In this lesson, we will discuss a handful of verbs that are called jiju dōshi 自受動詞. These verbs are naturally passive-like intransitive verbs, and they incidentally share some level of interchangeability with their transitive verb pair passive forms. In this lesson, we will study the following verb forms:
A key requirement to be a jiju dōshi 自受動詞 is that the number of required parts (arguments) in the sentence must be the same as when it’s written in a transitive fashion.
i. [I] lost [to John].
ii. [I] was beaten [by John].
Just from looking at English, we can see that makeru 負ける and makasareru 負かされる qualify as jiju dōshi 自受動詞. Another requirement is that there be two arguments in the sentence for both means of phrasing. Yet again, makeru 負ける and makasareru 負かされる help make makeru qualify to be a jiju dōshi 自受動詞.
Before delving into examples, it is important to understand what defines the differences between the first and second options. When using a jiju dōshi 自受動詞, you are inherently being more objective. Using the transitive passive forms requires that you be more specific about what is going on. This is because using these forms implies a far higher level of subjectivity. Grounding your statement with specifics is a natural means of providing legitimacy to what you’re saying. This logic is what defines the naturalness and nuance splicing of deciding between a jiju dōshi 自受動詞 and a transitive passive verb of the same thing.
The intransitive verb mitsukaru 見つかる creates an intransitive-transitive verb pair with mitsukeru 見つける. The verb mitsukaru 見つかる indicates the rather spontaneous finding of something. It lacks volition and, again, implies that the act of finding was incidental in nature. It is very objective as an effect. However, mitsukeru 見つける is the willful act of having found something. In other words, what the agent finds was actively sought out. As such, its passive form mitsukerareru 見つけられる has volition, an active agent, and a high level of subjectivity, all characteristics that mitsukaru 見つかる lacks.
Kinō yūgata, iede shita yukue fumei no gakusei ga kinjo no hito ni [mitsukarimashita/mitsukeraremashita].
Sentence Note: When mitsukaru 見つかる is used, the discovery sounds incidental. When mitsukerareru 見つけられる is used, the person found was actively sought out. The question “who found the person” also becomes more likely to be raised. If it’s just mitsukaru 見つかる, then the listener is more likely to react, “oh, the person was found.” If it’s mitsukerareru 見つけられる, then the listener is more likely to react, “Huh, I wonder who found the person, probably the police looking for him.”
Miseinen ni tabako wo hanbai shita no ga keisatsu ni [mitsukarimashita/mitsukeraremashita].
I was caught by the police selling tobacco to a minor.
Spelling Note: Tabako can also be spelled as たばこ or 煙草.
Sentence Note: When mitsukaru 見つかる is used, it sounds as if the police incidentally found out about the speaker selling the tobacco to a minor. The sentence simply states the situation of the police finding out. Not much more can be gleamed from the statement, but not much more is necessarily going to be asked of by a listener. When mitsukerareru 見つけられる is used, it sounds like the police actively tried snatching the establishment when the worker made the mistake of selling the tobacco to the minor.
Shingō mushi wo shite itara, keisatsu ni mitsukarimashita.
Just as I was ignoring the traffic signal, I was caught by the police.
Sentence Note: In this sentence, the speaker was caught ignoring a traffic signal meant for a pedestrian. A policeman was incidentally there to notice the speaker flagrantly ignoring it and promptly snatched him/her.
Shissōsha ga, seijin no ba’ai wa, keisatsu ni mitsukatta to shite mo, hon’nin no ishi ga sonchō saremasu.
Even if a missing person is found by the police, in the even that the individual is an adult, the person’s intention are respected.
Suizōgan wo hayai uchi ni mitsukerareta.
The pancreatic cancer was caught early.
Sentence Note: The use of mitsukerareru 見つけられる implies an active role of the patient and physician(s) to find the cancer in its early stage.
