~られる / ~れる (passive or honorific form)

The passive form is frequently used in Japanese because of a strong cultural proclivity for using non-accusatory language, particularly in formal situations. Saying "The bread was eaten by you," is less accusatory than saying "You ate the bread." To make the passive form of an Ichidan verb, add ~られる to the verb base (note: Ichidan passive form is identical to Ichidan potential form). To make the passive form of a Godan verb, use the "a" formative and add ~れる:

Ichidan - Vowel Stem Verbs
見る [miru] 見られる [mirareru] 見られます [miraremasu]
出る [deru] 出られる [derareru] 出られます [deraremasu]
Godan - Consonant Stem Verbs
話す [hanasu] 話される [hanasareru] 話されます [hanasaremasu]
飛ぶ [tobu] 飛ばれる [tobareru] 飛ばれます [tobaremasu]
読む [yomu] 読まれる [yomareru] 読まれます [yomaremasu]
死ぬ [shinu] 死なれる [shinareru] 死なれます [shinaremasu]
聞く [kiku] 聞かれる [kikareru] 聞かれます [kikaremasu]
泳ぐ [oyogu] 泳がれる [oyogareru] 泳がれます [oyogaremasu]
待つ [matsu] 待たれる [matareru] 待たれます [mataremasu]
習う [narau] 習われる [narawareru] 習われます [narawaremasu]
座る [suwaru] 座られる [suwarareru] 座られます [suwararemasu]
Henkaku - Irregular Verbs
する [suru] される [sareru] されます [saremasu]
来る [kuru] 来られる [korareru] 来られます [koraremasu]
行く [iku] 行かれる [ikareru] 行かれます [ikaremasu]
  1. パンがだれかにべられる。 The bread will be eaten by someone.
  2. かいちょうわらわれました。 I was laughed at by the company president.

Passive form is also used for honorific speech. It will generally be understood from the context of the sentence when this form should be construed as passive and when it is meant as honorific. Note that in the following example the verb is meant as honorific and not passive:

  1. かいちょうじょうだんわらわれました。 The company president laughed at the joke.