~られた (Bonus Unit B)

A relatively simple one here.

We already saw the possibility form, yeah?




Verbs in possibility form conjugate like ichidan verbs. (← Noticing a pattern here?) Thus, if we want to put them into plain past tense, all we need to do is remove the final ~ る and replace it with ~ た:

買えかえる // can buy
買えかえた // was able to buy



食べられたべられる // can eat
食べられたべられた // was able to eat



As you can imagine, this is an exceptionally useful conjugation pattern. For example, let's say that a friend is visiting you from out of town, and they slept on your couch. In the morning, you could ask them:

よく眠れた?
よく ねむれた?
Were you able to sleep well? // Did you sleep alright?
Literally: "well + were able to sleep?"
Note: More info on this verb, 眠る (ねむる // to sleep) is shown below.



Or maybe you took on an eating challenge where you had to eat 28 pizzas. After downing all of them like a champ, you can proudly say:

全部食べられた! 
ぜんぶ たべられた!
I was able to eat all of them!
Literally: "all / everything + was able to eat!"
Note: As I mentioned back in this lesson, the ら often gets dropped in spoken language, which would give us 食べれた (たべれた).



Getting More Casual

Above, we saw this this sentence:

よく眠れた?
よく ねむれた?
Were you able to sleep well? // Did you sleep alright?
Literally: "well + were able to sleep?"



That is, we saw the verb 眠る (ねむる // to sleep). You may have been a bit thrown off because you're more familiar with the verb 寝る (ねる // to sleep). It would have been possible to say this, too:

よく寝れた?
よく ねれた?
Were you able to sleep well? // Did you sleep alright?
Literally: "well + were able to sleep?"



Wait, you think, shouldn't it be れた (ねられた)?

Based on the conjugation chart above, yes, it should. But in spoken Japanese, the ら often gets dropped with ichidan verbs in the potential form, so instead of ~られた, we have ~れた.

If you're wondering why there are two different verbs for "to sleep," it's because these verbs have varying meanings. 寝る (ねる) can mean "to sleep," but it can also mean "lie down" or "go to bed." In contrast, 眠る (ねむる) means "to sleep" in the sense of "to not be awake." Listen for how they are used in the real world, and you'll get used to their differing meanings naturally.



Anyway, let's practice:






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