What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

Causative verbs is to let or to make

healer

後輩
Joined
13 May 2019
Messages
580
Reaction score
5
Japanese causative verbs have two functions. One is making someone do something and the other is letting someone do something. How do we determine which is which?

Tae Kim’s Guide to learning Japanese says that the only good news is that when the causative form is used with 「あげる」 and 「くれる」, it almost always means to “let someone do”. It’s only almost always and what about the rest?

By the way we never use causative form with もらう, do we?
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
16,820
Reaction score
3,103
Japanese causative verbs have two functions. One is making someone do something and the other is letting someone do something. How do we determine which is which?
From the context, as always.

It’s only almost always and what about the rest?
What do you mean by "the rest"? Exceptions of あげる and くれる or the cases where あげる and くれる are not used?

By the way we never use causative form with もらう, do we?
No. It's quite commonly used.
食べさせてもらう
行かせてもらう
働かせてもらう
etc. etc.

The subject of ~(さ)せてもらう is the recipient of benefit, so it can't be "to make/force" (i.e., as the same reason as ~(さ)せてくれる).

EDIT:
I checked Tae Kim's site, and found that the example used there is wrong.

全部食べさせてくれた。
Let (someone) eat it all.


The Japanese sentence actually means "(Someone) let me/us eat it all" or "(Someone) fed it all to me/us". "Let (someone) eat it all" is 全部食べさせてあげた.
 

healer

後輩
Joined
13 May 2019
Messages
580
Reaction score
5
What do you mean by "the rest"? Exceptions of あげる and くれる or the cases where あげる and くれる are not used?
Yes

No. It's quite commonly used.
食べさせてもらう
行かせてもらう
働かせてもらう
etc. etc.
So using もらう is the same as あげる and くれる, it almost always means to “let someone do”, doesn't it?

全部食べさせてくれた。
Let (someone) eat it all.


The Japanese sentence actually means "(Someone) let me/us eat it all" or "(Someone) fed it all to me/us". "Let (someone) eat it all" is 全部食べさせてあげた.
Thanks for your checking! It helps. So how would one translate 全部食べさせてもらった.?
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
16,820
Reaction score
3,103
Which one are you referring to? "Exceptions of あげる and くれる" and "the cases where あげる and くれる are not used" are not the same.

So using もらう is the same as あげる and くれる, it almost always means to “let someone do”, doesn't it?
Yes.

how would one translate 全部食べさせてもらった.?
"I was let eat it all/I was allowed to eat it all." or "I was fed it all". The subject can be second or third person, though
 
Top Bottom