Sude ni heiten shite iru tempo shōkai pēji wo mitsukerareta ba’ai wa, o-toiawase fōmu yori go-renraku kudasai.
If you find an introductory page to a store that has already closed, please contact us from our inquiry form.
Sentence Note: The mitsukerareru 見つけられる in this sentence is simply the light honorific form of mitsukeru 見つける. Of course, this has the same origin as the passive form, which also demonstrates how this usage of –(ra)reru （ら）れる is only possible with the transitive verb forms here.
Spelling Note: Sude ni may also be spelled as 既に.
Jūtaku ga zenshō shi, hitori no itai ga mitsukarimashita.
The home completely burned up, and one body was found.
Kono josei wa dansei no heya de mune ni hōchō ga sasatta jōtai de mitsukarimashita.
The woman was discovered stabbed in the chest with a kitchen knife in the man’s room.
Jibun ni niau iro tte nakanaka mitsukeraremasen.
I can’t seem to find a color that suits me.
Sentence Note: This mitsukerareru 見つけられる utilizes the potential meaning of -rareru られる.
Dō shite mo shigoto ga mitsukaranai.
I simply can’t find a job.
Dō shite mo shigoto ga mitsukerarenai.
I simply can’t find a job.
Sentence Note: In 10a, the speaker is making a simple fact-of-the-matter statement that jobs aren’t to be found whereas 10b implies an incapability of finding a job.
The verb tsukamaru 掴まる creates an intransitive-transitive verb pair with tsukamaeru 捕まえる for “to be caught” and “to catch” respectively. When tsukamaru 掴まる is used, the objective act of being captured/arrested is what is being described. When tsukamaerareru 捕まえられる is used, the sentence becomes very subjective. Although it is not always necessary to include by whom the action was done in the sentence, but not including this information will have the listener wondering about more details.
Orthography Note: The characters 掴・摑 can be used instead if the person is being forcibly held down.
Hankagai no bōhan kamera ni utsutte ita yōgisha ga kyō, kenkei ni tsukamatta.
Today, the suspect, who had been captured by downtown security cameras, was caught by prefectural police.
Hankagai no bōhan kamera ni utsutte ita yōgisha ga kyō, kenkei ni tsukamaerareta.
Today, the suspect, who had been captured by downtown security cameras, was caught by prefectural police.
Kenkei ga kyō, hankagai no bōhan kamera ni utsutte ita yōgisha wo tsukamaeta.
Today, the prefectural police caughted the suspect, who had been captured by downtown security cameras.
Yo no naka ni wa, mada tsukamatte inai satsujinhan ga sōtō iru.
There is a considerable number of criminals in the world who have yet to be caught.
Pikachū wo tsukamaeta!
I caught a Pikachu!
Aitsu wa mambiki de tsukamaerareta.
The guy was caught shoplifting.
Han’nin wa, ōdōri wo yokogitta shunkan ni keisatsu ni tsukamaerareta.
The criminal was caught by police the instant he/she tried crossing the boulevard.
Imada Metamon wo tsukamaerarete inai hito ga kekkō iru yō desu.
It appears that there are quite a lot of people who haven’t been able to catch Ditto yet.
Sentence Note: Ex. 16 demonstrates how tsukamaerareru 捕まえられる, unlike tsukamaru 捕まる, can be used to indicate the potential. It’s even possible for it to be used as the light honorific form of tsukamaeru 捕まえる. Noticing that particle usage is different for the ‘passive’ interpretation than it is for the potential and the light honorific interpretations is very important in preventing confusion.
Senjitsu, tomodachi ga kōtsū ihan de tsukamatte shimatta.
The other day, my friend got caught fo a traffic violation.
Tsui ni uchūjin ga tsukamaerareta!
The alien has at last been caught!
Watashi wa settō de keisatsu ni [taiho saremashita/tsukamaeraremashita].
I was arrested by police for theft.
