(.) Both Japanese and English can construct sentences such that the main verb is either active or passive. There are two words for "passive voice" in Japanese 受身形 and 受動態.

I know that 受身形 means "passive voice as is constructed using Japanese grammar" such as:

So, I am guessing that 受動態 means "passive voice as is constructed using English grammar" such as:
My car was stolen by Mr. Tanaka.

How are 受身形 and 受動態 used differently?

(.) I know that 能動態 is the antonym of 受動態, and so what is the antonym of 受身形?

1 Answer 1


They are almost the same, but 受身形【うけみけい】 is preferred by ordinary language leaners, whereas 受動態【じゅどうたい】 is preferred by linguists. Perhaps it's analogous to the difference between "passive form" and "passive voice" in English. 車が盗まれた and My car was stolen are both a 受動態の文 and a 受身形の文. Maybe someone thought the character 態 (voice) was too difficult for beginners.

We also say 受動形【じゅどうけい】. The antonym of 受動形/受身形 is 能動形【のうどうけい】.

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