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Mindflux
April 20th, 2009, 16:00
As in the potential form:
見れる
見られる

Now books tell me "見られる" is correct.
The interwebz tell me "見れる" is usually used in speech.
Two Japanese people have told me "見られる" is "wrong" and to use "見れる" because "見られる" is passive and not potential.

So am I missing something were these people just dumb or has -られる gone the way of "shall we ~" in English (as in nearly never used).

ampersand
April 20th, 2009, 16:04
were these people just dumbYes.

Delekii
April 20th, 2009, 16:22
The Japanese people were wrong. 見れる is certainly used more often but I hear 見られる certainly often enough.

AliDimayev
April 20th, 2009, 16:30
Mirareru can also be humble.

Avocado
April 20th, 2009, 16:41
In spoken language both 見れる and 見られる are correct, but I think it's one of those grammar points that people don't think about. Where I live in the United States, for example, the auxiliary verb (or whatever) "to be" is often dropped when speaking, as in, "the car needs washed."

Although Japanese is definitely one of those languages where context can completely change what someone is saying, I guess we can give them at least one shortcut to work with. ;)

AliDimayev
April 20th, 2009, 16:42
In spoken language both 見れる and 見られる are correct, but I think it's one of those grammar points that people don't think about. Where I live in the United States, for example, the auxiliary verb (or whatever) "to be" is often dropped when speaking, as in, "the car needs washed."

;)
the car needs washed?

What part of the US are you from?

Funnyt you should mention it. I just watched a video on youtube where someone dropped the "BE" from a sentence like that. He was from the mid west. But I never hear that back in Massachvsetts. I love learning about the different dialects.

katsudon
April 20th, 2009, 16:51
the stupid part?

yeah seems like a case of prescriptive vs descriptive grammar. Don't worry too much over it, say "mireru" to your friends because it matches their dialect.

I had a JTE tell me that the phrase "zenzen daijoubu" was wrong. because zenzen is only used with negative verbs.

kamukamuume
April 20th, 2009, 17:47
Yes.

I have to say I'm a bit disappointed. Being so versed in grammar (and presumably linguistics) I would expect that you should know that native speakers are pretty much never "wrong" when it comes to such things.

What I would say is that this is a case of grammar slowly changing, and it certainly makes sense for it to do so, as potential and passive verbs are quite different in function. That's not to say that 見られる as a potential verb is wrong, of course: plenty of people still seem to adhere to it.

What you're actually saying when you call native speakers "wrong" and a text "right" is that language isn't something real and breathing, but something definite that exists in an unchanging form.

Wakatta
April 20th, 2009, 18:28
Okay, first: "the car needs washed"? Where -are- you from? Are you maybe referring to the car needs t'bih washed"? The "to be" can get pretty quiet and inarticulate, but it's still there.

My understanding is that れる in place of られる is not standard, formal language, but is an understood slang form. Kind of a can/may thing, or maybe a dropping of the subjunctive: both would be insufficiently precise in deliberate, formal writing, but both serve a useful role in spoken language. If I understand rightly (and I think it's likely I don't), 見れる may be distinctive in that it's actually de-muddling an otherwise ambiguous point of language (potential and passive). I don't know, though; I'm lousy at J-grammar.


I have to say I'm a bit disappointed. Being so versed in grammar (and presumably linguistics) I would expect that you should know that native speakers are pretty much never "wrong" when it comes to such things.

What I would say is that this is a case of grammar slowly changing, and it certainly makes sense for it to do so, as potential and passive verbs are quite different in function. That's not to say that 見られる as a potential verb is wrong, of course: plenty of people still seem to adhere to it.

What you're actually saying when you call native speakers "wrong" and a text "right" is that language isn't something real and breathing, but something definite that exists in an unchanging form.

I think that language is a hybrid creature: it can flex, but it does have a stiffer framework that only slowly changes. If you went hardcore descriptivist -- burned all the books, forbade any discussion of etymology and obliterated all knowledge of English's root languages, and banned English teachers from saying anything other than, "So someone said 'this fire is mega-hot' last night and I thought it was cooltastic so maybe we should all say 'mega-hot' or whatevs?" -- then I think it would cause significant damage to the language. You'd end up with this boneless pool of homogenous goo. For instance, "amazing" and "outstanding" would both come to mean "very good": "amazing" would lose its nuance of "stunning" and "outstanding" would lose its nuance of "standing out above the rest; better than others". Words might gain and lose associations through use, but that would be pretty random and I think would in general move towards dull homogeneity. The structure keeps it brisk.