Sentence Note: When tsukamaerareru 捕まえられる is used, Ex. 19 sounds like the speaker had been actively sought and then arrested. Perhaps the speaker had been caught close to the scene after a short chase. Taiho sareru 逮捕される, on the other hand, is a more formal variation of tsukamaru 捕まる. It just incidentally catches the meaning that the speaker was arrested for theft. For all we as the listener would is that the speaker could have surrendered himself/herself at the police station.
Inshu unten de tsukamaru to, bakkin wa ikura desu ka?
When you’re arrested/caught for drunk-driving, how much is the fine?
The intransitive verb makeru 負ける when meaning “to lose (to)” is similar in meaning to makasareru 負かされる, meaning “to be beaten (by).” Although makeru 負ける is naturally more objective and makasareru 負かされる is more subjective, over all, makeru 負ける is far more common. This is because makeru 負ける can be used in very emotional situations, and so the heightened that makasareru 負かされる would provide is usually unnecessary.
(Bengoshi no) Harada-san wa, kōron ni naru to, itsu mo oku-san ni makete shimau rashii desu.
(The lawyer by the name of) Mr. Harada seems to lose every time he gets into an argument with his wife.
(Bengoshi no) Harada-san wa, hiniku ni mo, kōron ni naru to, itsu mo oku-san ni makasarete shimau rashii desu.
Ironically, (the lawyer by the name of) Mr. Harada seems to always get defeated by his wife when they get into an argument.
An’na ni kirei sappari makasareru no ga gaman dekinakatta n desu.
I just couldn’t stand being completely defeated like that.
24. 棋士がコンピュータに｛負かされる・負ける｝日が来るなど、とても考えられなかった。Kishi ga kompyūta ni [makasareru/makeru] hi ga kuru nado, totemo kangaerarenakatta.
It was totally unthinkable that the day would come a shogi/go player would [be defeated by/lose to] a computer.
Gan ni makenai!
I will not lose to cancer!
Kōshō wa, aite wo makasu koto de wa arimasen.
Negotiating is not defeating one’s opponent.
On’na-no-ko ni makasareta kutsujokukan ga mashite itta.
The sense of humiliation from having been defeated by a girl grew.
Ikari ni [makenai/makasarenai] yō ni shimashō.
Let’s try not to [lose/be defeated by] anger.
Shoshinsha ni [makete/makasarete] mo megenai.
Even if I [lose to/am defeated by] a beginner, I won’t be discouraged.
Kare wa mumei no shinjin ni [maketa/makasareta].
He [lost to/was defeated by] an anonymous newcomer.
The verb yabureru やぶれる and yaburu やぶる create an intransitive-transitive verb pair, but their meanings are not quite the same. Additionally, how they’re spelled is also different.
At first glance, it appears that yabureru 敗れる is interchangeable with makeru 負ける. Although this is true for the most part, yabureru 敗れる is slightly more literary. Furthermore, yabureru 敗れる, being that it is the same verb as the other yabureru 破れる, gives a nuance that the loss at hand was due to one’s group falling apart. Yabureru 破れる・敗れる and makeru 負ける will also differ in set phrases.
Because set phrases are set, you can’t just switch out a key component and be fine. Therefore, makeru ga kachi 負けるが勝ち (he that fights and runs away may live to fight another day) and koi ni yabureru 恋に破れる (to be disappointed in love) won’t ever be seen with the two verbs flipped with each other.
Although may be used to mean “defeat,” in which case it is interchangeable with the more common uchimakasu 打ち負かす (to defeat), it is not used in the passive. However, yaburareru 破られる is used as the passive form for all the other usages.
Kekkyoku wa shiai ni yaburete shimatta.
In the end, I was defeated in the match.
Kareshi ni yakusoku wo yaburaretara wakaremasu ka?
Do you break up if your boyfriend breaks a promise on you?
Ryokan ya hoteru no shōji wo yabutte shimatta toki, ryōkin wa dō narimasu ka?
