Bob had resigned himself to the fact that they would drag him into their quarrel sooner or later.

There is a party of 3 people. Two have been having a petty argument. Bob is focused on an immediate, important, problem. He wants to ignore the argument. Which of these is the truest translation?


Why is causative used:
Bob would have to be forced (使役形) into participating in the argument, right? He would not just passively let himself (受身形) get involved.

Why is causative-passive used?
Because Bob is the subject of "he resigns himself to getting involved" but then the object of "they would drag him into the argument".

  • @choco I think of "使役形" as just the mechanical process of adding "~させる" to a verb stem. Now, I think what you are saying is that "引きずりこむ" already has the meaning of "being forced" and so putting it into 使役形 is redundant. While not grammatically wrong, "引きずり込ませる" sounds unnatural because it is redundant. That some verbs become redundant in 使役形 is actually very useful. I had no idea. thank you.
    – david.t
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 4:14
  • Sorry... I think I used the term 使役形 wrongly. (~を~に)引きずり込む means "drag someone to/into~", so I think 引きずり込ませる is like "make/force/let someone (to) drag someone else"... like, 「私はAを地獄に引きずり込む」= I drag A to hell, while 「私はAに、Bを地獄に引きずり込ませる」= I make/let/force A (to) drag B to hell.
    – chocolate
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 4:44
  • Why not post the answer? :)
    – user4092
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 12:20
  • @choco I get the vibe you are explaining. "To force someone to drag something" is a reasonable thought. And, how else can you express that but with 引きずる in 使役形. But, I "did" say causitive-passive. Now that I think about it, I was feeling if it's possible to maybe force someone into a passive state.
    – david.t
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 14:52

1 Answer 1


「~~を~~に引きずり込む」 means "drag ~~ to/into ~~", so 「~~に引きずり込まれる」 means "be dragged to/into ~~" ≒ "be forced to participate in ~~", "to get involved in ~~". For example...

二人はボブを口論に引きずり込む。They drag Bob into the quarrel.
→ ボブは二人の口論に引きずり込まれる。Bob is dragged into their quarrel.

So I think your sentence would translate to:


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