

crowded   こ to be crowded   こめる to load; to include   
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ク   かける to gallop, run   か to drive, to spur on   
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ミン   ねむ to sleep   ねむ sleepy   
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ヒ   かれ he   
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チャク   ジャク   つ to arrive   つける to attach   き to wear   きせる to make wear   
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ブ   part
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オク   や roof   
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チ   し to know   
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メイ   ミョウ   あかり light   あかるい bright   あかるむ to brighten   あからむ to become luminous (at dawn)   あきらか obvious   あかす to lay bare   あ to open   あける to empty   
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