I am confused about a certain usage of 写る, that i have encountered in example sentences.

An Anki deck I use presented: このカメラはよく写りますよ。The given translation is "This camera takes good pictures."

Weblio lists: 暗くてもよく写るフィルム

From the translations given for the word and from other example sentences, it seems to me that the subject of the verb is the thing that is photographed (or seen through something). However, in the sentences above カメラ and フィルム, respectively, have seemingly taken on that role. In these sentences I would have expected a transitive verb, like 写す.

Can someone shed some light on how these expressions are constructed?


1 Answer 1


You could consider two interpretations.

  1. Omission from double nominative このカメラは 対象が よく写る
  2. よく写る itself expresses a capability.

Incidentally, you can't really use 写す when the camera is the subject because it's an inanimate object, which doesn't take actions at its own will.

  • Do you have any support for either of your interpretations? I thought of #1 too, but a native speaker said that is not the case (tho we might have misunderstood each other).
    – Szega
    Jun 19, 2020 at 9:42
  • #2 is certainly the more natural interpretation. In this regard, #1 is too technical.
    – user4092
    Jun 19, 2020 at 15:45

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