Small error in example sentence for 万年筆?

The example sentence for 万年筆 is:

You dropped your fountain pen.

Shouldn’t this sentence use が instead of を? I thought 落とされました was the passive form of 落とす. Or am I misreading it?

1 Like

You’re absolutely correct.

I even have an example from Genki which uses the passive of 落す:

I think they might’ve confused passive with causative, which would be 落させました or the passive + causative 落させられました which would probably fit here.

EDIT: Unless there is something I’m missing here…

It looks wrong, but this isn’t a passive conjugation. I’m not sure why WaniKani would include this advanced grammar into the example sentences, but this is a kind of 敬語(けいご) (honorific language) construction. It is identical in form to the passive conjugation though, which is confusing.

It is, for all intents and purposes, a more polite version of ()とした.

Check out


Ah, that would explain it :man_facepalming: . That’s the “polite passive”, right?

WaniKani actually does include quite some keigo sentences:
That one’s for 先程. It’s actually overly polite even, because 先ほど and いただく are spelled in full kanji.


That they do. They probably should have easier alternatives too though.

I mean, in a way it’s fair game. The sentence is not wrong as you said. There are also plenty of sentences written in very casual Japanese, using gendered expressions. I’m usually more worried about the ones which use a taught word colloquially.

1 Like

Thanks for the replies! I learned something new again and I suppose it makes sense that you would use polite language to someone who dropped their fountain pen :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:. I love it how Japanese has all these verb conjugations that are indistinguishable :thinking:


It’s worth noting that honorific and passive aren’t the only meanings for ~られる. There’s also “spontaneous occurrence”.

The dictionary gives the example

Because my personality is the way it is, I (spontaneously) get anxious about the future.

I don’t encounter that one often. I imagine it’s more common in literature.


This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.