Is a relative possible with the passive form?


Is this indirect passive? How would I make 誰もが残された時間 not relative?



I also would like to add another question because it seems I am lost. I thought in Japanese what comes before a verb refers to it, then that verb modifies a noun that comes after it.

For example:



In this example 僕が彼にくれた modifies ペン and 僕が彼にくれたペンで書いた modifies 手紙. Am I wrong?

I really do not understand what modifies what in Japanese apparently -- my previous idea doesn't work with sentences like the original example. Could somebody explain this to me?

  • 「誰もが」は、「駆け抜けて・・・」の主語かも。。。?
    – chocolate
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 16:07
  • I tought it was: [誰もが(は)残された]>時間を駆け抜けて過ぎていく。
    – Splikie
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 16:49

1 Answer 1


It's 誰もが駆け抜けて過ぎていく ("everyone rushes away and goes past"), and 残された時間 ("time left") is where it happens. 誰もが時間を残された makes little sense unless 迷惑の受け身 is intended, and the noun clause 誰もが残された時間 also makes little or no sense to me. The normal way to say "time left for everyone" is 誰も残された時間. (eg 私に残された時間は少ない。 = There is little time left for me.)

As for the other question, first, 手紙を届いた is ungrammatical because 届く is intransitive. 届ける is the transitive counterpart. 僕が彼にくれた sounds strange too, and this part should be either 僕が彼にあげたペン (the pen I gave to him) or 彼が僕にくれたペン (the pen he gave to me). Oh, and you should use 郵便 instead of メール, because メール usually refers to emails.


Now this sentence is simple to me. As you suggest, 彼に僕にくれた modifies ペン and 彼が僕にくれたペンで書いた modifies 手紙.

  • Thanks for the corrections. What I don't get is why it's 誰もが[残された>時間]を、駆け抜けて、過ぎていく。 and not [誰もが残された]>時間を、駆け抜けて、過ぎていく。It's because it's a passive verb? Or else how do I know when a case like this happen?
    – Splikie
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 8:11
  • Well, 私が残された島 means "the island where I was left", so in a sci-fi novel, 誰もが残された時間 might technically mean something like "the time where everyone is left alone", but I just couldn't think of such a bizarre interpretation. We say "time is left", but not "I was left in a time".
    – naruto
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 8:55
  • Well the author tends to be kind of poetic in its own way. One other questions. When making a relative clause is it there a rule to what modifies what? The normal rule I think is that whatever comes before a noun refers to it right?
    – Splikie
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 9:16
  • Yes you know the general rule, but the modified noun does not always comes directly after the relative clause. "僕が昨日食べた子供が作った料理" is technically ambiguous, but there is only one sane interpretation.
    – naruto
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 12:08
  • I laughed reading your sentence. Btw after all is all about ambiguity right? Maybe I need to increase my vocabolary
    – Splikie
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 12:37

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