Without additional context, what is the meaning, or possible meanings of:


I know 聞く can mean both to hear/listen or to ask. Which interpretation is correct:

  1. X is heard by Y
  2. Y is heard by X
  3. Y was asked (a question) by X

Or are multiple options are possible? I think (3) is at least possible, but I'm not sure if this statement is potentially ambiguous. My gut feeling is that を plays an important role here. Can anyone help shed more concrete understanding?


Without additional context...

1 is incorrect; に marks the doer/"culprit" of the passive verb (see also my answer here). So X cannot be the one acted upon. Thus, only 2 or 3 are possible. And without further context, it could be either, but I feel that 3 is more probable similar to if someone says to you 「聞きたいことあるんですけど」 ("There's something I need to listen to ask you").


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.