With verbs that don't take に, the matter is simple: わたしは彼に食べてもらった means 'He ate it for me', with a favour being explicit. But how would handles things with verbs that do take に? Would you say わたしには彼に任せてもらった 'He left it to me'? If not, how would you say it?

(Please feel free to edit this question if you feel it is poorly worded.)

  • 1
    「教える」 also takes に, no? 「先生が生徒英語を教える」とか・・・
    – chocolate
    Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 8:31
  • @choco I'm not sure what I was thinking. I'll edit it now.
    – Angelos
    Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 12:48

1 Answer 1


If I understand correctly, you are asking how to express something like this, where you want to have 私 be both the 〜は subject and a 〜に object:

は (彼に (に任せてもらった) )
I had him leave it to me

私は彼に私に〜 is extremely awkward and should be avoided at all costs. Even if you omit the subject-私 and say 彼に私に〜, it sounds confusing. Also, you cannot merge subject-私 and object-私 by saying 私には.

Here are some ways to go around it:

  1. One way is to rephrase it by flipping the subject, using くれる instead of もらう:

    He left it to me for me

  2. You could add some stuff in between the two objects to make it less awkward:

    I asked and had him leave it to me

  3. Or, if the 〜は subject and the 〜に object are the same, and it is clear in context, you can usually omit that object altogether:

    (私は)彼に 私に 任せてもらった
    I had him leave it to me ←implied

In a case where you must state a 〜に object that is different from the subject, you get a sentence with a consecutive 〜に, in this word order:

I had him go to school

The awkwardness of a consecutive 〜に varies from case to case. For example, 彼に会社に〜 is probably more digestible than 彼に娘に〜, which in turn is still much less confusing than 彼に彼女に〜. Personal taste will play into it, too. An in-depth study of this is outside the scope of my answer, so I'll leave it at that.

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