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店内は、外見のぼろっちさと同じように、古めかしい洗濯機や乾燥機占められていた。

Looking at some example sentences of 占める, it's almost always in the natural form and the particle を is used to describe the direct object, and the particle で the location where something is being occupied, like "彼は会社で重要な地位を占めている".

But in this case, considering the verb is in the passive form, could I still use the particle を here? Would it be always necessary to use で? One thing that I recently learned is that the particle を in transitive verbs in the passive form is often changed to が, as in ~を行う → ~が行われる. Would be possible to use が instead of で here?

I'm not sure but if the author of this sentence wanted to use 占める in the natural form, 店内 should be used as 店内では and 洗濯機や乾燥機 should be used with を, right?

2 Answers 2

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The direct answer to your questions is NO.

I think you are confusing the subject/object in the sentence. Comparing with 彼は会社で・・,

ocuppying occupied place(adverb)
店内は、・・・ 洗濯機や乾燥機 店内 -
彼は会社で・・ 重要な地位 会社

So the very literal translation of the quoted sentence is

The inside of the shop, just as shabby as its outside, was occupied by oldish washing machines and tumble dryers.

Its active counterpart (which is not totally natural probably due to the subject being inanimate) is,

外見のぼろっちさと同じように、古めかしい洗濯機や乾燥機店内占めていた.

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  • I'm afraid I didn't understand your answer. One of my questions was about using the を particle in the first sentence, and supposedly is wrong, and then you stated that 洗濯機 was the object. If it's the object, why is it wrong to use the を particle? Why is it correct to use the で particle?
    – BIG-95
    Jan 4, 2023 at 11:42
  • @BIG-95 Sorry subject/object was misleading (+ there was an error, fixed). I'm not sure where you want to use を in which sentence of what voice. 乾燥機 could be 乾燥機によって.
    – sundowner
    Jan 4, 2023 at 12:20
  • 会社で in 彼は会社で重要な地位を占めている plays a totally different role than 乾燥機で or even 店内(で). Actually 会社で can be dropped and the sentence is still complete.
    – sundowner
    Jan 4, 2023 at 12:35
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If the verb were 占める, 洗濯機や乾燥機 would be the subject and 店内 would be the direct object.

洗濯機や乾燥機が店内(の場所)を占めていた。

So in the passive voice, the subject marker が should be used for 店内. For 洗濯機や乾燥機, you should use either に(よって) or で. The former is like “by” and the latter “with”.

店内(の場所)が洗濯機や乾燥機に(よって)占められていた。

店内(の場所)が洗濯機や乾燥機で占められていた。

によって sounds better than に to me.

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