What would be the interpretation of verbs that have two levels of 'teiru' and 'rare' in them? I figure that the 'teiru' will be one for stative/perfective and the other for progressive, and the 'rare' will be one for passive/honorific and one for possibility/ability. Here are a few from Google search:

-脇道も階段として整えてられてられているのだが (3 'te'!)

These aren't that common, probably because they're hard to say and a little complicated to parse (think "the fish will have been being eaten"). I'm guessing the interpretations would be something like "have been able to be being done something to".

Of course, there's the possibility that this is something that people say because they think it's funny, or some sort of typo :) If both interpretations of both words are actually in the verb, could someone with a native intuition tell me which one means which?


Lots more googling. I searched for two patterns: "られてられて" and "てられてられ". The first one got much more hits than the second one, and with more formal and professional language (though there were exceptions).

Also, I think, a cool discovery: emphasis via repetition of the passive auxiliary. Tell me if it's wrong. Examples:

  • I'd guess in theory we could string an endless amount of てられ or ている based on how the word should be conjugated. I'm very curious to find out the meaning in your 3-て example.
    – Flaw
    Commented Oct 4, 2011 at 2:17
  • 3
    All those are ungrammatical.
    – user458
    Commented Oct 4, 2011 at 3:42
  • @sawa- I've created a small corpus with all of the usage examples I've found for it. Are you saying that every one of them are typos? Can you give a good usage example for it? Search google for "られてられて" 93,600,000 results. Search for "てられてられ", 36 results.
    – Nate Glenn
    Commented Oct 4, 2011 at 4:57
  • 3
    They are either typos or jokes. Commented Oct 4, 2011 at 17:35
  • 2
    @Nate: Please see my comment on ento’s answer and my post on Meta: Google counts may not be as reliable as you imagine. Commented Oct 4, 2011 at 21:14

1 Answer 1


They seem entirely ungrammatical to me.

But, the number of search hits for "られてられて" (94,100,000) verges on the frightening - almost makes me suspect that the Japanese language has changed its syntax behind my back.. All the more so when you see that these usage contexts include pretty formal ones which must have gone through some kind of proofreading [1].

My best guess is that since typing in ra-re-te or te-ra-re requires highly sophisticated movement of the left hand fingers, if you're on a roman-ji keyboard, all of these 94,100,000 instances of られてられて are results of jumbled up fingers or minds. Or mischiefs of overtrained IMEs.

Interestingly, chakoshi fails to return any example of られてられて or てられてられ usage in literary text (from Aozora bunko, a project Gutenberg for Japanese literature) or conversational Japanese corpora (from Nagoya University).

[1] For example, "文科省は [...] 研修に十分な手段が講じられてられており、その質は高いと主張している" (教員の地位勧告の適用に関する ILO・ユネスコ共同専門家委員会, p.5)

Edit: I hope someone could point at a grammar rule that disallows such repeated succession of particles. I myself would be nonplussed if someone came along and, without explanation, told me that my idea was out right wrong. Unfortunately, I don't have enough explicit knowledge on Japanese grammar to provide that explanation.

  • 7
    If you actually view the search results, the list comes to an end after 417 entries, not 94 million. Commented Oct 4, 2011 at 17:33
  • @TsuyoshiIto Oh, good news =D
    – ento
    Commented Oct 4, 2011 at 17:43
  • My guess is that especially in the formal examples this is an editing error rather than one that occurs during composition. I cannot imagine someone typing "kouzirareterareteori" but it is easy to imagine an editor replacing some first-draft "X" with 講じられて without noticing that "X" already had a られて attached.
    – Matt
    Commented Oct 4, 2011 at 21:45
  • I do not know what you mean by “a grammar rule that disallows such repeated succession of particles.” られてられて does not make sense for the same reason as 走っていている does not make sense. We do not need a rule that disallows repetition of いる to conclude that the latter is ungrammatical. Commented Oct 5, 2011 at 13:47
  • 1
    Alright, I see that they are all typos. However, I have been told that double -rare- is legal (taberareteirareru, but never taberareteirareteiru). Does this mean that there is no emphatic version, either?
    – Nate Glenn
    Commented Oct 7, 2011 at 3:40

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