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Japanese is Possible!
Week 23

Part 23

  • -Rareru : the Passive Form
  • Example Sentences
  • Useful Words

-Rareru : the Passive Form

Did you ever want to say something like "The monster was eaten by Ranma."? Of course I doubt you ever wanted to say a strange sentence like that! Besides being strange, the sentence is also in the passive form.

Grammar Review: Passive vs. Active

What does passive mean when you're talking about sentences? I'll give you a couple of very clear examples!


Active - The man hit the apple.
Passive - The apple was hit by the man.

Active - Jack killed the snake.
Passive - The snake was killed by Jack.

As you can see by the examples, you are making the sentence sound more "formal" or "intellectual". Experts say that the brain has to go through an extra step to process a passive sentence. Your brain converts it to an active sentence first! So basically, you want to avoid those kind of sentences when writing. You don't need to use them, really.

What if there was a monster approaching in the distance, and you didn't want to be eaten by the aforementioned monster? You could express your desire to continue living in two different ways:

1. I don't want the monster to eat me!
2. I don't want to be eaten by the monster!

You might be able to guess which one is passive -- It's the second one.

In Japanese, the first sentence would look like this:

ano bakemono ga boku wo taberu nante iya da!
that monster (subject) me (who) eat (a thing such as) disliked is!
I would like for that monster to eat me!

I will tell you this-- a Japanese person would never say it this way. They would use sentence #2.

The second sentence (in the passive tense) would look like this:

ano bakemono ni taberaretaku nai yo!
that monster (by) don't want to be eaten !
I don't want to be eaten by that monster!

Remember that tabetaku nai means "doesn't want to eat". If you throw the rare in there, it changes the meaning to "doesn't want to be eaten". This form is very important to learn (which of them aren't important?). I can promise you that any Anime you watch will use this form several times!

How exactly do you use -Rareru?

I will give an example for each of the different verb endings. (Except for -TSU, which is one of the rarest endings for verbs.)

ubau (to steal) - ubawareru (to be stolen)
miru (to look) - mirareru (to be seen)
korosu (to kill) - korosareru
hakken suru (to discover) - hakken sareru - (to be discovered)
kakomu - (to surround) - kakomareru (to be surrounded)
erabu - (to choose) - erabareru (to be chosen)
mitsukeru - (to find) - mitsukerareru (to be found)

Basically, you remove the -u from the dictionary form of the verb, and add -areru. Just remember that you add a w in the case of -u verbs. An easy way to remember it: You can't have ubaareru! To make it easy to pronounce, they throw in a w.

Pay special attention to the verb hakken suru. There are tons of suru verbs (where the second part of the verb is suru). If you ever want to make up your own verbs, you'll need to know how to conjugate a suru verb.

What am I talking about? I'll give you an example:

matt suru - to "matt" someone.
matt sareru - to have "matt" done to you, to be "matt"-ed.

sonna ni matt saretaku nai!
that kind of matt don't want done to me
I don't want to be "matt"-ed that much!

This "matt" character is no doubt famous for doing something or other! It would be like saying "He's pulling a Matt" in English.

Example Sentences

kare wa erabareta senshi desu.
he (subject) chosen warrior is.
He is the chosen warrior.

doushite minna ni mushi sarete iru no ka?
why everyone by ignore (is being done to me) ?
Why am I being ignored by everyone?

kuruma ga ubawareta node, unten dekinai yo!
car (subject) was stolen because, drive can't do !
Because my car was stolen, I can't drive!

shikashi, Fei no imouto ga mitsukerarenakatta.
however, Fei's little sister (subject) wasn't found.
However, Fei's little sister could not be found.

korosareta otouto no tame ni, kanarazu omae o korosu!
was killed little brother for the sake of, absolutely you (answers 'who') kill!
For the sake of my little brother you killed, I will destroy you!

dareka ni miraretara, dou shiyou? hazukashii wa!
someone (by) if was seen, what let's do? embarassed (female ending)!
What would I do if someone saw me? How embarassing!

norowareta shima LODOSS to iu n da.
was cursed island Lodoss called is.
The cursed island was called Lodoss.

ima made no shima wa zenbu norowareta n da.
up till now 's island(s) (subject) all were cursed.
Up till now, all the islands have been cursed.

Useful Words


shima - island
bouzu - monk
sanpatsu - haircut
koukou - high school
kyoushi - teacher


norou - to curse
mamoru - to protect
hakken suru - to discover
kakomu - to surround
ubau - to steal
ai suru - to love
kanchigai suru - to misunderstand


omote (no)- front
ura (no) - behind, rear
ue (no) - above
shita (no) - below


mizukara - on purpose
saisho kara - from the beginning
ima made - up till now

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