From 4m36s of https://youtu.be/N70t8hQCcPI?t=276, the speaker says


This apparently translates to "A lot of trashed was washed up."

My question is why 流す is being used here instead of 流れる? 流れる is an intransitive verb, and here the subject of the sentence is "trash". So wouldn't that be the better choice?

On the other hand, 流す is transitive. So we're expecting the subject to act upon some object (を). But here the subject of the sentence is ゴミ, which isn't acting upon anything in the sentence (no を marked nouns).

  • It is using 流される, the passive of 流す.
    – aguijonazo
    Commented Jun 4, 2023 at 16:47
  • 1
    Is the reason this was chosen over 流れる is that 流される implies that some other agent caused the trash to wash up? (i.e. people who threw the trash into the ocean many miles away)?
    – George
    Commented Jun 4, 2023 at 17:22

1 Answer 1


First of all, the transitive verb 流す is used in the passive here. So ゴミ being the subject is totally expected. ゴミを流す is transformed into ゴミが流される.

As for 流れる, you can also use it.


This is totally fine as an objective description. It doesn’t mean the speaker is happy about the situation.

The passive form is used here because the trash is seen as a passive object. It was “washed up” by the waves.

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