|to approve||to be approved|
|to say||to be told|
To create the passive in Japanese for all verbs with one exception, we hop two spaces left from the u-ending syllable to an a-ending syllable and add れる. The only exception are う ending verbs such as 言う (to say) and 買う (to buy) where う is replaced by わ (as it was with the negative) and the verb “to do”.
Grammatically, the subject performing the action is followed by に, which we can think of as meaning “by”. For certain verbs there is no passive (e.g. “to go” and “to come”) as such, but we will see the passive conjugation used for other purposes later.
|I will evaluate.|
|I will be evaluated.|
|I will be evaluated by the teacher.|
|I mosquito bit me.|
|I was bitten by a mosquito.|
|My mother got angry at me.|
|I was yelled at by my boss.|
|I was happy because I was told the report was excellent.|
|Install a new system.|
|A new system will be installed.|
|Before the steam engine was invented travelling by horse was the quickest way.|
|This morning the elevator suddenly stopped and I was trapped for one hour.|
For Group 2 verbs this does represent one potential issue; namely, without context the following can mean one of two things.
|I can eat.|
|I will be eaten.|
But as soon as we add another word it becomes clear which we mean.
|I can eat natto.|
|I will eaten by a bear.|
|That story is widely known.|
|If I’m given a chance I definitely won’t waste it.|
|He is the candidate chosen by the committee.|