Asked • 04/21/19

What is the subject when time passes in a narrative (eg 1ヶ月を経る)?

(This might be a quick easy question but sometimes the answers to these are unexpected.) What is the subject in the following sentences? I've given my best efforts for the examples 1-4 below. (I am increasingly in favour of my alternative answer but still not sure.) >1. 1か月を経ても音沙汰{おとさた}がない|A month has passed [elapsed] and we have had no news. >2. なす事もなく日を経る|spend [pass] one's days in idleness >3. 事故以来3年を経た|It has been three years since the accident. >4. 2年を経て彼らは結婚した|They got married [two years later / after two years ____________________________________ For what they are worth, my initial answers were: 1. 時, 2. 彼/私/自分, 3. 時 (same as 1) , 4. 彼ら But alternatively perhaps they are all 時 as in the sentence: >時は止まる ことなく 流れる。 Time passes with out stopping (equivalent to "Time waits for noone") In sentence 2 there is a clause modifying 日 and in 4 we have two separate clauses. This is because: Although the clause is transitive in Japanese (or at least has a "spatial を" as in 鳥が湖を飛ぶ, the bird flies over the lake), the English equivalent has a specified period as the subject with an intransitive verb (as in "two years passed")

1 Expert Answer

By:

David R. answered • 10/15/19

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Japanese tutor with 12 years of experience.

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