9

Made-up example to illustrate what I mean by "double causative", since that may be an abuse of terminology:

Suppose your grandmother always forces your kids to eat okra, which they hate. You think this is unreasonable and the kids should be allowed to eat what they want. As the grandmother is about to come over, you say to your spouse, "Don't let grandma make the kids eat okra!"

My guess would be something like this:

おばあさんに、子供たちにオクラを食べさせることをさせないで!

Is my attempt correct? What is the most natural way to express this meaning?

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  • In this context, "don't allow..." might be an option. ゆるさないで? - Not 100% sure.
    – waldrumpus
    Aug 27, 2014 at 11:12

2 Answers 2

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No, it is not correct, sorry to say. You literally created a "double causative" in:

「[食]{た}べさせることをさせないで」

But we would not use this structure in a natural setting. It sounds quite wordy and awkward.

Most naturally, we would say something like:

「おばあさんに、子どもたちにオクラを食べさせないようにしてね( or しようね)。」

For more clarity, one could insert 「[無理]{むり}に」= "forcibly" and say:

「おばあさんに、子どもたちに無理にオクラを食べさせないようにしてね( or しようね)。」

Needless to say, 「してね」 is a friendly request and 「しようね」 is volitional.

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  • 1
    Thanks. I guess what I really want to ask, then: is there any context in which you'd stack two causative (s)ase morphemes like I tried to do in my original sentence, and if so, how would you do it?
    – alcas
    Aug 27, 2014 at 22:31
  • 1
    That is just not possible in Japanese.
    – user4032
    Sep 19, 2014 at 23:23
1

I'd go for the slightly different construction below:

おばあさんに、子供たちにオクラを食べさせないようにしてください。

Make sure that grandma does not make the children eat Okra.

1
  • Apologies. Thanks you. Fixed. If the use of に is wrong please feel free to go ahead and change it.
    – paullb
    Sep 19, 2014 at 9:40

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