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How to translate 'She was made to make him give me the book'?
(as in: 'someone made her make him give me the book.')

Can I translate it to:

Kanojo wa watasi-ni kare-ni hon-o kure-sase-sase-rare-ta.

彼女は私に彼に本をくれさせさせられた。

Please kindly help.

  • I think that you should translate force into 強制する. – HiBlau May 23 '18 at 10:39
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I think your translation is unnatural, though I am not sure whether it is grammatically incorrect or not. I translate it as 彼女は、彼が私にその本をあげるようにさせられた. You can use a phrase が~をするようにする that has the similar meaning.

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    彼女は彼にあの本を私にあげることを強制したと言ってもいいですか。 – HiBlau May 23 '18 at 10:52
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    It would be あげるように強制させられた, because OP's sentence is "She was forced". – Yuuichi Tam May 23 '18 at 10:58
  • any different between 強制される and 強制させられる?thank you. – HiBlau May 23 '18 at 13:23
  • @YuuichiTam Your sentence is good, but I'd like you to take よこす into consideration instead of やる or あげる, which causes a problem of twisted perspective. Other than that, I don't have something to answer in a new post. – user4092 May 23 '18 at 13:58
  • Does 'X youni suru' mean 'make X happen' ? @YuuichiTam – Jo H May 24 '18 at 1:17
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This is where verb conjugation break-downs are extremely helpful.

Let's boil it down to the simplest verb structure, and build up. First, you have to align the nouns properly for the rest to begin falling into place.

So, we'll downgrade your sentence from "She was made to make him give me the book." to "He gave me the book."

彼が私に本を上げた。

Add "her" in as the subject that is influencing the giving (aka "She made him give me the book."):

彼女は彼が私に本を上げさせた。

Now we take the root of the phrase that is "him being made to give me the book" (in italics), and now we manipulate "her" to be made to do this action:

彼女は彼が私に上げさせるようにさせられた。

Note the difference from させる (to make someone/something do) to させられる (to be made to do).

However, it is probably more natural for Japanese to convey "She was made to have him give me the book," which is slightly different but similar connotation:

彼女は彼が私に上げるようにさせられた。

  • Even I stumbled a little writing this down to be honest! Taking a little time to really flesh it out is good. – psosuna May 23 '18 at 22:26
  • Thanks a lot! Your step-by-step approach really puts things in perspective. Does 'X youni suru' mean 'make X happen' ? If so, I get 彼女は彼が私に上げるようにさせられた, where X = 彼が私に上げる。I don't quite get 彼女は彼が私に上げさせるようにさせられた, which would mean ‘she was made to make him make someone give...’ ? – Jo H May 24 '18 at 1:09
  • This answer has problems in the points that (1) it uses あげる instead of よこす or くれる, (2) "she made him give me the book" should be 彼女は彼に私に本をよこさせた, not 彼が. – user4092 May 24 '18 at 3:34
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    @user4092 よこす can be used but is not the only verb that fits here. くれる is a verb for giving, sure, but since we're talking about viewing an action from an outside perspective, not in the sense of receiving something that was given to me by someone, I opted for 上げる, since it takes the focus away from it being given to me personally than from the sense of just being given – psosuna May 24 '18 at 19:41
  • @user4092 I also stand that 彼女は彼が is correct. Consider that 彼女is the topic here, and 彼 is the subject. From looking at the perspective of 彼女, 彼が私に本を上げさせた, and wrapped around that, what pertains to 彼女 is that she was made to make him do so. – psosuna May 24 '18 at 19:44
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I'd like to break this down into two parts. First, we need to use the particles correctly to properly establish the relationships between "She" "me", "him", and "book". You wrote:

彼女は私に彼に本を...etc.

This is not correct. If I'm understanding the English correctly: "She" is influencing "him" to "give you the book".

If you want to use the particle "に" after both, 私(me) and 彼(him), the order is not correct. に is a particle that denotes direction. For 彼に (toward him) and 本 (book) to be right next to each other as you wrote, this implies that the book is going toward him, rather than the book going toward you.

If you would like to use に after both 彼(him) and 私(me) you would rather switch it up and say:

彼女は彼に私に本を...etc.

Now if you insist on keeping the order of the objects the same, you can do, 彼女は私に彼が本を...etc. This works because the direction of "him giving the book" is now pointed toward you.


Second part. There are many ways to express, "made to give". This can be quite forceful. This can be suggested but not forceful. This can be varying levels of threat etc. I think the best verb here is 促す.

Using the に twice form:

彼女は彼に私に本を渡すよう促した。

Using your order of objects with different particles:

彼女は私に彼が本を渡すよう促した。

Between these two, I recommend the former, 彼女は彼に私に本を渡すよう促した。Although the second one is technically correct, having the subject 彼(him) be right next to the object 彼女(her) takes less work in the mind of the reader/listener to keep track of the relationships.

  • Thanks for your analysis! But how to express the idea that she herself was made to make him do it? 彼女は彼に私に本を渡すよう促した only means 'she made him give me the book' instead of 'she was made to make him give me the book', right? – Jo H May 24 '18 at 0:45
  • That's correct! I'm sorry, I misread the initial post then. In that case, 彼女は彼に私に本を渡すよう促させられている。 The "made to" part for "she" can be expressed using a conjugation of the verb. This is a meta suggestion, which may or may not be useful at all, but I would definitely consider making the ideas easier to follow by using multiple sentences. Or, I would make sure to mention who is making her do the "making him". Let's say that person is [Person X]. 彼女は彼に私に本を渡すよう[Person X]に促させられている。 There is a huge increase in terms of clarity of the sentence. Note: PersonX can be, 誰かに(Somebody). – user30029 May 29 '18 at 21:20

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