The entire sentence was:


「~ことからも~言える」 here means something like "judging from this fact, it can be said that..." or "based on this fact, it can be said that..." or "due to this fact, it can be said that...", right?

I've also seen 「内容から」 with various verbs in potential form.

Examples from Weblio 英和和英辞典:

Because of its contents, the book is also considered the origin of a textbook for common people.

Oharae no kotoba can be divided into two parts, the first and latter parts, based on the contents.

He will learn these things not so much from what the other man says as from how he says it.

I understand why the verbs are in the potential form in the first two examples, but I'm not really sure why 「知られる」 is being used instead of 「知る」 in the last one.

That's why I'm curious: is 「~から~される」 a frequent structure?


1 Answer 1


You appear to be asking two things.

1) Why 知られる is used instead of 知る in your example.
2) How often 〜ことから〜される and 〜ことから〜できる are used.


When you say "potential form", for 知る, I think you may be confusing "知られる", the passive form of 知る, for "知れる", the potential form of 知る (though many people, including myself, would say 知ることができる instead of 知れる).

In your final example with これらのことは、…話し方から知られることになるだろう, the topic of the sentence is "これらのこと" (these things). By using the passive voice, we don't need to declare who/what the do-er of the action is. (See this post for a deeper explanation.)




These things will most likely be picked up / become known not so much from what the other person says, but rather from the way they say it.


We do use 〜ことから、〜される and 〜ことから、〜できる frequently, but you're more likely to see it in 文語 or hear it in an academic presentation / perhaps on the news (I can't remember ever consciously hearing it on the news, but it seems like something they would say.)

名詞+から has the exact same meaning/usage as adj./verb/adverbial(連体形)+ことから in the link broccoli forest shared.

As to why one would use it in the potential vs the passive voice, in the passive voice, the speaker sounds as if they're distancing themselves from the subject. Maybe they haven't thought it through completely or disagree with the premise. With the potential form, however, the speaker is showing his agreement with the premise that is presented.


その内容から往来物の祖ともいわれる。 It is said that... (I'm not saying whether I agree or not)

その内容から往来物の祖とも言える。 It can be said that.... (I agree with the premise)

In response to E. Matsunagaさん's comment regarding 言う, I've 追記した'd the following 補足説明.

Let’s continue with your 祖とも言われる / える example.




With 言う, just looking at the sentence as is with no further context, there appears to be an implied subject such as (話し手の共同体を表す)我々, which not only implies the speaker’s agreement with the premise, but also that of a larger group of people the speaker is a part of (such as a company or research team, or even just the world-at-large). If there were to be a explicit subject such as 私, that would imply that the speaker definitely agrees, but not necessarily that anyone else does.

This table might help make it easier to understand:
(Note that without an explicit subject, 言う is most often going to be referring to a large group of people or the world-at-large saying something)

enter image description here

  • This is a late comment, but why would the potential form be preferred to the dictionary form? If I said 「とも言う」instead of 「とも言える」, wouldn't it also show that I agree with the premise? My question was really confusing because as you said, I mixed up the potential and passive forms. Yet you pointed that out and were also able to answer my question. I'm sorry, but also thank you very much! Oct 27, 2019 at 16:47
  • 1
    @E.Matsunaga Check out my edit.
    – sbkgs4686
    Oct 31, 2019 at 6:15
  • Amazing and complete answer, it perfectly answers my question. Thank you very much! Oct 31, 2019 at 21:35

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