I have long been familiar (~10 years) with the passive marker 被.

A new textbook that I've purchased introduces 叫 and 让 as alternatives to 被. It says that for the most part they work the same, but 叫 and 让 are more commonly used and that 被 is more often found in written or formal contexts.

Examples from the book include:

我的车 被/叫/让 他偷走了。

那本词典 被/叫/让 小明给接走了。

I have never ever heard 叫 or 让 being used in place of 被.

Are they really that "commonly" used? Do you use them or hear them being used?

  • 1
    Which textbook are you using? I remember being confused by the wording a book I used many years ago too, but I can't recall which one.
    – Olle Linge
    Commented May 16, 2020 at 8:23
  • 1
    "叫n给v了" is a very informal way of speaking. It is so informal that it even sounds funny to me. For example, “他被狗咬了” (he is bitten by dog) is describing a serious situation that he must go to hospital. However, “他叫狗给咬了” sounds like he is so stupid to tease that dog and got bitten.
    – River
    Commented May 18, 2020 at 0:58

3 Answers 3


被 can be followed by a verb or a noun


他被杀死了 - he was killed (杀死 is a verb)

他被某人杀死 - he was killed by someone (某人 is a noun)

让 means 'allow; let;' (must be followed by a noun)


不要让人杀了 (don't let people kill you/ don't be killed by someone)

叫 means 'make; cause'


叫人煩惱 - make people upset (it is not a passive marker)

  • 1
    The explanation of 被 and 让 are accurate. 叫 is possible to be a passive marker but is more oral, informal and even might be regional used. Its usage is almost the same as 让. I am from the north, we use 叫 as 让 in daily conversations, but some of my friends from other regions almost never use it. So I suspect it is regional.
    – River
    Commented May 18, 2020 at 0:45

They can function as 被 in some conditions, but 他被打了 ok 他叫/让打了 not ok should say 他叫/让人打了


给 is also could use in these type of sentences instead of 被:




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