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彼は彼女のエッセイに液体を零した。

healer

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Is the above grammatically correct?

I have problem converting it into passive voice.
Could you please point out my mistakes? Thanks!
彼女のエッセイは彼に液体を零された。

I try to make a suffering passive version as well.
I understand this does not always have a nuance of adversity as Toritoribe-san explained on the other thread.
彼女は彼にエッセイが液体を零された。
彼女は彼にエッセイを液体で零された。
 

Toritoribe

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Is the above grammatically correct?
1)
エッセイ mostly refers to a category of literature, not a concrete paper/book.

2)
液体 is not wrong, but I recommend a more common word for an example such like コーヒー, お茶 or 水.

Thus, there is no problem with, for instance, 彼は彼女の書類にコーヒーをこぼした。.

I have problem converting it into passive voice.
Could you please point out my mistakes? Thanks!
彼女のエッセイは彼に液体を零された。
The subject of a direct passive sentence is the object of the active sentence. Thus, it's コーヒー in this case. Note when the subject is inanimate, the agent is often omitted or hardly to say. If it's necessary to say, によって or から is used to indicate it.

彼によってコーヒーが彼女の書類にこぼされた。

If the indirect object is animate, another direct passive is possible.
e.g.
active: 彼は彼女にスピーチを頼んだ。
direct passive 1: 彼から彼女にスピーチが頼まれた。
direct passive 2: 彼女は彼に/からスピーチを頼まれた。

active: 彼は彼女にマイクを渡した。
direct passive 1: 彼から彼女にマイクが渡された。
direct passive 2: 彼女は彼に/からマイクを渡された。

As for your (or my?) example, 書類 is not "indirect object" in the first place. It's the target of the action just like 壁に石を投げる or 机の上に本を置く. 書類 is inanimate, so even if 書類 is the indirect object, it's impossible to make a direct passive sentence whose subject is 書類, anyway.

I try to make a suffering passive version as well.
I understand this does not always have a nuance of adversity as Toritoribe-san explained on the other thread.
彼女は彼にエッセイが液体を零された。
彼女は彼にエッセイを液体で零された。
書類 is her property, thus, if the subject of the passive sentence is 彼女, that's possessor's passive. It doesn't always have "suffering" nuance. Anyway, you don't seem to understand what the subject and object are in the original active sentence, and how those words should be changed to (i.e., what particle should be attached to) in the adversative passive sentence. Try again.
 

healer

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Thanks for your detailed explanation and examples. I made up the original sentence in order to explore and have a better understanding how a Japanese sentence in passive voice should be constructed. I welcome and appreciate very much what you have done for me on this topic.

エッセイ
I took the word エッセイ like the English word "essay". I understand words from other language can evolve separately once it is taken over. The dictionary I looked up simply gave me the English word “essay” and nothing else. Obviously it wasn't quite right.

when the subject is inanimate, the agent is often omitted
Is 彼によって in your example of 彼によってコーヒーが彼女の書類にこぼされた there to demonstrate it? But 彼 is an animate subject, isn’t it? Did I misread your sentence? Perhaps you just did it to show it was also possible.

even if 書類 is the indirect object, it's impossible to make a direct passive sentence whose subject is 書類, anyway.
Are you saying grammatically an indirect object can never be the subject of a passive sentence?

possessor's passive. It doesn't always have "suffering" nuance
So does it then purely depend on the tone and the facial expression how the speaker coneys it?

you don't seem to understand what the subject and object are in the original active sentence
I did mistake the word “essay” for one of the objects in the sentence. I didn’t learn all the grammatical analysis on the English language. We only learnt that where it was necessary. I didn’t learn grammar for the other language of mine l’m capable of either. As a matter of fact, I’m curious whether Japanese natives learn the grammar of their own language when they’re children at schools. Do they just pick up the language by reading and listening text without going into the nitty-gritty of the grammar?

Try again
Suffering version:
彼女は彼に書類にコーヒーをこぼされた。

Statement of fact:
彼に彼女の書類にコーヒーをこぼされた。

I feel 彼に is somewhat unnatural in the sentences. However I would like to include that piece of information just for the sake of completeness and for this exercise.

I’ve noticed that kanji was not used for the verb 零す. I used it because the dictionary didn’t indicate so. Usually the dictionary would indicate kana is not usually used. Perhaps the dictionary is not up to date.
 

