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I'm trying to understand the following:

後輩にサイフを開かせることはないよ

I guess this could be generalized as AにBをCさせる.

It's confusing. Maybe if someone can break down how to understand this and then I can memorize it.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Usually, you have a sentence like:

後輩がサイフを開く
koohai ga saihu wo hirak-u
'the junior opens the wallet'

where the subject takes and the object takes .

There is a morpheme -(s)ase- 'let', 'make' that expresses causative. The way you use it is that you embed the sentence, and change the embedded subject into , take another subject that will be the causer.

君が後輩にサイフを開かせる
kimi ga [koohai ni saihu wo hirak]-ase-ru
'you let [the junior open the wallet]'

In your example, the subject 君が is actually omitted, so you have

後輩にサイフを開かせる

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Sometimes i process it like this:

(Zが) トムが: Tom

(Aに) 後輩に: towards / unto junior

(Bを) サイフを: take / consume wallet

(Cさせる) 開かせる: let / made + open

= Tom let/made junior open the wallet.

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