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Edit  dc
passive verb ending
the water was drunk by the child
Edit  dc
This building was built two years ago.
Edit  #1171 dc, Miki
development of overseas mobile contents is entrusted to me.
Edit  #3168 dc
After waiting for a long time, finally my name was called.
Edit  #3169 bamboo4, viljami
What I wanted to do to him, he did to me instead.
Edit  #3170 bamboo4
He was drawn in by the light.
Edit  #6702 Sion
Lit: Without being told, I know that already!
Edit  #6997 agnestan
Japanese is spoken in Japan.
Edit  #8591 starsandsea
Sato was invited to the party by Tanaka.
Edit  #8592 starsandsea
This song is known to everyone in Japan.
Edit  #8593 starsandsea
The water was drunk by the child.
Edit  #1170 dc, bamboo4
Discussion and comments

Verb (nai stem) + れる・られる

(Grp I)
 話す → 話さ.れる (be told)
聞く → 聞かれる (be heard)

(Grp II)
 食べる → 食べ.られる (be eaten)
 立てる → 立て.られる (be built)

 来る → 来られる
する → される
Compare the passive and active examples below

 The child drank the water
the water was drunk by the child
The passive of group 2 verbs is the same as the potential and honorific. Which can only be discovered by the context:

 the が gives this away as potential
potential: My teacher can eat nattou

 could be many things:

honorific: my Teacher ate nattou
potential: my teacher could eat nattou
indirect passive: someone ate natto (~and my teacher was unhappy about it)
There is also an indirect passive, which doesn't exist in English. It implies the other person is annoyed by the action.

Perhaps it could be translated as "person A did something AT person B"

the beer was drunk by Tanaka

(The teacher was drunk beer at by Tanaka)
The teacher was annoyed by Taro drinking beer.
some more formation examples

For 一段 (いちだん − える、いる ending) verbs you essentially drop the る and tack on a られる.

For 五段 (ごだん 〜う ending) verbs you change the last syllable so that it ends
in 〜あ and add れる 

話す 話される was spoken
聞く 聞かれる was listened/heard
泳ぐ 泳がれる was swum
待つ 待たれる was carried
死ぬ 死なれる was killed
会う  会われる was met
作る 作られる was made
呼ぶ 呼ばれる was called
As for (passive) in notes, the Japanese is not natural. It should beその本は田中さんによって書かれた。
dc, beer is ビール, building is ビル.(^_^;)
The first example is weird. You do not say 犬に水を飲まれました(even though grammatically possible) but you normally say 犬が水を飲んでしまいました。In the same vein, the second example, too, is somewhat awkward, even though not as bad as the first example.I would say このビルが建ったのは(建てられたのは)2年前です。
ビールは田中に飲まれた is also awkward. 田中がビールを飲んでしまった is more like it.
Just to make a note of this, the Kanji used above in the example for 'was carried' is TAI, which is the kanji for 'wait'. This effectively reads MATSU.
In Japanese, you can use passive voice either for transitive or intransitive verbs. When you use passive voice for intransitive verbs, it normally indicate some kind of disadvantage for the speaker.For example, 居る can be changed to 居られる but this would normally indicate you don't want him to be there, but he is there nevertheless.

Thus it is possible to say 犬に水を飲まれました, which gave you the disadvantage of the dog having drank [your] water, but I said it is awkward because one would normally have one's dog under control so that that kind of thing would not happen. The result is that you are declaring your own stupidity by making that statement.
OK, so the examples show how NOT to use a passive! can you provide some good examples of ways to use it?
What about ~(ra)rete-morau
~(ra)rete-kureru ?

I found a lot of examples with this form but I can't find an english translation...I can't understand why morau and kureru which express gratitude to someone else are used with rareru which implies I am (or someone else) annoyed by the action.
For example, I found on the net (thanks google!) such sentences:



What does it mean?

What's the difference with

By the way, such sentences can be read too:


...Isn't there a paradox between "naitemorau" and "komaru" ?

I guess that's not strange for a Japanese native speaker but I am not a native speaker! ^^"
This entry is very useful. Thanks!

Minor correction:

(The teacher was drunk beer at by Tanaka)
The teacher was annoyed by [Taro] drinking beer.

"Taro" should be Tanaka.
According to my textbook, you can also use transitive verbs to indicate a disadvantage. (The book calls this kind of passive sentence "indirect passive sentences.")

Transitive verb example:
(My test was looked at by the student next to me and it troubled me.)

Intransitive verb example:
(It rained and it troubled me.)