I was wondering if when you have the transitive statement


You can make an intransitive version like


I can't find any sources that tell if you can add the "actual" subject or cause to the verb with the particle に.

  • 2
    Is the 開いた in your example read [開]{あ}いた or [開]{ひら}いた?
    – chocolate
    Sep 27, 2020 at 15:30
  • I was especially wondering about あいた as that can only be used in an intransitive context. If it's possible to use the 誰に with it as indicator of performer of action, or if that would defeat the meaning of an intransitive statement. Perhaps you can only do that with passive tense? That's what I would like to know
    – Marloes
    Sep 27, 2020 at 15:45
  • @Marloes I think I finally understood your question. When あく is used intransitively, it is generally used to mean "to be empty, to be vacant", not "to be opened". However, ひらく can be both transitive and intransitive. To answer your question, yes I think adding the subject defeats the purpose of using an intransitive verb, because you are trying to associate the action with the subject. I have corrected my answer (all 4 sentences actually use transitive verbs, with the third being passive voice).
    – asa9ohan
    Sep 27, 2020 at 16:14
  • 1
    Also, the following link may be helpful to understand the semantics of あく・あける・ひらく・ひらける: detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp/qa/question_detail/q1341391903
    – asa9ohan
    Sep 27, 2020 at 16:17

1 Answer 1


誰が窓を[開]{ひら}いた? Who opened the window? (transitive, active)

窓は誰が[開]{ひら}いた? Who opened the window? (transitive, active)

窓は誰に[開]{ひら}かれた? The window was opened by whom? (transitive, passive)

窓を[開]{ひら}いたのは誰? Who is it that opened the window? (transitive, active)

  • 2
    Is the 開いた in your examples read [開]{あ}いた or [開]{ひら}いた?
    – chocolate
    Sep 27, 2020 at 15:28
  • I am using ひらいた in my examples. I think he meant to use either ひらく or あける in both sentences, but it doesn't really matter as long as the intransitive form matches.
    – asa9ohan
    Sep 27, 2020 at 15:37

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