Is this sentence wrong grammatically, or am I missing something? カンニングをしているところを 見つかる This is an examplensentence from kenkyuusha.

More specifically, 見つかる is an intransitive verb, how is it used with を rather than が? Now i know some motion verbs like 歩く can do this, but as far as I know 見つかるr is not one.

If this was an indirect passive, it would have been を見つけられる. So thay is not the case here either.

Thanks for the help!


「カンニングをしているところを [見]{み}つかる。」= "I am found cheating (on the test)."

This sentence is 100% grammatical. If you analyzed it using the grammar of another language, however, it might look as though it were ungrammatical.

「見つかる」 , as you stated, is an intransitive verb, but it happens to fall into a group of intransitive verbs that hold the transitive-verb-like characteristics. In particular, these intransitive verbs are used just like transitive verbs in the passive voice with 「を」 attached to the direct object.

Japanese-learners would need to know that it is far more natural for us to say the sentence above than to say:


using a real transitive verb 「見つける」 in its passive voice form.

This group of intransitive verbs include: 「[教]{おそ}わる = "to be taught"」、「[授]{さず}かる = "to be blessed with"」、「ことづかる = "to be told to convey a message or give a present"」, etc.

  • Interesting... is this official? All of kenkyuushas examples use が見つかる, however 教わる seems like a regular transitive verbs having all the examples with を教わる, and the same thing for 授かる、ことづかる. What would have been different if を見つかる was used in the aforementioned sentence?
    – PsyFish
    Mar 23 '15 at 10:14
  • I guess kenkyuusha's example choices can't really reflect what is going on, as their selction could have been coincidental. Thanks for the explanation!
    – PsyFish
    Mar 28 '15 at 10:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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