What does this mean?


Can I get a more detailed overlook of 貰わせる and rareru and saseru and all those things depending on whether wo ni ga or whatever is used. It's really frustrating to not be able to understand how their relations work with each other and who you are referring to.

For example:


Does that mean that Nero had his family killed (His family was killed by someone else and they got killed.)?

  • 2
    「植物が成長を妨げられる」「ネロが家族を殺される」are 持ち物の受け身(possessive passive?), a kind of indirect passive (間接受け身). I recommend looking up "indirect passive" and/or "suffering passive (迷惑の受け身)". もらわせる is not passive but causative, so I don't see how it's related to your question here (as your question seems to be about passive voice).
    – chocolate
    Oct 5, 2016 at 0:12
  • 「植物が成長を妨げられる」 is ok,    but 「ネロが家族を殺された」by itself is a bit strange.    More usually 「ネロの家族が殺された」 i think .  ____________  In a longer phrase, this would be ok :   「ネロが、家族を殺されたことへの報復として、・・・」   「ネロが、家族を殺されるかもしれないことを心配して、・・・」
    – HizHa
    Oct 5, 2016 at 5:31
  • 2
    @HizHa 「ネロが家族を殺された」by itself is a bit strange <-- んん・・・?別に変じゃないと思いますけど・・?「大変だ!ネロが家族を(テロリストに)殺されたらしいぞ!」とか、「かわいそうに、ネロは家族を(一人残らず)殺されてしまいました。」とか、言えると思いますけど・・・
    – chocolate
    Oct 5, 2016 at 14:32

2 Answers 2



OP - What does this mean?

  • "[The] plant[s] had [their] growth stunted." (by something)


OP - Does that mean that Nero had his family killed (His family was killed by someone else and they got killed.) ?!?

  • "Nero had [his] family killed."

Not meaning specifically that he asked someone to kill his family, but rather that he had this happen to him. He received the result of the action.

(Though Roman Emperor Nero did kill his mother, so there might be other possible interpretations.)

を+…られる・される(を+受身形)is usually indicating that the subject/topic is not the actor performing the action, but rather is the receiver of the result of the action (usually something undesirable).

There is a very good explanation in Japanese about this kind of construction here:


Thanks for your responses.

So basically, there are both indirect passive and direct passive

俺たちは(ネロに)殺されかけたんだ。 direct


俺たちは(妻に)(兄弟を)殺された。 indirect

The direct says we were almost killed by Nero, while the indirect explains that we had one of our brothers killed by our mother (we didn't necessarily have a part in his killing).

If you would only write 俺たちは殺された, then there wouldn't be possible for us to tell whether it was direct or indirect passive, but I think it would be safe to assume that it was a direct passive, at least judging from the context and the fact that you need more information to describe an indirect passive.

Again, thanks for your link about passives, helped a lot.

Btw, how do I log out? This is an alt account because Stack Exchange doesn't allow me to find forgotten accs but instead has me make new accounts. Thanks.

  • Hi, is the asker of this question is the same person as you? If so, you should contact them
    – ra1ned
    Dec 8, 2016 at 13:11

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