And no, I'm not exactly hidebound about language: for instance, I scandalously subscribe to the singular gender-neutral "they". We need that word, so let's create it. I used to complain about "aggravate", but I've come to think that, really, it's an artificial distinction...you can think of it as weighing someone down. (Although my mental image is more of something being clawed or abraded...it's a really gravelly word. Pretty awesome that way. It's like the much prettier and more successful twin of "effulgent": a word whose sound rather strongly suggests a different meaning than the one it actually has.)

Wakatta
April 20th, 2009, 18:49
It occurs to me that I could address this issue much more simply than I did in my rant above:

Native speakers are sometimes wrong by accident.
Native speakers also sometimes choose to be wrong, because speaking correctly can have nuances of formality or respect that may not always be desired.

I say, "Hey, man, can I see that for a sec?" because, "Hey, man, may I see that for a second?" is way too stiff. You can say "can" with your friends because you're casual and relaxed. 貸していい? is probably much the same. Same with いつ見れるの? I suspect.

ampersand
April 20th, 2009, 18:49
I have to say I'm a bit disappointed. Being so versed in grammar (and presumably linguistics) I would expect that you should know that native speakers are pretty much never "wrong" when it comes to such things. . . . Did you perhaps read a little too much into a one-word, snarky reply?

Native speakers are often wrong about their own language, especially when asked to describe it as it actually occurs. The point in question was:

Two Japanese people have told me "見られる" is "wrong" and to use "見れる" because "見られる" is passive and not potential.In this case, these two native speakers are demonstrably wrong in that many, many Japanese people use 見られる as a potential form (as well as a passive one), and it is still a collectively agreed upon "correct" form.

Avocado
April 20th, 2009, 22:21
I'm from Pittsburgh, which is just another one of those cities where language gets fucked up. The "too be" is definitely absent.

Look at the grammar section... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pittsburghese)

I lived in Maryland until I was 7 and my parents aren't from the area, so I don't speak much 'Pittsburghese', but there are certain things that I picked up naturally. Will never say yinz, though, thank god.

AliDimayev
April 20th, 2009, 22:27
Yinz? How about youse?

HEY, YOUSE GUYS!

Eira
April 20th, 2009, 23:52
I've heard things like "The car needs washed" here. But I'm in Indiana, so maybe it really is a Midwest thing.

kamukamuume
April 20th, 2009, 23:58
In this case, these two native speakers are demonstrably wrong in that many, many Japanese people use 見られる as a potential form (as well as a passive one), and it is still a collectively agreed upon "correct" form.

I can see what you're saying. and if "when asked to describe language as it actually occurs" you're implying what I think you are, I can strongly relate. like when my teachers ask me obscure questions and I end up not being able to put my intuition into words, but when prompted I'll spew something out that is probably misleading.

something like 見れる and whether it feels right is relatively straightforward, though. I trust what you're seeing is not a native speaker saying "this is what I am confident you'll find that any cross-section of Japanese people would select," but "this is definitely what feels right." and that can tell you something concrete about what Japanese is right now, at least in a certain region.


Native speakers are sometimes wrong by accident.
Native speakers also sometimes choose to be wrong, because speaking correctly can have nuances of formality or respect that may not always be desired.

I say, "Hey, man, can I see that for a sec?" because, "Hey, man, may I see that for a second?" is way too stiff. You can say "can" with your friends because you're casual and relaxed. 貸していい? is probably much the same. Same with いつ見れるの? I suspect.

yeah, I end up doing the same stuff pretty often. but in saying something that's "wrong" feels appropriate and doesn't sound like unnatural english to a native speaker, what are you actually putting forth? if that's the case, where does "wrong" come in except from a prescriptivist aspect?

all this prescriptivist scronbrist is really just a series of stuff compiled over time, right? just look at us "can I see that" users as being ahead of the crusty curve.

AliDimayev
April 21st, 2009, 06:35
I've heard things like "The car needs washed" here. But I'm in Indiana, so maybe it really is a Midwest thing.
THe video I saw yesterday where I heard such a construction was done by a speaker from the mid west as well. So it does seem to be of midwest orgigin.

