sci.lang.japan FAQ / 2. Grammar / 2.2. Verb endings

2.2.2. How does the causative passive form of the verb work?

The causative form of a Japanese verb is the `to make (someone) do' or `to let (someone) do' form. An equivalent of this verb form doesn't exist in English.

For example, kuruma wo ugokaseta, from ugoku "to move", means `I made the car move'.

Making causative forms of verbs
Type of verb Ending Examples
godan, or "consonant" (*) -seru kaku, "write", becomes kakaseru
tatsu, "stand", becomes tataseru
yomu, "read", becomes yomaseru
ichidan, or "vowel" (*) -saseru miru, "see", becomes misaseru
kakeru becomes kakesaseru
kahen (**) -saseru kuru, "come", becomes ko-saseru
sahen (**) -saseru suru becomes se-saseru (***) or saseru

To make causative into passive forms, one attaches -rareru to the mizenkei of -seru or -saseru.

Causative-passive forms of verbs
Type of verb Ending Examples
godan, or "consonant" (*) -serareru kaku, "write", becomes kakaserareru or kakasareru
tatsu, "stand", becomes tataserareru or tatasareru
yomu, "read", becomes yomaserareru or yomasareru
ichidan, or "vowel" (*) -saserareru miru, "see", becomes misaserareru
kakeru becomes kakesaserareru
kahen (**) -saserareru kuru, "come", becomes kosaserareru
sahen (**) -saserareru suru becomes sesaserareru or sareru

For the godan verbs, instead of -se-rareru forms, the -sareru forms (shown in red above) also commonly occur. The ending -serareru is gramatically correct for godan verbs. But the -sareru forms are more common than the -serareru forms. However, for ichidan and kahen verbs, -sareru forms do not exist. For example, mi-sareru, kake-sareru, ko-sareru are impossible.

This godan sareru causative-passive verb ending usually doesn't appear in textbooks.

Now let's consider what the -sareru forms of passive causative are. I think they are either:

The latter idea is based on the assumption that mizenkei of a godan verb plus suffix -su produces another godan verb of causative meaning. For example, Thus yarasu can be used as a godan verb, although the usage is not standard.

Examples of yarasu:

The forms marked with '*' above are not natural but may be possible. The rentaikei (see 2.2.3. What is the `i' verb ending?) form of yarasu is quite possible. So it can be said that yarasu itself is a godan verb.

Acknowledgements

Edited from a post to sci.lang.japan by ITO Kazumitsu


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