This comes from a friend's post on Facebook. The situation is that my friend had injured his leg a while back, but it has since healed and he's now in for a checkup. His leg is in great condition, so the doctor thinks he's ready for sports.


Which I think essentially means, "My doctor said [to me] I should go play futsal! (lit: play and come back)"

However, I thought には essentially meant "in the [place]". So, since my friend is not just using , is he saying this was said by someone, maybe the doctor, maybe a nurse or someone, in the vicinity of the doctor? Maybe in the office?

Or am I over thinking this?

  • I think it means to exclude other contextually possible things. This should be the disambiguating function of は. That is to say that he specifically indicates that it is the doctor (and not anyone else that might be around that could have spoken) that said it.
    – Flaw
    Nov 10, 2011 at 6:08
  • 1
    What the hell is futsal?
    – istrasci
    Nov 10, 2011 at 15:18

1 Answer 1


No this には is there because the verb is in passive form and it means "by". The sentence literally means

"I was told by the doctor to come play futsal already."

The following sentence is equivalent:


The doctor said "Go play futsal already."

The に comes whenever there is passive. For example "I was told by you" is


The は in your sentence is the normal は used for emphasis.

Hope this helps.

  • 1
    @Flaw: Yes it doesn't only appear in sentences with passive form but in the question he wrote that he thought it meant "in the" which is not the case in the example. Nov 10, 2011 at 8:52
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    @DaveMG: You are not wrong at all, には can also mean "in". I meant to say that in this particular sentence it doesn't mean "in". Nov 10, 2011 at 10:07
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    Picky correction to this answer: The doctor never said the words "come play futsal". He or she said to play futsal (フットサルして) and then come back (来い), or more naturally in English, to 'go' (and) play futsal. The wording "come" was only correct originally because it was an indirect quote / paraphrase.
    – Hyperworm
    Nov 10, 2011 at 18:13
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    @DaveMG: btw, I read your profile: 頑張ってね、応援していますから。 Nov 11, 2011 at 6:59
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    @Matt: Thanks. You'll be seeing lots of JLPT related questions from me in the next 3 weeks ;)
    – Questioner
    Nov 11, 2011 at 7:24

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