When you accidentally tear a paper sliding door at a ryokan or hotel, what happens to the fare?
Seijaku ga yaburareta.
The silence was broken.
Nishikori Kei wa, junjunkesshō de yabureta.
Kei Nishikori was defeated in the quarterfinal.
The intransitive form of shiru 知る is shireru 知れる. Shireru 知れる means “to come to light/to be known.” Aside from these two basic meanings, it also means “to obviously not amount to much” in the set phrase taka ga shirete iru 高が知れている. It also appears in the infamous phrase ka mo shirenai かも知れない (might/maybe).
learly, because it is used in ka mo shirenai かも知れない, shireru 知れる is a very common verb. However, its use outside set phrases is rather limited. When the sense of “to come to light” extends to “to be found out,” shirareru 知られる is far more frequent. Also, the more serious and/or complex the situation being found out is, the more likely shirareru 知られる is used over shireru 知れる.
The reason for this is simple. In the positive sense of something being known to other people, shireru 知れる is contained to set phrases. For instance, na no shireta 名の知れた (well-known) is one example. Usually, the sense of “to be well-known” is taken over by the compound verb shirewataru 知れ渡る.
Usually, shireru 知れる is rather negative to the point of contempt. When used to indicate that something is obviously known it’s not worth saying or that something doesn’t amount to much, it clearly isn’t being used nicely. This is likely why shirareru 知られる is almost always used in general situations to show that something was found out by others.
Osato ga shirete shimau toki tte don’na toki desu ka?
What sort of moments does your upbringing get found out?
Sentence Note: Ex. 36 refers to the location of one’s upbringing being found out by one’s dialect. Even if a person learns how to speak in a standardized manner, slip-ups always occur. When directed at other people, osato ga shireru お里が知れる is not a nice phrase.
Jieitai ni ōbo shimashita ga, oya ni shirete, soshi sarete shimatta kako ga arimasu.
There was a moment in the past where I enlisted into the Self-Defence-Force but my parents found out and I was prevented from joining.
Kare wa gēmu gyōkai de wa na no shireta jimbutsu da.
He is a well-known figure in the game industry.
Hitori de dekiru koto wa takaga shirete iru.
What one can do by oneself doesn’t amount to much.
Mainambā de seikatsu hogo jukyū wa kaisha ni shirareru no deshō ka?
Will being a welfare recipient be found out by my company through My Number?
Kurejitto kādo wa bangō wo shirareru dake de kiken desu.
A credit card is dangerous just by having the number found out.
Kurejitto kādo no anshō bangō wo tanin ni shirarete shimatta.
The PIN to my credit card was found out by another person.
Tenshoku no sai, nenkin (no) tetsuzuki de rikonreki ga shirarete shimau deshō ka?
When switching jobs, would one’s divorce history be found out via pension procedures?
Dare ni mo shirarenai deshō.
It probably won’t be found out by anyone.
Jisho wo hikeba wakaru noni, kon’na shitsumon wo tōkō suru hito no ki ga shirenai.
I can’t for the life of me understand people who post these kinds of questions even though they could’ve figured them out by pulling out a dictionary.
Grammar Note: Ex. 45 is an example of shireru 知れる being the potential form of shiru 知る. As this example shows, when it’s used this way, it’s usually going to be in the negative form and the sentence overall will not be so kind.
Yō to shite yukue [(ga) fumei da/ga wakaranai/ga shirenai].
(The person’s) whereabouts are completely unknown.
Sore wa iwazu to shireta koto da yo.
That’s needless to point out.
Kimi no koto wo dore hodo shimpai shita ka shirenai yo.
You have no idea how worried I was about you.
Ōbeiken de wa hiroku shirewatatte iru.
It’s widely known in the West.
Kenkō hoken wo tsukatte byōin [de/wo] jushin shite mo kaisha ni shirareru koto wa arimasen.
Even if you get seen at a hospital with health insurance, (the visit) won’t be found out by your company.