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This is from a visual novel.

A dude is talking to his underlings:

さって本日よりきさまらに新たな命令が下されるわけだが

It translates to

"Well now I’m calling you to give new orders"

I was under the impression that the passive form works like this:

A が/は B に passive form

Which means: A is affected by B’s action (directly or indirectly depending whether it's a transitive or intransitive verb)

However I don’t see how that works here. From what I can tell the sentence is constructed like this:

A が/は B に passive form

So the speaker should be the one being adversely affected by the verb (orders) however in this case he is the one doing the action (verb).

A should be affected by B's action. However A is the one doing the action towards B.

Can someone help?

  • (book title) > チャクラ開放の秘宝―あなたにも神の力が与えられる < ____________ あなたに神の力が与えられる_____________きさまらに新たな命令 が下される__________i think there's an exact parallel here. – HizHa Aug 26 '16 at 19:38
  • i just had a thought about the poss. source of confusion. There are 2 ways of making a passive sentence. 1. You shall be given this gift (from/by me). 2. This gift shall be given to you (from/by me). – HizHa Aug 27 '16 at 0:58
4

きさまら新たな命令下される
(= 新たな命令がきさまらに下される)

The に here doesn't mark the agent (subject), but the target (indirect object) of 下す. きさまらに here means "to you", not "by you".

「上層部が貴様らに新たな命令下す」 -- active voice
(They) give new orders to you.

「新たな命令(上層部によって/から*)貴様らに下される」 -- passive voice
New orders are given to you (by them).

*によって or から is preferred, avoiding repeating に, since 「上層部貴様ら」 would sound confusing.

下す (give) takes two objects, a direct object (marked by を) and an indirect object (marked by に), so the sentence can be converted to another passive voice form:

「貴様ら(上層部に/から/によって)新たな命令下される」
You are given new orders (by them).  


Another example:

「私があなたに1万円を渡す」 I give you 10,000 yen.

「1万円が(私によって/から)あなたに渡される」 10,000 yen is given to you (by me).
「あなたが(私に/によって/から)1万円を渡される」 You are given 10,000 yen (by me).

... So, 「山田さん渡された1万円」 would be quite ambiguous: "10,000 yen that was given to Yamada, or by Yamada." (In the case of "by~~", you can usually avoid confusion by using から instead.)


So, logically speaking, 「~に下される」「~に与えられる」「~に渡される」「~に教えられる」「~に託される」「~に依頼される」 etc. can mean either "be given/taught/entrusted to ~~" or "be given/taught/entrusted by ~~", and you should see the context to tell which meaning a に is being used for.

  • 「上層部」を英語でなんて言うかわかりません・・ – Chocolate Aug 27 '16 at 1:02
  • 上層部 & 英語 でググると --> Upper echelon, senior management , above brass (?) high place (?) the highest functionaries – HizHa Aug 27 '16 at 1:59
  • ^ ありがとうございます・・そですねーでもどれが適切か、私の英語力では判断できないww – Chocolate Aug 27 '16 at 3:23
  • 「~に使用される/使われる/用いられる」 -> "used by someone" と "used on/as something" ってのもありますね・・・他にもいろいろあるかもしれません – Chocolate Sep 1 '16 at 6:10

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