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Thread: -れる、-られる

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    Senior Member Mindflux's Avatar
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    Default -れる、-られる

    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).

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    Senior Member ampersand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mindflux View Post
    were these people just dumb
    Yes.
    "I have ... relations... with many of the students." -- Sai1

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    Default Re: -れる、-られる

    The Japanese people were wrong. 見れる is certainly used more often but I hear 見られる certainly often enough.

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    Али Димаев AliDimayev's Avatar
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    Default Re: -れる、-られる

    Mirareru can also be humble.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyakuman View Post
    As usual, you all (Aliを除く) have your heads up your asses.

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    ERRRRRGG Avocado's Avatar
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    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.

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    Али Димаев AliDimayev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avocado View Post
    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.
    Last edited by AliDimayev; April 20th, 2009 at 17:04.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyakuman View Post
    As usual, you all (Aliを除く) have your heads up your asses.

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    Default Re: -れる、-られる

    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.

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    Senior Member kamukamuume's Avatar
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    Default Re: -れる、-られる

    Quote Originally Posted by Ampersand
    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.
    Last edited by kamukamuume; April 20th, 2009 at 17:50.

  9. #9

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    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by kingmongkut View Post
    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.)
    Last edited by Wakatta; April 20th, 2009 at 18:36.
    Quote Originally Posted by katsudon View Post
    Principal: 'genki no nai shapenaa'
    Me: *giggle*
    Principal (turns to me, says): Very old sharpener. I am not as old as that sharpener.

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    Senior Member ampersand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingmongkut View Post
    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.
    "I have ... relations... with many of the students." -- Sai1

  11. #11

    Default Re: -れる、-られる

    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.
    Last edited by Wakatta; April 20th, 2009 at 18:53.
    Quote Originally Posted by katsudon View Post
    Principal: 'genki no nai shapenaa'
    Me: *giggle*
    Principal (turns to me, says): Very old sharpener. I am not as old as that sharpener.

  12. #12
    ERRRRRGG Avocado's Avatar
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    Default Re: -れる、-られる

    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...

    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.

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    Али Димаев AliDimayev's Avatar
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    Default Re: -れる、-られる

    Yinz? How about youse?

    HEY, YOUSE GUYS!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyakuman View Post
    As usual, you all (Aliを除く) have your heads up your asses.

  14. #14

    Default Re: -れる、-られる

    I've heard things like "The car needs washed" here. But I'm in Indiana, so maybe it really is a Midwest thing.

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    Senior Member kamukamuume's Avatar
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    Default Re: -れる、-られる

    Quote Originally Posted by Ampersand
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wakatta
    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.

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    Али Димаев AliDimayev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eira View Post
    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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyakuman View Post
    As usual, you all (Aliを除く) have your heads up your asses.

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    Senior Member Virus FM's Avatar
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    Default Re: -れる、-られる

    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.

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    Senior Member TheSpartanPope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AliDimayev View Post
    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."

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    Senior Member ampersand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingmongkut View Post
    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.
    "I have ... relations... with many of the students." -- Sai1

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSpartanPope View Post
    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.

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