So I get that 見つける takes an object and 見つかる doesn't, but can anyone tell me if there are any major differences between 答えを見つけた and 答えが見つかった

If I came across an answer by chance, does the second sentence do a better job at expressing that?

And also: 答えが見つけられた

What is different between sentence 2 and 3? (And aren't they both passive?)

Thank you :D And sorry if duplicate or dumb question


1 Answer 1


I think you seem to notice that 見つける is a transitive verb and 見つかる is an intransitive verb.

A subject is omitted in 答えを見つけた, for example、彼が答えを見つけた(He found the answer.). On the other hand, 答え is a subject in 答えが見つかった.

答えが見つけられた(The answer was found) is passive form of 答えを見つけた and it has a nuance like "by someone", but we don't use it often. Both 答えが見つけられた and 答えが見つかった seem to be translated as "The answer was found".

  • Ok, thank you! Could you/someone explain if there are any nuances between 彼が答えを見つけた and 彼は答えが見つかった? (And is the second sentence even natural?)
    – user22536
    Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 15:16
  • Both sentences are used. I feel 彼は答えが見つかった is a bit objective and stiff. Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 15:48

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