This sentence is giving me a hard time ...


(The sentence was uttered during a horse race when the speaker was passed by other competitors as he was saving his horse's energy while riding down a downward slope)

I was struggling with whether the relevant verb here is: 「休む」 or 「休まる」

I've read all of the questions and answers listed above, but can still not tell which verb is meant here.

Difference between intransitive and passive?

Passive-transitive-verb vs. Intransitive-verb (他動詞の受け身 vs. 自動詞)

Passive usage of 「済まされない」 in sentences

Besides the verb in question I am not sure why 「を」 is used here.

All in all my questions are:

Which verb is used here and if 「休まる」 is used here, how does its passive voice function (isn't it kind of passive in itself)?

Why is the 「を」particle used here and could other particles be used here as well?


While searching around the internet for some further clues I came across this website:


My current level of Japanese is not high enough to get all of what is explained but I think one of the problems connected to my question is that 「休む」is sometimes 「自動詞」and sometimes 「他動詞」. I think it is mentioned that 「を」is used with 「自動詞」in a specific way applying here as well; however I am still unsure if I could put this in my own words (and whether I understood that passage correctly).


1 Answer 1



Regarding the 「を+休む」...

It's "spatial を + intransitive 休む". The を is 移動の場所・時間の経過・動作の起点を示す『を』, and can be used with an intransitive verb.

Here 下り坂を休む means "the horse takes a rest / saves energy while going down the slope". It's similar to 「下り坂で休む」 or 「下り坂のあいだに休む」.

Related threads:

And regarding the passive 「休まれる」...

It's Suffering Passive (迷惑の受身), Indirect Passive (間接受身).

「(私が)馬に下り坂を休まれた」 means 「馬が下り坂を休んだ(ので私が何らかの影響を受けた)」, "The horse rested while going down the slope (and it affected me in some way)".

Related threads:

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