Passive Form

This verb form has three functions:

  1. The regular passive (the Topic of the passive sentence is normally in the Object place in an active sentence)
  2. The affective passive (the speaker wants to express an event that he or she finds undesirable)
  3. The speaker shows respect to the Topic of the sentence.
How to derive the Passive form:
  • Group 1 and Group 2: Change the final vowel u to a and add れる
  • Group 3: くる→こられる、する→される

There is no passive form for stative and honorific verbs: e.g. ある ("exist"), いる ("need"), くださる (honorific "give me").

Consider the single vowel u (う) at the end of certain verbs such as kau (かう) as having the hidden consonant w before the vowel u. In other words, the original form of kau (かう) is ka(w)u. For instance, the passive form of the verb かう is かわれる rather than かあれる.

How to use the form:

The following sentence illustrates the affective passive:

友達 からの まれました。
'I was disturbed that my mother read a letter from my friend.'

The following is an example of a regular passive:

この くの まれています。
'This book is read by many people.'

This verb form also expresses the speaker’s respect towards the Topic of the sentence.

さんが られました。
'Your mother is here.'

  • Select the verb form that you want to see the conjugation rules for.
  • To see an explanation of verb groups, click on the top link to "Verb Conjugation Groups"

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