Here is the sentence:


The translation from Tatoeba is

I will have my sister pick you up at the station.

I've been reading "Making Sense of Japanese: What the Textbooks Don't Tell You" just now, the chapter where he dives into causative's zero pronouns. Now I have doubts about the given translation.

Few things I don't get here:

Usage of まで particle - will she give a lift to someone to the station or pick up from? (why not から?)

Usage of に particle - does it mean that my little sister is the target of my causative verb? Or is it that the sister is the one who makes me or someone give someone else a ride?

1 Answer 1


The Tatoeba translation is a natural rather than a literal translation. Literally it's saying more like "I will have my sister go to the station by car to meet you". (迎える is a tricky little word that means to greet/meet someone, but often includes the implication of subsequently escorting them to their destination, so the "pick you up" element is also implied here.)

As such, the まで particle indicates the destination of the 迎えに行く action (the sister will go all the way to the station to meet you). The に, as you say, indicates the target of the speaker's causative verb. The speaker (an unstated topic) is causing the sister (marked by に) to perform the action of 迎えに行く (going to the station to pick up the listener, who is the unstated object).

If the speaker and listener were explicitly mentioned, the full sentence would read 私は妹に車で駅まであなたを迎えに行かせます。 But this feels a bit unnecessarily wordy and wouldn't usually be used.

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