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The following sentence uses 感じられ which I understand to be the continuative passive form of the verb 感じる - "to feel". Why is this form used here?

たった1分がものすごく長く感じられ
時間は
はっきりとした悪意をもって
僕の上をゆっくりと流れていった。

My guess is that this is an example of "indirect passive" or "suffering passive", but I am at a loss as to how it exactly works here.

Am I right to assume that the (implied) subject in the first part (up to 感じられ) of this sentence is the speaker and he "does the feeling"? If so, why would it be passive?

2 Answers 2

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The られる in 感じられ(る) here is not passive (受け身) but spontaneous (自発).

The auxiliary (助動詞) 「れる/られる」 has four meanings: 「受け身」(passive), 「尊敬」(honorific), 「可能」(potential), and 「自発」(spontaneous).

Some examples of spontaneous れる/られる:

  • [故郷]{こきょう}に[残]{のこ}した両親のことが[思]{おも}い[出]{だ}される (デジタル大辞泉)
  • 人の[気配]{けはい}が感じられる (明鏡国語辞典「られる」❷自発)
  • [行]{ゆ}く[先]{さき}が[案]{あん}じられる (明鏡国語辞典「られる」❷自発)
  • あの人のことがしのばれる (明鏡国語辞典「れる」❷自発)

The spontaneous れる/られる is usually used with a verb related to one's thoughts or feelings, e.g. 思う、感じる、考える、悔やむ、惜しむ、見る、聞く etc. For more on 自発, you could refer to 『自発(文法)- Wikipedia』.

You are right that the られ in your example is in the continuative form (連用形).

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  • Is there a difference if I use ni instead of ga? In this example sentence «波の音に驚かれた». I often see it in 感じられる: «音や声が大きすぎて、不快に感じられる» or are they something else (for definition of やかましい)
    – firuvi
    Mar 9 at 5:58
  • The れる in 音や声大きすぎて、不快に感じられる is 自発. The subject is 音や声. 不快に is an adverbial phrase. I don't know what 波の音に驚かれた is meant to say. Do you have the context? "I was surprised at the sound of waves" would be 波の音に驚いた.
    – Chocolate
    Mar 9 at 6:09
  • Ah yes it makes sense it acts adverbially! Yes, but it was just an example sentence given imabi.net/spontaneity.htm (example sentence 3)
    – firuvi
    Mar 9 at 6:17
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    波の音に驚かれた。I found myself surprised by the sound of the waves. へ~…😧 「驚かれた」は、「学校に持っていったら、友達に驚かれました。」(受け身) とか「驚かれたお客様もいらっしゃるかと思います」(尊敬) のように使えるとは思いますが…
    – Chocolate
    Mar 9 at 6:33
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Am I right to assume that the (implied) subject in the first part (up to 感じられ) of this sentence is the speaker and he "does the feeling"? If so, why would it be passive?

Not quite. If you take a look at the first clause

たった1分がものすごく長く感じられ

たった一分 is the subject here. The passive form is used here to say that the minute was felt (by the speaker) as a long period of time. It's similar to saying ピザが食べられた in that the person doing the acting is only implied. As for why the author chose to use the passive form here, to me it sounds slightly more natural than saying something like そのたった一分をものすごく長く感じた and as if there's more of an emphasis being placed on "たった一分." Additionally, it sets up for the next clause where time is still the subject and is clearly acting as an agent against the speaker.

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