Virus FM
April 21st, 2009, 07:30
Short answer: in speech られる is "correct" but younger generations have started adopting れる to avoid confusion (and thank god). Older people will still generally use られる.

TheSpartanPope
April 21st, 2009, 08:34
THe video I saw yesterday where I heard such a construction was done by a speaker from the mid west as well. So it does seem to be of midwest orgigin.

It's also not uncommon for Michiganders to drop the "to be" in casual speech.

This seems to be especially prevalent following "needs" or "wants".
Ex. "The trash needs taken out."

ampersand
April 21st, 2009, 08:40
something like 見れる and whether it feels right is relatively straightforward, though. I trust what you're seeing is not a native speaker saying "this is what I am confident you'll find that any cross-section of Japanese people would select," but "this is definitely what feels right." and that can tell you something concrete about what Japanese is right now, at least in a certain region.I think we agree for the most part, but I'll point out that all speakers, native ones included, can't be relied on to accurately describe even their own language usage, especially regarding spontaneous production such as casual conversation. I wouldn't be surprised if the two speakers claiming that 見られるis "wrong" actually do use it as a potential form, though probably in contexts different to what they were imagining when they answered the question. Of course, it is also possible that they don't ever use it a potential form. The problem is that we just can't take their words for it, as most people aren't that aware of their own speech.

violetessence
April 21st, 2009, 09:40
It's also not uncommon for Michiganders to drop the "to be" in casual speech.

This seems to be especially prevalent following "needs" or "wants".
Ex. "The trash needs taken out."

I am from Michigan, and I second this. In formal speech I'd know to say, "The dishes need to be washed," but in casual speech it's gonna be, "The dishes need done."

My dad is from Pittsburgh, so as a young child, I remember I had to teach myself to say "color" in standard English. I picked it up from my dad as "keller," and nobody at school knew what the hell I was talking about.

AliDimayev
April 21st, 2009, 10:06
It's also not uncommon for Michiganders to drop the "to be" in casual speech.

This seems to be especially prevalent following "needs" or "wants".
Ex. "The trash needs taken out."
This is amazing. I never heard of this until I read this thread. And then on that very day I also watch a video on youtube where I hear it in practice. I really do enjoy learning about the variations in American English. Very interesting.

AliDimayev
April 21st, 2009, 10:11
Do you wear sacks as well? eh hehe

How about in the southern dialect with all that, um, damn I cant remember it now. Something along the lines of "Would he should have could would have...."

mteacher80
April 21st, 2009, 10:23
you know what i do to find out if something like this is correct or not....

type it into my keitai, if it comes up its "correct" at least enough that everyone is using it

when i just 見れる on here this popped up 見れる〈〈ら抜き表現〉〉

AliDimayev
April 21st, 2009, 10:25
Would that work on a cellphone, too, you think?

mteacher80
April 21st, 2009, 10:25
oh and we would say "the car needs washed" in normal everyday speech in missouri too.

AliDimayev
April 21st, 2009, 10:27
oh and we would say "the car needs washed" in normal everyday speech in missouri too.
You damn midwesterners. Or whatever MO is. Do you call is Missoura?

mteacher80
April 21st, 2009, 10:30
i think maybe 1/100 people in missouri say missourah or whatever.

kamukamuume
April 21st, 2009, 10:50
It's also not uncommon for Michiganders to drop the "to be" in casual speech.

Spartan Alumnus here, born and raised in metro Detroit. I have never heard that monstrosity before... where are you guys from, exactly? Marquette?

Hyakuman
April 21st, 2009, 11:00
ーれる was originally an incorrect and often mistakenly used grammar form in Japanese, however has become more and more used in speech by everyone probably for simplicity nowadays.
ーられる is the correct form and is still used exclusively in proper writing.

You might hear ーれる in a speech from a cabinet minister, but the written documents would always have ーられる.

Hyakuman
April 21st, 2009, 11:02
oh and we would say "the car needs washed" in normal everyday speech in missouri too.

Wow, that's just ridiculous. It doesn't even make a lick of sense.
"The car needs washing" is okay, but if I heard some American say the above, I would punch him/her in the face.

