A Challenging Sentence

Got a tricky sentence here, it’s driving me mad. Context: a young man is trying to apologize to someone, but she just runs away. In disappointment, he thinks:


I get the general idea, of like “I came here ready for her to run, or to be stabbed, or for any reaction.” But what’s confusing me is:

  • The 〜られようが form. Is he just dropping the とする from 逃げられようとする?

  • Also how the heck does 逃げる get conjugated into passive form?? Is it like “to be run away from”? Unless this is actually potential form, but that still doesn’t make much sense as “to try to be able to run away.”

  • Plus, I’ve never seen が覚悟する used before, can you really use が with 覚悟 to describe being prepared for something (e.g. 死ぬことが覚悟した、“I came prepared to die.”)?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated! ありがとうございます!!

I think most of your confusions are solved by this grammar point: 〜ようが〜ようと. With this grammar point you list several possibilities; it means something like „no matter whether 〜 or 〜 happens“. In your sentence, it’s used three times:

The last が in front of the 覚悟 is also part of this grammar. It’s not the subject particle が, but part of this „conjugation“/grammar point. Writing it as どんな反応されようが、覚悟してきたんだろう? might make it a bit clearer, but the commas are optional, as usual.

The 逃げられる is in passive voice to indicate that not the speaker is doing the 逃げる, but the other person is. (This use of the passive is rather common in Japanese.)
It also implies that the action is done (by someone else) to the speaker and that he is negatively affected by it. This is called suffering passive.

„To be run away from“ is, in my opinion, a pretty good translation that my teacher often used to explain the use of the Japanese passive to us students. Of course you wouldn’t say it like that in English, but it captures the general idea and nuance nicely.


Wow you hit the grammar nail on the head, thank you!! I had not seen that grammar point before, and it makes perfect sense in this context. I learned about the suffering passive long ago and had totally forgotten about it. Thank you for the clear explanation! どんな難しい文章を読もうが、日本語を勉強続ける。


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