Japanese Verb Conjugation - Passive

The general pattern for the passive voice is -u becomes -areru.

Type Passive Examples Passive
Irregular verbs
する suru される sareru 勉強する benkyō suru (study) 勉強される benkyō sareru
来る kuru (come) 来られる korareru
Regular consonant stem (v5) verbs
-う -u -われる -wareru 使う tsukau (use) 使われる tsukawareru
-く -ku -かれる -kareru 焼く yaku (grill) 焼かれる yakareru
-ぐ -gu -がれる -gareru 泳ぐ oyogu (swim) 泳がれる oyogareru
-す -su -される -sareru 示す shimesu (show) 示される shimesareru
-つ -tsu -たれる -tareru 待つ matsu (wait) 待たれる matareru
-ぬ -nu -なれる -nareru 死ぬ shinu (die) 死なれる shinareru
-ぶ -bu -ばれる -bareru 呼ぶ yobu (call) 呼ばれる yobareru
-む -mu -まれる -mareru 読む yomu (read) 読まれる yomareru
-る -ru -られる -rareru 走る hashiru (run) 走られる hashirareru
Regular vowel stem (v1) verbs
-る -ru -られる -rareru 見る miru

食べる taberu

見られる mirareru

食べられる taberareru

  • The -る -ru ending of the passives becomes the new verb ending. This conjugates as a vowel stem verb. Thus past, -て -te, or polite forms can all be added to the verb.
  • The copula, だ da, does not form a passive.
  • For the -ます masu form, the -ます -masu is added to the passive of the plain verb.

Usage

The passive is used:

  • as a passive: このテレビは東芝によって作られた kono terebi wa Toshiba ni yotte tsukurareta: "This TV was made by Toshiba."
  • as a suffering passive, indicating that a regrettable thing was done to someone: 私は友達にビールを飲まれた watashi wa tomodachi ni biiru o nomareta: "I had (my) beer drunk by a friend" (and I am not happy about it).
  • as a form of respectful language: どちらへ行かれますか dochira e ikaremasu ka: "Where are you going?"

Read more about this topic:  Japanese Verb Conjugation

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