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?

1 Answer 1


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").


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