Verb Passive - Grammar Discussion



Verb Ex. dictionary form Ex. Conjugated
V(る1) られる
V(る5) られる
V(う) われる
V(く) かれる
V(す) される
V(つ) たれる
V(ぬ) なれる
V(ぶ) ばれる
V(む) まれる
V(ぐ) がれる

:warning:️Irregular Verbs :warning:
する→ される
くる→ こられる

When passive(受身) is used a person or a thing that undergoes the action(called patient/target in linguistics and literature) becomes the subject of the sentence rather than a person or a thing(called “agent”) “doing” the verb.
It used used when we don’t know the agent, or it is not important etc.
Active voice: パナソ〇〇クがこのカメラを作った。
(Panasoc made this camera.)
Passive voice: このカメラがパナソ〇〇クによって作られた。
(This camera has been made by Panaso
In Japanese passive is also used when someone did something wrong to someone, opposite to verb[て] + くれる/もらう construction. It is called suffering passive (迷惑の受身).
Active voice: 泥棒が食べ物を盗んだ。(Thief stole food.)
Passive voice:ものが泥棒に盗まれた。(The food has been stolen by a thief.)
Passive can be also used in honorific speech to easily create honorific words, but it will be covered later.

View on Bunpro

1 Like

In this review sentence, why does に follow 義理の母?

My mother-in-law came to my house, so I am irritated.

1 Like

Hey :blush:

In passive sentences, the person that performs the action (agent) is marked with . The person/object that undergoes the action is marked with は/が.

This is a typical example of suffering passive (from the post above), the speaker doesn’t like the visit very much.

Another example:
The thief stole food.

The person performing the action is a thief, so he/she is marked with に.

I hope it helps!


Oh now I feel really silly haha! A much appreciated explanation. サンキュー!

1 Like

何をされ も 、あいつらに君の名前を教しえない.

The て here functions like an “if”, right?


Hey and welcome on the community forums :partying_face:

Very close!
To be exact, ても means “even if”, in other words, it expresses a converse condition.

Normal condition:
If you watch anime, you will become fluent in Japanese.
If condition A is true, the results in B arises.

Converse condition:
Even if you watch anime, you won’t become fluent.
Even if condition A is true, the (expected) B doesn’t arise.

If ても is used with question words like 何 (what)、どこ (where)、いくら(how much)、どんなに, etc then it means “no matter what/where/how much…”, “whichever the case” outcome will not change, something has to be done, etc.


されても 、あいつらに君の名前を教しえない。

No matter what is done to me, I won’t give up (tell them) your name.

I hope it explains it a bit! :+1:

Thank you for asking this question, ても shouldn’t be used in this grammar point because it appears two lessons later, so I decided to change the sentence.


Active voice: パナソ〇〇クがこのカメラを作った。
(Panaso c made this camera.)
Passive voice: このカメラがパナソ〇〇クによって作られた。
(This camera has been made by Panaso

Looks like your attempt at taking two letters out of Panasonic made markdown have its way and bold things unexpectedly :stuck_out_tongue:

Does using てしまう with the passive form further increase the disappointment or does it just remove ambiguity about if we’re disappointed or not?

So if the passive agent is inanimate it can be marked with で?



Extremely good question!

And I think you might find the answer interesting too, I hope it is fairly clear.

The で particle can express cause (地震でコンサートが中心となっている, can be replaced with ため・せいで・によって and so on "Concert is canceled due to the Earthquake) and means, tool by which something is done (バスで行く to go by bus, can be replaced with によって too).

Both meanings can appear in passive sentences.
I have been shot by a robber with a gun. (means)

In 「電話で起こされた。」 case, で most likely expresses the cause of the waking up. のせいで could be used to emphasize negative nuance even more.

The key to choose the intended meaning is “intention” or being beyond the control.

The caller most likely didn’t have an intention to wake up the speaker, because he didn’t know the speaker was speaking (it was beyond his control). It wasn’t meant to achieve a goal, but rather a cause.

Well, earthquakes don’t have intentions in general and are totally beyond human control so it’s a cause.

On the other hand, an intention to achieve some kind of goal can be seen in those examples:
The speaker chooses a knife as a tool for the goal of cutting, instead of scissors or saw or TV (using TV would be very hard actually). He has full control over it.

The person who shot the speaker likely intended to do so.

Though remember that meaning of で is ambiguous and various speakers might interpret it in different ways in different situations. However, it can be thought to have a certain meaning (cause or means) more often in certain contexts than others (speakers know it “naturally” or “subconsciously” based on the frequency of how certain expressions are used (if there is not enough context) or based on the context).

I hope it helps,

1 Like


In hindsight that’s really obvious. I was missing the implied 誰かに and instead thought the phone was doing the action.

What about the てしまう thing?

1 Like


Yes :slight_smile: It can be used together. Words like たいへん are also often added.

1 Like

This is a tricky one for me. Potential form and passive form have the same conjugation rule with ichidan verbs. So how do I differentiate one from the other when I encounter one?
アイスを食べられる is “I can eat my ice cream” or “my ice cream is gonna be eaten”?

1 Like

The sentence with ても seems to still be in the wrong place, two lessons too early…

1 Like

The passive form requires a subject marker to indicate it.
私のアイス食べられる - My ice cream will be eaten.

The particle を indicates a direct action, in which case 食べられる is potential not passive.
(私は)*私のアイス食べられる - (I) can eat my ice cream.

*note the subject of the sentence is also not explicitly said here, but rather implied by context.

This ても is now seven lessons early… seems like this might be happening to more N4 sentences as the grammar got reordered, I’ve already reported a couple others.
Your explanations are very helpful though.

The passive form requires a subject marker to indicate it.
私のアイスが食べられる - My ice cream will be eaten.

The particle を indicates a direct action, in which case 食べられる is potential not passive.
(私は)*私のアイスを食べられる - (I) can eat my ice cream.

This explanation is incorrect, right? Afaik, the second one could also be the suffering passive, where I am suffering someone who eats my ice cream.

Hi, I thought short form meant it would be れる insted of られる, but it seems I got it wrong.

So what does short form refering to in that question?

1 Like

The short form usually refers to the non ます , casual form.

Like 食べる vs 食べます

1 Like

Thanks. I was so expecting the shortening of the form that I did not consider this in that case. Seems a bit unneccessary there.

1 Like