I'm trying to understand the phrase 「Aを心配させるな」 by "sounding it out" in English.

I can understand 「Aを心配かけるな」as meaning "Do NOT associate/connect any worries with A!!!". In my thinking, that makes sense.

But, I can't think of how to "sound-out" the phrase 「Aを心配させるな」 into English. As 「させる」 is causative, the command would seem to have to be directed at the person who is causing someone else to worry: 「田中さん、Aについて、Bobを心配させるな。」 "Tanaka-san, do not cause Bob to worry about A." And, "Bob" is the one who is worried, and "Tanaka-san" is to whom I am giving a command.

Yet, this discussion asserts that 「Aを心配かける」and 「Aを心配させる」 have the same basic meaning, at least in some situations.

So, how can a speaker of English sound-out "Aを心配させるな" in English?


  1. "Do not cause yourself to be worried about A."


  2. "Do not allow yourself to be worried about A (by some unspoken factor)." // but this is passive voice, not causative. Most certainly I don't even understand causative/passive to begin with.

  • I wouldn't call the link you include a "discussion" per se. The asker asserts that the meaning is the same. At least to me (as a foreigner learning Japanese) the asker's Japanese sounds weird and foreign at several points so I wouldn't put much stock in that.
    – virmaior
    Mar 1, 2014 at 3:01
  • hhmmm... Indeed. I did just find that reference page by searching for the strings "を心配させる" and "を心配かける" using the primary Google search engine. It makes a lot of sense to apply higher standards to my discovering study material. thanks for the advice.
    – davidx
    Mar 1, 2014 at 3:16
  • The を in Aを心配する refers to the what you are worrying about, the を in Aを心配させる refers to the person you are causing to worry and it's the same as saying Aに心配をかける. the discussion you were referring to is about the standpoint of the speaker.
    – Ryan
    Mar 1, 2014 at 3:35
  • @Ryan So, can you agree that the use of "心配" in "Aを心配する。" is neutral, while "Aにご心配をかける。" deserves 美化語 because that "心配" has the honorific ownership of "Aさん"? Is that the correct sense to have? I'm a little weird because I focus on keigo so much.
    – davidx
    Mar 1, 2014 at 3:57
  • If you add honorifics as in ご心配をかけます or ご心配をおかけします sure, as for 心配をかける compared to 心配させる someone needs to confirm if it's any more formal/respectful.
    – Ryan
    Mar 1, 2014 at 7:32

1 Answer 1


Let us get the phrases straight if we want to discuss them.

You wrote 「Aを[心配]{しんぱい}かける」 twice, so I do not think it was a typo. The only correct particle to use in that expression is 「に」. 「を」 is not possible.

If you or anyone is unfamiliar with this usage of 「に」, I just happened to talk about it in another thread a few days ago. 君に話しがある How does this work?

So, the two expressions in question are:

A[を]心配[させる]な。(Both 「を」and「に」are possible.)

A[に]心配[かける]な。(Only「に」 is possible.)

These two basically mean the same thing even though they are structured differently. They both mean:

"Do not make A feel uneasy.", "Do not give A anxiety.", etc.

Since I am a Japanese-speaker, I shall let you and others form your own English translations that satisfy your needs. The phrases do not mean anything far from what I said above, though.

  • For completeness' sake, can we also take it that Aにご心配をかける is also possible?
    – Tim
    Mar 2, 2014 at 3:57

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