I've seen phrases where it seems the subject switches between two different meanings:

(1) これは春風をイメージしたメロディーです。 (This melody is meant to give an impression of the wind in spring.)

(2) 先生のイメージする日本語が上手な人がその先生の日本語の教え方にすごく関係していく。 (The teachers' image of a skillful Japanese speaker depends on their teaching style.)

It seems that the subject in (1) is メロディー, the object creating the impression. On the other hand, the subject in (2) is 先生, the person who is getting the impression. I expected that a verb would associate the subject with the same type of an actor, but here it seems to take actors with quite different "polarity". Did I misunderstand something?

What other 格助詞 are used with this verb besides が and を?

1 Answer 1


The subject is always the person who 'imagines'. That is, the structure is simply Subj. が/は (Loc. に) Obj. をイメージする.

After all, you can think (1) is (作者が)春風をイメージし(てつくっ)たメロディー. (I don't mean these are omitted, but the cases can be made sense of as it is).

More practically, (1) is an instance of

  • Thanks! If メロディー isn't the subject, which particle does it take? In other words if you rephrase this into a simple sentence 作者がメロディー***春風をイメージしてつくった, what particle would appear in place of ***?
    – max
    Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 20:14
  • Also is the subject the person who gets the impression (of the spring wind) from listening to the melody; or is it the composer who wrote the melody?
    – max
    Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 20:16
  • @max It should be simply 春風をイメージしてメロディーつくった. Or, the construction is sort of impersonal, like a melody with spring wind in mind,
    – sundowner
    Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 22:45
  • Re 2nd, It is usually the composer. Strictly speaking, a melody that brings spring wind to listeners' mind is 春風をイメージさせるメロディー. I guess things are vague as is sometimes case with semantics, though.
    – sundowner
    Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 22:47
  • "It should be simply 春風をイメージしてメロディーをつくった" -- Right, but that's still a "<連体修飾節> + メロディー" sentence. If we reword it into a simple sentence, without any relative clauses / 連体修飾節, which particle would then be attached to メロディー?
    – max
    Commented Jan 17, 2023 at 7:03

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