I understand the basics of the "suffering passive". For example, it's my understanding that in a sentence like 友達にビールを飲まれた, "tomodachi ni" marks the person who drank your beer.


Who does ぼく refer to and what is the role of ぼくに in this sentence?



1 Answer 1


You're right that the sentence is Suffering Passive (迷惑の受身), a kind of Indirect Passive (間接受身).

Here in [僕]{ぼく}[文句]{もんく}言われても[困]{こま}る, 僕に doesn't mark the person who does 文句言う, but the indirect object of 言う.

文句(を)言う = (you) complain to me.

It's saying "I will 困る if you 文句を言う to me."

  • In passive voice (~られる), how do you tell if the に marks the person doing the action or if に marks the indirect object of the action? Like for example here に marks the person who does the action. Jul 30, 2014 at 21:42
  • @3to5businessdays Here, the に in 僕に文句言われても困る cannot mark the agent of 文句を言う, because "I can't do anything even if I complain to me" wouldn't make sense. For example, 山田さんに文句言われても困る could be interpreted as either "I will 困る if 山田さん complains" or "I will 困る if (you/someone) complains to 山田さん", and I think it's up to the context.
    – user1016
    Aug 2, 2014 at 2:09

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