The following excerpt is an instruction from my textbook for a composition:


Before I show you my attempt at translation, I must add that I also had some minor issues with どうすれば. I basically only know it in the set phrase "どうすればいいか。" However, I think I got it right, I just wanted to point it out to you in case my interpretation in this context seems off:

"A neighbor has complained to you (=By a neighbor you were told a complaint). Please make an excuse explaining the reasons. Then, please discuss with the neighbor how (=どうすれば?) daily life continues (=is continued) without causing trouble."

My main issue lies with the use of passive in the bold part.
I'm not sure if I analysed its use correctly, but in my opinion it seems to be this new kind of passive my textbook just taught me about in this (last! :)) chapter. My textbook calls this passive "indirect passive" either with "transitive" or "intransitive" verbs.
I'll type down some examples for you from the various uses my textbook lists in this chapter:

1) 私は今日雨に降られて。
2) あなたにそこに立たれると、前が見えません。
3) 私は父に急に死なれて、大学に行けなかった。
4) こんなところに信号を作られて、車が渋滞するようになってしまった。
5) 私の家の前にごみを捨てられて困っています。

The biggest issue I have with these new passive constructions is that it kind of lacks a proper equivalent in my language(s)...^^ It's also not really possible to paraphrase it, so I usually end up using either a standard passive or standard active construction.
There is a rather colloquial "form" of passive in my language which kind of resembles this one, but it isn't suitable for all cases and often sounds pretty odd in my translation...^^

Due to these "losses" in translation, it is hard for me to distinguish whether a construction is this new form of "indirect" passive or a "normal" passive.
When an intransitive verb is used, this problem is usually eliminated because I haven't learned about any other case where the passive mood is applied to an intransitive verb. But for transitive verbs, the problem persists...^^
I also don't really feel very comfortable with "bulldozing" the nuances brought in through these indirect passives by just translating plain passive or active. But as of now, I kind of lack the creativity to come up with a solution for this problem...^^

  • 3
    This is the potential form here, not passive. Does that help your understanding?
    – istrasci
    Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 17:32
  • 1
    What is a 金城の人?
    – user4032
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 0:45
  • 1
    ^「近所の人」? And 誤ってください -> 謝ってください
    – chocolate
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 1:10
  • 1
    – user4032
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 1:23
  • 2
    Possible duplicate of How does the passive function in this sentence You asked this! If you are concerned with "indirect passive", please see this search results. Your sentence has nothing to do with indirect passive, though.
    – naruto
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 3:12

1 Answer 1


For the verb 続{つづ}ける the passive and the potential forms are the same. In your text the potential form is what is being used and the translation is thus:


And then, discuss with him how you can continue living there without causing troubles.

Also, note that the word "neighbor" is with a short "o", きんじょ, and not きんじょう, as you wrote, giving you a completely different set of kanji. Furthermore you are using the wrong kanji for apologize:

謝{あやま}る, apologize
誤{あやま}る, do a mistake

I understand that it is tempting to use a lot of kanji when typing on a computer, but please make sure that you only use kanji that you actually know. In Japanese there are a lot of homonyms only distinguished by their respective kanjis, or the context in spoken language, and they can change the meaning completely. There are also a lot of kanji pronounced the same with roughly the same meanings, but slightly different nuances. A good way for identifying them is to Google, e.g. "変{か}える 替{か}える 代{か}える 換{か}える 使{つか}い分{わ}け".

  • my IME shows hints on what kanji to use, pretty useful: i.imgur.com/4w3hztw.png Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 16:01
  • Indeed, this also exists, e.g. the standard one in Windows. In Linux I have unfortunately not been able to find this so I usually Google if I'm unsure. There are enough people asking the same questions :)
    – a20
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 16:07
  • sry these were just typos ^^ In 謝る I actually thought I had corrected it, but obviously I didn't...Sry for the inconvenience I've caused!
    – Narktor
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 17:07

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