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新聞にこんなことが書いてあった。最近の日本人は家族みんなで休日にコンピューターゲームを楽しむそうだ。

In the newspapers, the following is written. It is said that recently the japanese people are enjoying computer games in their spare time with the whole family.

What bothers me here is that it is practically impossible to preserve the active mode of the 書いてあった in the translation. I understand that things are like that and that I have to accept it, it's just that I guess that I will tend to use the following construction if I produce japanese myself:

新聞にこんなことを書いてあった。 → In the newspapers, they've written the following.

or

新聞にこんなことが書かれてあった。 → In the newspapers, the following has been written.

Are these constructions understandable or at least still grammatical?

I'm not sure whether my passive -て いる construction is still grammatical from a morphological or syntactical perspective. I've written it down like that to have it either confirmed or corrected by you :D

  • As for A: No. ある must in nearly all cases be used with が. As for B: You can use the normal passive here, but not with ある. 書かれていた would be fine. – Ben Steffan Jun 3 '17 at 12:55
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The following articles are related:

The ~が~てある pattern appears with instant state-change (aka punctual), transitive verbs like 倒す, 落とす, 壊す.

壁にポスター貼ってある, 木倒してある and so on are also perfectly valid Japanese sentences. But they are fine only when you say this with the the nuance of "in preparation", "in advance", etc. When you introduce something into the universe of discourse using this construction, が should be used. (And that's why 彼が殺してある does not mean "He has been killed"; 彼 should be already in the universe of discourse when this sentence is made)

新聞にこんなことが書かれてあった is grammatical and understandable, but it's too long and usually not used.

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I'd say both sentences are understandable, but they are not grammatically correct.

For sentence A, you cannot use を with ある nearly all cases, which include this case. You have to stay with が (although think that this kind of mistake is often made by foreigners and Japanese people used to having contact with Japanese students will understand you just fine).

As for B: As you said yourself, the passive construction is [passive stem]-ている, not [passive stem]-てある. Replacing あった with いた should do the trick. Keep in mind, however, that using the normal passive form over the -てある form changes the meaning slightly. The -てある variant implies that something was done by someone intentionally, while the normal passive just describes a state, i.e. the fact might just have appeared in the newspaper on its own.

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