3

これには砂糖が含まれていますか

I don't see a reason for this to be passive. Isn't it just asking if a grammatical subject is performing an action? I don't see that anything is being done to the subject marked with が.

Shouldn't

これには砂糖が含んでいますか

work just fine?

If they're equally valid, what's the difference in meaning/nuance?

Edit: DeepL and Google give an identical translation for both: "Does this contain sugar?" My question is why would that require passive?

3
  • Perhaps attempting to translate both the original sentence and your suggested change would help us understand what you're finding confusing about it.
    – Leebo
    Jul 12 '20 at 1:47
  • 1
    Recent machine translation tends to omit or rewrite illogical portions in the original text (could be the nature of neural networks). You can say it became "smarter", but makes less sense in this case. Jul 12 '20 at 9:25
  • Beware machine translation. Listen to more natural language from native speakers. The first example just sounds more natural to the trained ear.
    – peacetype
    Sep 13 '20 at 8:10
7

これには砂糖が含まれていますか。

含まれ(る) here is passive. It literally means "In this, is sugar contained?"

これには砂糖が含んでいますか。

is incorrect. You could instead say:

これは砂糖を含んでいますか。

which literally means "Does this contain sugar?"

2
  • Thanks. Besides personal preference, can you see a reason to use one over the other? Jul 12 '20 at 3:10
  • 3
    どっちもいいと思いますが。。the passive version sounds a little more formal. In daily speech you might say これは砂糖が[入]{はい}っていますか or more casually これ砂糖入ってます?/入ってる?
    – Chocolate
    Jul 12 '20 at 4:19

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