Toritoribe

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I didn’t learn all the grammatical analysis on the English language. We only learnt that where it was necessary. I didn’t learn grammar for the other language of mine l’m capable of either. As a matter of fact, I’m curious whether Japanese natives learn the grammar of their own language when they’re children at schools.
Then, what you should do is simple. Learn it. You said the same thing before, and you are still saying the same thing. You could learn it if you had will to understand it. "I didn't learn it" is just an excuse, and it has nothing to do with how Japanese students learn it, either. You need to learn those basic grammatical terms if you want to understand grammar. It's nearly impossible to explain grammatical concepts without using those terms. At least I can't do that, and I wouldn't able to help you anymore unless you understand those basic terms.
 

healer

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Toritoribe-san, you got me totally wrong. Yes, that was an excuse. However it was an excuse of not being able to convert the sentence in active voice to passive voice effectively. I did sort of learn of direct object and indirect object in my school days but it would not be as thorough as the way one would be expected to learn a second language. I’m definitely learning now doing research on every grammar issue I might have. In fact stumbling on the grammar issues on the Japanese language where there could be the “same” thing in the English language often prompts me to revisit the grammar in the latter. Using a language one most likely understands much more than one could express. People tend to say whatever easy for them. Sentences of any language in passive voice are probably only used where it is necessary to emphasise an action being imposed on another. I guess Japanese language would use sentences of passive form more often because of the suffering connotations they could have.

I’m keen to learn anything about a language, and the learning process as well. That was why I asked about how Japanese native students would be expected to do. I remember learning French at L’Alliance Francaise years ago. The French teacher would not explain anything in English but do repeated gesticulation and examples, no grammatical terms at all. We learnt like a baby or a toddler. Having said that I still reckon your way of teaching and explaining is first-class in the given setup. I don’t believe any native speaker can help us this way. You must be a linguist or the like. Teaching by correspondence without grammatical analysis is absolutely impossible. You are doing beautifully now.

You have on several occasions referring to some Japanese grammar asked me if there isn’t the same thing in the English language while反面教師-san repeatedly reminds me never maps the Japanese language word for word to the English language. I, for one, would like to start somewhere if there is any hint of resemblance between the languages at all. In this case there seem to be similarity between the Japanese verb こぼすand the English verb “spill” which doesn’t take an indirect object. However I didn’t venture down that way remembering what 反面教師-san has said.

Please be assured that I always have respect for Toritoribe-san being my teacher. I will never be rude to Toritoribe-san. Neither have I been once in the past. Please do not jump to conclusion and please give me the benefit of the doubt.

Sorry for all the rambling. I try to make myself understood.
 

bentenmusume

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healer said:
You have on several occasions referring to some Japanese grammar asked me if there isn’t the same thing in the English language while反面教師-san repeatedly reminds me never maps the Japanese language word for word to the English language.
I'm not sure if this is referring to me. My custom title used to be "反面教師" (incidentally, this means "teacher by way of bad example", which I intended as a joke), but it has never been my username (just like you're not "後輩-san").

I don't believe I have ever said the Japanese language never maps word-for-word to English. Never is a word I try not to use when talking about languages, because there are always exceptions. At times you seem to adopt a strict all-or-nothing way of perceiving an analyzing languages for reasons that I can't quite comprehend.

Understanding that Japanese and English are two very different languages that very often function in completely different ways should not prevent you from seeing similarities and resemblances and using them to increase your understanding at those times when they do exist.
 

Toritoribe

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But 彼 is an animate subject, isn’t it? Did I misread your sentence?
I meant "the subject of the passive sentence" by "the subject". I don't think my explanation was the cause of your misunderstanding, though.
 

healer

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I'm not sure if this is referring to me.

Yes it was you I was referring to. While I was writing in response to Toritoribe-san, what I could remember of you was your good-looking portrait and the unique kanji title. I couldn’t recall your username. I was writing at the time without Internet so I couldn’t check the website. I forgot to correct it when I did a copy and paste later on.

I do remember you said not to map the English language to the Japanese language word-for-word or vice versa. Perhaps you didn’t say never. I do appreciate very much your advice with special insight as a bilinguist or a polylinguist.

I know that was not a hard and fast rule you were saying. Like you said I at times seem to adopt a strict all-or-nothing approach so it’s not always as I’m still groping my way forward. I usually start somewhere on some basis and persevere until I’m sure or I have to put aside one way or another.
 
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