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So there was this sentence in my reading book:

さらに絵文字や顔文字など使われ大変だが、これはこれで、解読するのが楽しい。

To my understanding, it would translated to something similar to "Moreover, using emoji and emoticon can be troublesome, but then again, to try and decipher their meaning is fun".

However, and here comes the problem, in the answer part, the book says this sentence is false:

絵文字や顔文字を使うのが大変だ。

So I went ahead and found out that 大変 can also be used as great, immense and not only as hard, troublesome. So am I right in believing that in those two sentences 大変 has a different meaning, in the first sentence being great and in the second troublesome? Or is there a grammatical nuance that I am missing?

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さらに絵文字や顔文字など使われ大変だが Furthermore, emojis and smileys are used, (so)it's troublesome(difficult).

絵文字や顔文字を使うのが大変だ。 Using emojis and smileys is difficult.

So, in the first sentence it is stated that the fact that emojis and smileys are used is troublesome or difficult, but the second sentence states that using them is difficult which is totally different and thus incorrect.

Let's put attention here in the bold text of the following sentence:

さらに絵文字や顔文字など使われ大変だが

使われる(to be used) is the 受身形(Passive form) of the verb 使う(to use). That 使われる was then taken and put in its 連用形(Continuative form) which is 使われ. Thanks to this form the sentence can be continued just as they teach you to continue sentences with the te-form.

So the same example can be rewritten in a more "friendly" way as:

さらに絵文字や顔文字など使われて、大変だが Furthermore, emojis and smileys are used, (so)it's troublesome(difficult).

For more info. I suggest you to google about both 連用形 and 連体形, it's pretty educational and cool, you'll learn a lot about adjectives as well with these topics, lots of stuff that is not commonly taught in Japaneae classes.

  • Ah, so in the first one, the use of emojis is hard for the reader and not for the writer! While in the second one it´s hard for the one using them aka the writer. It makes sense considering it´s the passive form, but somehow it slipped by me. Thank you very much, it was really helpful! – Arya Aug 9 '16 at 16:15
  • ええ、その通りだよ。有用ならこの答えを正しい答えにするのを忘れないでください。 – Ruri Aug 9 '16 at 16:33
  • すみません。忘れてしまいました。もう大丈夫です。 – Arya Aug 10 '16 at 10:59

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