The weblio page for 見つかった uses this phrase as an example meaning "I've been caught." But as I understand it, 見つかる implies that the subject and not the object is the thing that is found. And so I would expect it to be


or otherwise


This example seems to be the only one on the weblio page to use を with 見つかった.

  • 1
    not sure if you already know it or not, but 見つかる is an intransitive verb, and 見つける a transitive one. Aug 12, 2019 at 19:05

1 Answer 1


Different Meanings of 「ところ」


is at least colloquially a valid phrase meaning:

"(Someone) was caught at an awkward moment."

In this expression, 「ところ」 means a "scene" or "moment" where an action takes place.

「~~見つかる」 is not a structure you would use in formal speech, but that can be said about a million other words and phrases.

The sentence:


however, means a completely different thing. It means:

"A bad / malfunctioning part was found."

「ところ」 means a "part" in this sentence. It may refer to a part of one's body or an object such as a car, TV, PC, etc.. This sentence implies that an examination has been conducted that lead to the finding of the malfunctioning part.

  • How common is it in colloquial Japanese to use を to mark something other than the direct object? Do you know of any other expressions where を is used in this way? Also, is there a "correct" way to express the same idea in formal Japanese?
    – kohaku
    Aug 12, 2019 at 22:30
  • 1
    @kohaku Here you are... japanese.stackexchange.com/q/18715/7810 (ProTip: in formal Japanese you still use を) Aug 14, 2019 at 10:00

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