I may be completely off the mark here, but this my understanding. I am a native speaker of neither Japanese nor English.


Does this sentence mean that it is a survey that got conducted or that someone (they/we) conducted? I thought it was the latter, since する is a 他動詞. If it was written as 実施された, then I would understand it as "got conducted".

I thought I was right until I came across this sentence in my iPhone:

iPhoneが再起動した場合Touch IDを利用するには...

I do not understand how this is possible at all, since there is the subject "iPhone" and it "was/got restarted". It sort of makes sense only if I regard 再起動する as 自動詞. If it were written as Iphoneを再起動した場合, I would understand it as "a situation in which (you) restarted your iPhone" and if it were written as Iphoneが再起動された場合, it would be "was/got restarted".


Does this mean it is a glass of orange juice into which (they) mixed some vodka, since 混ぜる is a 他動詞? I suppose it cannot get mixed by itself, there needs to be an actor.


Would this mean "a designated Wi-Fi network you chose, were it written as 選択した?

1 Answer 1


You are not completely off the mark, but there are some misunderstandings.


As you guessed, in this quote "実施した" is most likely a transitive verb, with no subject corresponding to it, so someone (not expressly specified in this quote) conducted it, and if it was "実施された", it would mean "was conducted". However, verbs ending in "する" are not always transitive, as we will see below.

iPhoneが再起動した場合Touch IDを利用するには...

Here, "再起動した" is used intransitively, with the が-marked "iPhone" being the subject. If it was "Iphoneを再起動した場合", then "再起動した" would be transitive (which it can be without a problem), with no subject corresponding to it present. You can also say "iPhoneが再起動された場合", in which case "再起動された" is a transitive verb in the passive form.

Here is the takeaway point: There are する-ending verbs that are only used as a transitive verb, and there are する-ending verbs (called "labile verbs") that can be used either as transitive or as intransitive (or more precisely, "unaccusative") verbs.

"実施する" is nearly exclusively used as a transitive verb. ("アンケートを実施する" and "アンケートが実施される" are fine, but many people may find "アンケートが実施する" strange or ungrammatical.)

"再起動する" can be used as a transitive or intransitive verb. ("Iphoneを再起動する" and "Iphoneが再起動する" are both good.)


Right. The "混ぜた" here is a transitive verb, though the person/people who did the act can be (one of) 彼ら or some other party. (The topic-subject "彼ら" corresponds to the verb 与えた.)

Here's another takeaway: In Japanese, there exist pairs of related verbs whose distinction is due to the difference in transitivity. The 混ぜる(transitive)-混ざる(intransitive) pair is one of them. Other examples include 始める-始まる, 決める-決まる and 見つける-見つかる. But do note that the use of intransitive verb does not entail the lack of a willful actor in the event it describes. "ウォッカが混ざったオレンジジュース" can very well refer to a glass of orange juice someone intentionally mixed some vodka in, and so can "なくしたスマホが見つかった" describe a situation where someone searched high and low for the phone.


Yes, if it was "選択した特定のWi-Fiネットワーク", it would mean "designated Wi-Fi network [unmentioned entity (it can be "you", as the case may be)] chose, (or closer to "have chosen" if you read the た-form as completive rather than preterite).


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