As the title suggests, I'm curious what determines which word is used for "to be made."

For example, what are the nuances between




  • A web search on 法律が作られた doesn't really pull up anything but hits for 法律ができるまで or 法律成立まで.
    – A.Ellett
    Oct 25, 2021 at 18:35
  • This is perhaps a bit of a philosophical question: are laws actually made? The wording sounds strange to me. Laws are proposed. Laws are written. Laws are debated. Laws are passed or established. At least in English, to say someone (or some political body) made a law sounds a bit odd to me. (Maybe I'm just odd myself.) I wonder whether that oddness also resides in Japanese too regarding 作る
    – A.Ellett
    Oct 25, 2021 at 23:59
  • @A.Ellet > 法律が作られた doesn't really pull up anything Huh, I get over 500k results with exact search. At any rate, my question was more about when できた is used in a way similar to "be made"
    – MegaZeroX
    Oct 26, 2021 at 1:47
  • 1
    Maybe google doesn't like me? Who knows. Glad to hear you got other results. Nevertheless, I think you asked an interesting question. Hope you didn't mind my more philosophical ramblings.
    – A.Ellett
    Oct 26, 2021 at 1:51
  • @A.Ellett - Put the search keyword in quotes like “法律が作られた”. I see nothing philosophical in the use of the Japanese verb 作る with 法律.
    – aguijonazo
    Oct 26, 2021 at 6:34

1 Answer 1


作られた tends to be used when you have some "creator" in mind, whereas できた tends to be used when who made it is not important or something came into existence on its own. Please keep in mind that できる is fundamentally an intransitive verb although it's commonly translated into English using the passive voice. In your case, 法律が作られた tends to be chosen when you are interested in the law-making process, whereas 法律ができた tends to be chosen when you're interested only in the resultant fact.

To give other examples, 近所に郵便局ができた is usually more natural than 近所に郵便局が作られた because most people are not interested in who made the post office. 森ができた refers to a common natural phenomenon, but 森が作られた may sound like it's a man-made forest.

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