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Alright so I'm trying to translate this sentence and I've found so much conflicting stuff I'm unsure of what's right. Also trying to figure out how to put two verbs in the same sentence, so here's what I have:

彼は だけ あやしますーそれともーあやしがっています。The type of 'held' I'm looking for is for a baby being held. 'Rocked' would also work which is where I got yashimasu. I've also seen hoshigatta deshou, and kakaemashou, however I'm just not experienced enough to figure out which one to use and how to equate the verb 'want' and 'to be held' confidently. What I'm looking for is am I even on the right track with this translation, or have I completely missed it? If I have completely missed it how do I fix it?

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By far the most often-used verb phrase for "to hold (a baby)" is:

「抱{だ}っこする」

To say "He just wants to be held.", the more common sentences would include:

「(その子{こ}は)抱っこされたがっているだけです。」 ← My personal recommendation

「(その子は)抱っこしてほしがっているだけです。」

Using the verb 「あやす」, which you mentioned, would not be very natural here.

I will not explain this as it has been explained multiple times here, but expressing others' wants and desires in Japanese is more complex than expressing one's own, which is why we rarely, if ever, say 「その子は抱っこされたい」 even though that is the kind of sentence Japanese-learners tend to come up with when they try to translate directly from "He wants to be held.".

Finally, be extra-careful about using the verb 「抱く」 and its various forms here. Those can mean what you do not want to say and that is the main reason that I posted my answer to introduce the more appropriate 「抱っこする」 with babies.

Use 「抱く」、「抱かれる」、「抱きたい」, etc. and people might think you are talking about different kinds of babes if you know what I mean.

  • All good things to know, thanks for correcting me. – bcloutier Mar 23 '18 at 21:03
  • Haha! Thank you very much for the clarification. – Yasha2021 Mar 23 '18 at 22:03
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You're missing a few key aspects of Japanese here, one of them is that "to want to be (verb in past tense)" is its own conjugation made up of two different inflections:

To hold: 抱く
To want to hold: 抱きたい
To be held: 抱かれる
To want to be held: 抱かれたい

Excluding context, and assuming you mean "just" as in "nothing but" and not as a filler, "彼は抱かれたいだけ" would be a better translation.

  • Okay, so 'かれたいだけ"' implies the 'want' and '抱' is to be held, correct? What decides which verb comes first? – Yasha2021 Mar 23 '18 at 17:59
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    “Want” is not a verb in Japanese; it’s a conjugation. The only verb in the sentence is 抱く. – mamster Mar 23 '18 at 18:08

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