AliDimayev
April 21st, 2009, 11:04
Wow, that's just ridiculous. It doesn't even make a lick of sense.
"The car needs washing" is okay, but if I heard some American say the above, I would punch him/her in the face.
It sounded very awful to me too, but appearantly some regions of the US do use such a construction.

kamukamuume
April 21st, 2009, 11:13
ーれる was originally an incorrect and often mistakenly used grammar form in Japanese, however has become more and more used in speech by everyone probably for simplicity nowadays.
ーられる is the correct form and is still used exclusively in proper writing.

You might hear ーれる in a speech from a cabinet minister, but the written documents would always have ーられる.


yeah, that seems to be the concensus, but how does "wrong" language just appear? if you're talking formal grammatical correctness (which doesn't necessarily have a bullfox in common with the real language), then sure ~れる is the undisputed champion.

also it seems a bit too convenient for only one case of this ~られる construction to be mutated as a mistake and then propagate itself. with something like they're/their/there, people fuse unlike forms together by accident, but this is the opposite. just doesn't seem likely to appear spontaneously as the result of ignorance.

Hyakuman
April 21st, 2009, 11:51
also it seems a bit too convenient for only one case of this ~られる construction to be mutated as a mistake and then propagate itself. with something like they're/their/there, people fuse unlike forms together by accident, but this is the opposite. just doesn't seem likely to appear spontaneously as the result of ignorance.

There's a lot of this stuff going on in Japanese. Another one is for example じゃ. That probably started out the same way as では and people found it easier just say じゃ instead. Also how about ーさせて, in the vernacular it often becomes ーさして because it's so much easier to roll off the tongue. Japanese people do this all the time so you might find ーれる as a regular part of writing in the future, it just how their language evolves, methinks.

violetessence
April 21st, 2009, 11:52
Spartan Alumnus here, born and raised in metro Detroit. I have never heard that monstrosity before... where are you guys from, exactly? Marquette?

Ann Arbor.

@ Dawg - Please don't punch me in the face.

matt360
April 21st, 2009, 13:02
the stupid part?

yeah seems like a case of prescriptive vs descriptive grammar. Don't worry too much over it, say "mireru" to your friends because it matches their dialect.

I had a JTE tell me that the phrase "zenzen daijoubu" was wrong. because zenzen is only used with negative verbs.

But people use this all the time in casual speech. I was told recently, however, not to use it in front of anyone I'm trying to impress. But I think it's perfectly fine to use in casual speech with friends.

Wakatta
April 21st, 2009, 16:38
Ann Arbor.
Violetessence needs punched.

I'm planning on going to Ann Arbor later this year, and if anyone says, "This brief needs wrote!" or "Man, all these books need read!" I will send them to Japanese JHS and ask the JTEs to please teaching grammar correctry to this American.

Well, okay, I can't really think of a good argument why it's not a superior form. Still, that's pretty bizarre.

I guess the best I can do is to say that prior to learning Latin and more formal English grammar, I didn't really think of "infinitives" precisely. I thought of a verb "needs to be" which could be followed by the whatever state I felt was necessary. "This needs to be darker." "This needs to be bigger." "This needs to be fixed." Saying "this car needs washed" kind of breaks that elegant symmetry. It sounds like it's not part of that "needs to be ~" family and is instead part of what I have on a basic level long considered a separate verb, "need". Like, "I need more!" or "I need the red marker!"


But people use this all the time in casual speech. I was told recently, however, not to use it in front of anyone I'm trying to impress. But I think it's perfectly fine to use in casual speech with friends.

I've heard 全然違う! many a time. My knowledge of Japanese isn't really at the level where I can make arguments like this, but just to be a bit audacious, I'll further say that I see no logical basis for it having an intrinsically negative meaning: it's all + nature.

Urthona
April 22nd, 2009, 11:19
This is somewhat connected to ーられる forms but are there verbs that already have a sense of the potential in them like 見える and 聞こえる?

I know they carry a slightly different meeting from ーられる and whatnot but it seems useful to know if there are any others.

Hyakuman
April 22nd, 2009, 12:08
This is somewhat connected to ーられる forms but are there verbs that already have a sense of the potential in them like 見える and 聞こえる?

I know they carry a slightly different meeting from ーられる and whatnot but it seems useful to know if there are any others.

