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I understand Adversity (indirect) passive are used to describe unfortunate event.

Am I correct in saying that the sentence patterns with transitive verbs of both adversity passive and simple (direct) passive are identical?

If that is the case, how would one know whether they are simply stating the facts (simple passive) or describing unfortunate events (adversity passive)? Again is it simply subjective depending on the context?

When one is using adversity passive describing an unfortunate event where the sentence has a few verbs which could be transitive or intransitive, could one have more than one verb in the same sentence be converted to passive to convey the sense of being unfortunate

For example:

  • カエルはお腹が空きました。それで、カエルは虫をごくんと飲みました。

  • カエルは虫を食べ終わると、だんだん眠くなりました。そして、グッスリ寝てしまいました。

With the above two example sentences, could I convert any one or two or all the verbs to passive depending on which verb or verbs are deemed as an unfortunate events?

When the frog was hungry and when the frog ate the worms, they are all unfortunate for the worms. When the frog finished eating the worms, got sleepy and fell asleep, these were all unfortunate for the frog itself as it was going to be eaten by a snake (not stated in the examples).

  • 1
    What's the passive sentence you have in mind, exactly? 虫はカエルに飲まれました? カエルに眠くなられました? Both of these make little or no sense in this context. – naruto Apr 10 at 8:08
  • I was asking how one could tell if a passive sentence with transitive verb is just a simple direct passive construction stating the fact, not an adversity indirect passive construction conveying a sense of an unfortunate event, such as泥坊にお金を盗まれました. The second question was asking whether there is restriction on how many verbs or what kind of verbs, be they transitive or intransitive be used for indirect passive construction to convey a sense of unfortunateness in one sentence. Can I simply use all passive verbs willy-nilly feeling that everything is unfortunate? – Healer Apr 11 at 5:22
  • Below are some examples I made up for your comments 1. カエルにお腹が空かれました。それで、虫はカエルにごくんと飲まれました。 2. 虫はカエルに食べ終わられると、だんだん眠くなられました。そして、グッスリ寝られてしまいました。 3. 昨日、雨に降られて、風邪を引かれてしまいました。 4. 友達に来られて、宿題ができられませんでした。 5. 一晩中赤ちゃんに泣かれて、全然眠られませんでした。ですから、今日は昼寝をされようと思います。 6. 今日は昼寝をされようと思われます。 7. 映画館で背が高い人に前に座られたので、よく見えられませんでした – Healer Apr 11 at 5:24
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First, let's clarify what we are talking about.

(A) indirect passive with a transitive verb

ケーキ食べられた。
泥棒指輪盗まれた。
殺された。

(B) indirect passive with an intransitive verb

赤ちゃん泣かれた。
降られた。
死なれた。

(C) "direct" passive with a transitive verb

先生見られた。
ライオン食べられた。
友達殴られた。

Note that only (A) and (B) are usually called suffering/adversity passive (迷惑の受け身). (C) is usually not called adversity passive even if the event is unfortunate to someone. And importantly, when an adversity meaning is present, the event is unfortunate to the person marked with は.


Am I correct in saying that the sentence patterns with transitive verbs of both adversity passive and simple (direct) passive are identical?

If you mean the difference between (A) and (C), no, their basic grammar patterns are different, as you can easily see from the examples above.

(This may be nit-picky, but when words are heavily omitted, (A) and (C) can appear identical. For example, 彼に殺された can mean both "[I] was killed by him" (C) and "[I] got [my daughter] killed by him" (A) depending on the context.)

how would one know whether they are simply stating the facts (simple passive) or describing unfortunate events (adversity passive)?

In the case of (A) and (B), they always almost always describe events which are unfortunate to the person marked with は. In the case of (C), it purely depends on the context.

With the above two example sentences, could I convert any one or two or all the verbs to passive depending on which verb or verbs are deemed as an unfortunate events?

In general, there can be two or more indirect passive expression in a single sentence. There is no particular restriction. But in the case of your frog story, I feel there is no place to use indirect passive.

虫はカエルにごくんと飲まれました is fine if this were the story about the worm, but the main character of your story is the frog. It makes little sense to suddenly change the topic and form a sentence like this. The misfortune of the worm is not the author's concern. (Or are you trying to rewrite the entire story from the standpoint of the worm? That doesn't make much sense to me, either, because the worm is already dead when eaten.)

カエルにお腹が空かれました is wrong in this context. It means something like "[I] got bothered because the frog became hungry." When this event is unlucky to the frog itself, you should say カエルはお腹が空いてしまいました.

今日は昼寝をされようと思われます

What is this supposed to mean? This sounds like "It appears to me that I am planning to be bothered by someone's nap"...

  • I had expected from what I learnt so far that the passive voice of 誰かは娘を殺した would be 娘は誰かに殺された. Then shouldn't your example of 娘を殺された be 娘は殺された? If not, what is the difference between these two sentences in meaning or how wrong is my construction of sentences of passive voice or are we saying when the subject is not included in the sentence the particle は should be replaced by を? – Healer Apr 16 at 4:24
  • Re "(C) is usually not called adversity passive even if the event is unfortunate to someone..." Though they are not called adversity passive but can be conveyed as fortunate or unfortunate all up to the speaker or the listener, can't they? Or perhaps has one got to say more to express the event being unfortunate? – Healer Apr 16 at 4:25
  • Re "... importantly, when an adversity meaning is present, the event is unfortunate to the person marked with は." Is it why you say 娘を殺された not 娘は殺された? Or can I say your examples of 私は妹にケーキを食べられた and 彼は泥棒に指輪を盗まれた are of adversity passive while 娘を殺された is just a plain passive statement? – Healer Apr 16 at 4:25
  • Re "If you mean the difference between (A) and (C), no, their basic grammar patterns are different, as you can easily see from the examples above." I can't see the difference. What I've learnt is the subject follows with は and the action taker follows with に and the verb in passive form. Of course I have question on 娘を殺された. – Healer Apr 16 at 4:25
  • Re 今日は昼寝をされようと思われます in the context of merely thinking to sleep in the daytime after a sleepless night is unfortunate in a sense of being unable to do what is supposed to do. – Healer Apr 16 at 4:26

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