置く おく to put; to place
It is used with TRANSITIVE VERBS ONLY!! (I can’t recall transitivity being so important while studying English)
The doer (the actor) is usually omitted in sentences with ～てある
It refers to STATES resulting from the action of the ～てverb. The action has been performed intentionally (for a reason).
In English, stated are marked by “to be + past participle/verb + ed” are displayed/are kept
Note: are kept = is considered passive voice in English! As you can see, Japanese is much more precise when it comes to expressing thoughts and concepts through grammar. Passive voice in English is much more versatile and covers more concepts than Japanese passive voice.
Pens are kept in this box vs. We keep pens in this box
passive voice of the Present Simple tense vs. Present Simple
Present Simple is used to talk about habits, STATES, schedules and repetitive actions.
～てある can be compared to passive voice of the Present Simple tense. (focus on the present)
Is it different from ～ている ＆ ～ておく?
Yes, it definitely is.
～ている and more about its implications (here & here). But as a brief reminder:
～ている is used when we talk about action in progress. With MOTION VERBS the meaning is resultative (行っている means have gone (NOT: Is going!!)). Habitual actions that didn’t/ don’t last for so long. Important distinction change vs. non-change verbs .
～ておく unfortunately gets lost in translation and the implied meaning we, us speakers or listeners, need to fill in on our own. More here. Also, ておく focuses on the future!
How is ～てある different from passive voice?
The three fled in a black car that had been parked.
Passive voice in English. Why? We don’t know the doer. Whether someone parked the car for a reason can only be determined through context.
We don’t know the doer. Thanks to this grammar structure we know that the car was parked (to be + past participle/verb + ed) intentionally and was there for a while (state).
If we replace 止めてあった with 止められた the meaning will slightly change. English translation will be “had been parked” in both cases.
Passive voice sounds as if the car was moving and someone stopped it/parked it. There’s no implication that the car was in a certain state for a longer period of time.
Megumi is saying that talismans/amulets against eveil spirits (curses) ARE PLACED 置ってあった in schools
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Writing Advice: Active vs. Passive voice, what is it?
I've heard/read many people say that you should never write in passive voice, which at first confused me as I had never heard of that expression when I went to school. But I read a really good explanation on a site called themanuscriptshredder with example as to what it is:
Passive voice is a sentence whose subject does not perform the action.
“John was attacked by wild dogs.” - Passive. John is the subject, but the dogs are performing the action.
“Wild dogs attacked John.” - Active. Dogs is the subject and the dogs are performing the action.
Passive voice is often accompanied with "was/is", but be careful if you use the "search/replace" function in your editor of choice as they quite often are still needed. This is just a simple demonstration of why active voice is to prefer in general, but passive voice have it uses too so do not be afraid to use it from time to time - even if it's just in dialogues.
love is blind (is blind)
an individual as a mosaic in purest form,
head thrown back & jaw held wide as the sunshine
pours from an open window into waiting lips.
simplify the fraction one last time:
love that rests in wait on the kitchen windowsill,
where the blinds are never closed, over
found introspection between clasped hands,
a silver whisper which cannot, hard as it tries,
wriggle its way into the end of the sentence,
the opening/closing lines of the story. it is possible
someone is looking at the scene incorrectly.
that someone is blind, that it is blood not sunshine
that it is ichor not light which has begun to reside—
or rather to stain—the tiled floor, the fingertips,
the ceiling which begins to warp at the start of summertime.
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