Japanese That Gets You in on the Action!

As you’ve probably figured out, learning Japanese sentence structures takes some practice. Many sentences sound more natural in the passive voice. Many words have nuanced meanings depending on how you use them. And, there are certain ways to refer to people who are carrying out an action. That’s what you’ll learn in this Lower Intermediate Japanese article.

Learn the difference between the particles ni and kara and when to use them to refer to the one performing the action in Japanese sentences. Because we use ni so often, this article shows you how to talk about people’s actions in Japanese without being repetitive. Read this Japanese Lower Intermediate article to see your Japanese really improve!

Vocabulary: In this article, you’ll learn the following words and phrases:

tsutsumi – “package,wrappings”

keshikaran – “How disgraceful!”

choo – “super-, ultra-, hyper-“

kookyuu – “very expensive, high grade”

mushi suru – “to ignore”

tsume awase – “assortment”

ii kimi – “That will teach you.” /  “Someone got what he/she deserved.”

Grammar: In this article, you’ll learn the following words and phrases:

In passive sentences, we usually mark the person doing an action with the particle ni. But, today’s article focuses on cases in which we use kara to indicate a person doing an action. Please see the example below.

Today’s Example:

Gomi-san kara o-seibo ga okurarete kimashita yo.

“A year-end gift was sent by Gomi-san.”

In this case, we use verbs such as okuru (“to send / to present”), watasu (“to hand”), or ataeru (“to give”)  in sentence structures such as “[doer A] ga [receiver B] ni [something] o + [verb].” If we rephrase this kind of structure to become a passive sentence using ni to mark a doer, we would use ni twice because we also mark a receiver with ni. In this case, we use kara to mark a doer in place of ni.

  1. Active sentence: Tanaka-kun wa boku ni meeru o okutta. “Tanaka sent me an email.”
  2. Passive sentence: Meeru ga, Tanaka-kun kara boku ni okurareta. “An email was sent to me by Tanaka.”

Formation:Active: [doer A] ga [receiver B] ni [something] o + [verb]

Passive: [something] ga [doer A] kara [receiver B] ni + [verb. passive]

Note: This is the case for verbs such as:

  1. okuru “to send / to present”
  2. watasu “to hand”
  3. ataeru “to give”


  1. Sensei ga Kitajima-san ni tegami o watashita. “Teacher handed a letter to Kitajima.”
  2. Tegami ga sensei kara Kitajima-san ni watasareta. “A letter was handed to Kitajima by teacher.”
  3. Kurisumasu kaado ga tomodachi kara (watashi ni) okurarete kita. “A Christmas card was sent to me by my friend.”
  4. Shachoo kara toppu seerusuman ni medaru ga ataerareta. “A medal was given to the best salesmen by the president.”

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Uzumaki Naruto

Author: Uzumaki Naruto

Expert tips before traveling Japan, including reviews of Japanese food and restaurants to help you make your trip as enjoyable and rewarding as possible.

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