Consider the following 2 sentences:

A: 彼は恥をかく。He disgraces himself.

B: 彼は恥をかかされる。He is disgraced.


  1. Is かかされる rather than かかれる the passive form of かく in this case?

  2. Why does 彼は恥をかく mean He disgraced himself while the sentence does not mention to whom the effect of 恥をかく applies?

  3. Is it possible to say 彼は彼女に恥をかく to mean He disgraces her?

  4. How can the active 彼は恥をかく have the same effect as the passive 彼は恥をかかされる?

1 Answer 1

  1. No, かかされる is the passive form of かかす, which is the old causative form of かく. We have a small set of verbs which derived from the old causative forms and are inherently causative (eg. 寝かす, 負かす). Using only modern grammar, かかされる would be かかせられる.

  2. 恥をかく is 恥を掻く in kanji, and according to a dictionary, 掻く can mean something like "to expose/show something unfavorable from one's body".

    7 あまり好ましくないものを表面にだす。

    So etymologically speaking, 恥をかく is "to show one's shame/humiliation to someone", hence it means "to disgrace oneself".

  3. No, you can't say that. Seeing the examples above, you can see 掻く is only for showing the doer's own unfavorable things. Instead, you have to use the causative form and say either 彼は彼女に恥をかかす or 彼は彼女に恥をかかせる.

  4. So 彼は恥を掻く means "He shows his shame" and 彼は恥を掻かされる means "He is made to show his shame" (causative + passive). They mean roughly the same thing, but the latter implies someone else has disgraced him. The former can be used when he did something embarrassing all by himself.

  • 1. Are you talking about causative-passive or causative? Nov 7, 2016 at 13:14
  • @SingleFighter かかされる and かかせられる are causative-passive, かかす and かかせる are causative.
    – naruto
    Nov 7, 2016 at 13:16

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