I've been reading into a little bit of more advanced grammar and am trying to get my head around the causative and the passive form. (yes yes N1 people. That's not actually advanced.)

The causative I think I can grasp and the passive form makes sense when English examples are given. Using them and recognising them in practice will of course be a different matter….but anyway.

One confusing thing was the similarity to the potential form. I saw a question elsewhere on this site which said you could tell the difference the bulk of the time since with the passive there will be a に。

Which is fair enough.

But then we come to the causative passive form. Which means someone made me do something (why does that need to be passive?) and it made me wonder…is there such a thing as a causative passive potential form?

What I mean is how would you get across sentences such as “It is possible that she may make you eat her cooking”? It strikes me that the double passive/potential makes this a somewhat iffy proposition.

  • 3
    causative passive potential >>「~~させられうる」, maybe??
    – user1016
    Mar 19, 2014 at 8:40
  • @Chocolate: Not 〜させられられる? 笑 (^_^)
    – istrasci
    Mar 19, 2014 at 21:26
  • 1
    @user3408758 If you have an additional question why don't you try posting it as its own question separately?
    – ssb
    Mar 20, 2014 at 0:01
  • “It is possible that she may make you eat her cooking”. Where's the passive here?
    – dainichi
    Mar 20, 2014 at 3:06
  • I'm confused. "It is possible" is not usually expressed by える・れる in modern Japanese. By "potential", do you mean this specific auxiliary verb, or are you talking about a broader category?
    – dainichi
    Mar 20, 2014 at 3:15

1 Answer 1


Technically, it exists, but as a Japanese-speaker, I would NOT recommend that you actively use it --- at least not on a regular basis.

As @Chocolate stated in the comment above, 「~~させられうる」 is the form. Your sentence “It is possible that she may make you eat her cooking.” can be said in Japanese as:


This is 100% grammatical with the 6 kana at the very end expressing exactly "causative, passive and potential" in that order.

Is it something native speakers would say in a natural setting then? No, not at all. It would not only sound very awkward but also lend itself to misunderstanding by the listener or reader. "Three different elements in just 6 kana" is too much cramming, leaving no room for mis-hearing or mis-reading even one of the six syllables.

It would look/sound much more natural if you said:

「彼女に自分の料理を食べさせられるかも[知]{し}れない。」 or


What I did was to use other words (かも知れない and 可能性がある) to express the potentiality without relying exclusively on the verb and auxiliary verb conjugations to express all three elements (causative, passive and potential). The 「食べさせられる」 part only expresses causative and passive.

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