Take the 2-minute tour ×
Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I think that these sentences might have similar meanings:

  1. 犬{いぬ}についての記事{きじ}が朝日{あさひ}新聞{しんぶん}に書いてあります。
  2. 犬についての記事が朝日新聞に書かれています。

I think that the direct translations are:

  1. There is an article about dogs that is written in the Asahi Shinbun (there is no chance to specify the author).
  2. An article about dogs has been written in the Asahi Sinbun (it is possible to mention the author).

Does each at least have correct grammar?
What is the nuanced difference?
What criteria are used to decide which to say?

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Both are grammatically correct and they both mean "An article about dogs has been written in the Asahi Sinbun" though the former can't specify who wrote it as you say. The former (書いてある version) seems to apear often in everyday conversation.

share|improve this answer

Your implications are the opposite. Passive in 2. is a common strategy to avoid mentioning the subject. 1. is at least not passive in the normal sense. You can have an explicit subject in 1 if you change the 記事が to 記事をwithout changing the verb form.

I don't see any basis in using "there is ..." versus "an article is ..." to express 1 versus 2.

The original sentences are both correct.

share|improve this answer
    
right. Subject hiding is also possible in English. But, it is possible to mention the subject in #2, but impossible in #1? –  user312440 Aug 28 at 12:32
    
You can express the underlying subject even in passives using by-phrases or 'に(よって)'. But other than that, you cannot in 2. –  user7158 Aug 28 at 12:35
    
right. You can (optionally) specify the subject in passive voice by using a preposition in the predicate, but how do you specify the subject in #1? The helping verb is "ある". –  user312440 Aug 28 at 12:38
    
While I think that this might be a good answer, I need a few example sentences (with translations) to fully understand. –  user312440 Aug 29 at 12:12

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.