Actually, those are intransitive words, not potential forms of "see" and "hear".

見える - is seen.
聞こえる - is heard.

~を見る・聞く(transitive)
~が見える・聞こえる(intransitive)

Rin
May 31st, 2009, 11:31
Actually, those are intransitive words, not potential forms of "see" and "hear".

見える - is seen.
聞こえる - is heard.

~を見る・聞く(transitive)
~が見える・聞こえる(intransitive)

Etymologically, they're related, though. The passive and potential forms both come from classical ゆ, which evolved into what it is today.

As an aside, I typically avoid using verbs like 見る for any kind of grammar demonstration, unless specifically talking about that verb. I like to use 食べる and 飲む because both can be used transitively or intransitively without any change, and they both demonstrate the modern split between う and る verbs easily.

Hyakuman
June 1st, 2009, 10:31
As an aside, I typically avoid using verbs like 見る for any kind of grammar demonstration, unless specifically talking about that verb. I like to use 食べる and 飲む because both can be used transitively or intransitively without any change, and they both demonstrate the modern split between う and る verbs easily.

I agree. Sticking with simple verbs that have no exceptions or strange conjugations is best for teaching.

AliDimayev
June 1st, 2009, 11:26
Spartan Alumnus here, born and raised in metro Detroit. I have never heard that monstrosity before... where are you guys from, exactly? Marquette?
Actually I was just watching a video of Kent HOVIND, hwo is from the midwest (not sure what state) and he said something like, "Oh, the lawn needs mowed".

laCapi
July 30th, 2009, 02:33
It's also not uncommon for Michiganders to drop the "to be" in casual speech.

This seems to be especially prevalent following "needs" or "wants".
Ex. "The trash needs taken out."

Additionally, is it possible it's 'the trash needs taking out'? Because that might (maybe) make sense.

...Although, I'm probably wrong.

Spore13
August 10th, 2009, 16:42
Spartan Alumnus here, born and raised in metro Detroit. I have never heard that monstrosity before... where are you guys from, exactly? Marquette?


Yeah, I'm from Nebraska and I've never heard that before. It honestly makes me want to vomit a little. It is not a Midwestern thing.

hige
September 28th, 2009, 22:54
I'm from Pittsburgh, which is just another one of those cities where language gets fucked up. The "too be" is definitely absent.

Look at the grammar section... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pittsburghese)

I lived in Maryland until I was 7 and my parents aren't from the area, so I don't speak much 'Pittsburghese', but there are certain things that I picked up naturally. Will never say yinz, though, thank god.

it all makes sense...we say that 45 minutes south of the WV border too.

battle_onigiri
September 29th, 2009, 02:09
As far as the "midwest" accents go, just because you're in the midwest doesn't necessarily mean your town or whatever will use it. But it seems more common to drop the "to be" in that general area. (granted this is coming from a limited selection of people).

In the south (Georgia, to be exact) I know my grandfather often uses double negatives in regular speech. My dad always says "I waked up this morning" which drives me crazy. And in Texas you can't go 5 feet without hearing "Ya'll".

Spore13
September 29th, 2009, 12:51
What exactly are we calling Midwest then, because I haven't heard it in Kansas or Iowa either...

AliDimayev
September 29th, 2009, 12:55
In the Boston environs many peoples drop the 'R' that occur in the middle of a word.

kamukamuume
September 29th, 2009, 16:01
well, I had it confirmed by one of my friends, who worked at a car repair shop for a while, that some people in my area use the disgusting "lawn needs mowed" construction. so apparenly it is used in some parts of Michigan.

honestly, though, I think it's exceedingly rare, as I'd never heard such a thing before.

word
September 29th, 2009, 20:23
Me either. I'd probably be confused if I heard someone speaking this way.

Also, "y'all (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y%27all)" is spelled with the apostrophe after the "y," not the "a," as it is a contraction of "you all." It's a convenient word, and has spread much farther than Texas.

Mikewise
September 30th, 2009, 22:04
I'm from Chicago and in MY midwest "the car needs washed" sounds all kinds of wrong.

"I'm finna wash the car" however is as common as the cold, and we love to drop pronouns at the ends of sentences.

ex.:
"I'm going to the store. Wanna come with?"
"I have a burger and some fries to go with."