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受け身形, 使役形, and 使役受け身形. These forms confuse me to no end. Therefore, I have done a sort of comparison practice using these forms side by side. Each sentence is followed by my translation, and then a usage note underneath.

受け身
僕は変なオッサンにわけのわからない問題を聞かれちゃった。
I got asked some weird question by a strange オッサン.

Here the adversarial/undesirable passive is used. I often confuse the undesirable passive with the causative or the causative-passive, because I think in some cases they have similar meanings, if not identical. This is why I include this usage in this practice.

*Related topic for other beginners: Subject and object of a passive sentence are interchangeable?

受け身+てくれる
僕は変なオッサンにわけのわからない問題を聞かれてくれちゃった。
I got asked some weird question by a strange オッサン.

Adding てくらる/てもらう/てあげる makes the sentence even harder to understand, because the subject and the action are further removed from each other. In this sentence, my understanding is that てもらう is not suitable, because it has the nuance of receiving the action after you have requested it. Although てくれる and てもらう can be confusing when the topic/subject is dropped, てあげる has a very specific direction instead. With てあげる, the action is done by the speaker for someone else, thus making it unsuitable for this sentence. I'm not sure if using てくれる is natural though.

*Related discussion & article:
a. てくれる vs てもらう when the topic or subject is implied
b. てくれる and てもらう

使役1 (transitive verb):
変なオッサンは僕にわけのわからない問題を答えさしちゃった。
A strange old man made me answer some weird question.
*Alternative causative form: 答えさせる⇒答えさす

Tae Kim lists this alternative form as a valid causative form alternative for る verbs, but not all websites do.

Another interesting point about this -す causative form is that "it is not productive, and can only mean make-causative." (Source topic: Confusion between causatives and intransitive-transitive)

Edit: Too deep a topic and too wide a scope. I think a beginner should stay away from the alternative causative form, -す. See this article: Imabi

使役2 (intransitive verb):
つい最近まで、なんか変なオッサンは僕を困らせていちゃった。
A strange オッサン had been bothering me until quite recently.

With intransitive verbs, usually に means the action is allowed for the performer, whereas を means the performer is made to do such action. However, note that having two を in a clause is ungrammatical, so に is the only option in spite of context. I think ていて+しまう may be unnatural.

Article about the "に/を + intransitive verb" phenomenon: With Intransitive Verbs

使役受け身
僕は変なオッサンにわけのわからない問題を答えさせられちゃった。
I was forced to answer some weird question by a strange オッサン.

This meaning seems to overlap with the 1st 使役 usage. I think sometimes even the undesirable 受け身 expresses the same meaning as well.

Edit:
オッサン is a word that I don't really know how to translate into English. Personally, I think it is a term of endearment (up a notch with おっちゃん), but it could well be offensive if used under the wrong circumstances. 変なオッサン・変なおじさん though, is probably only derogatory.


If not too much trouble, please point out any misunderstanding and/or error. Moreover, if this topic counts as proofreading, please point it out, and then I will remove it immediately.

  • 1
    did you mean to say "わけのわからない質問"? – By137 Jun 5 '18 at 7:33
  • Hm... But they seem the same to me. [{わからない modifies わけ} + possessive の + 問題] – Yeti Ape Jun 5 '18 at 7:47
  • 1
    わけのわからない means "make no sense", "nonsense". わからないわけ means "the reason that I can't understand". – Yuuichi Tam Jun 5 '18 at 8:24
  • I see! わけ is such an impalpable word. I'll fix them right away! – Yeti Ape Jun 5 '18 at 8:32
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First of all, I change your sentence to more natural like 変なオッサンは、僕にわけのわからない質問をした(A strange old man asked me some weird questions).

The passive form is 僕は変なおっさんに訳の分からない質問をされた(I got asked some weird questions by a strange old man).

If you want to use くれる, it is 変なおっさんは訳の分からない質問を僕にしてくれた(A strange old man gave me some weird questions) .

If you want to use もらう, it is 僕は変なおっさんに訳の分からない質問をしてもらった(I got some weird questions from a strange old man).

But くれる and もらう is a bit unnatural in this sentence because they are used for good action for a speaker.

The causative form "A strange old man made me answer some weird question" is 変なオッサンは僕にわけのわからない質問を答えさせた. I think 答えさせた is better than 答えさした。

つい最近まで、なんか変なオッサンは僕を困らせていちゃった is unnatural but つい最近まで、なんか変なオッサンは僕を困らせていた.

The passive form(the causative passive) is つい最近まで、なんか変なオッサンに僕は困らせられていた. However it is a bit verbose. You can say it simply like つい最近まで、なんか変なオッサンに僕は困っていた.

Your last sentence makes sense.

  • ご回答は大変役にたちました!本当にありがとうございました! If I may, I've a few things I'd like to confirm, and point out. 1. I think using くれる takes away the negativity, so it doesn't go with the "adversarial passive." Is this understanding correct? 2. Maybe くれる & もらう don't suit this context well, since the speaker is annoyed by the 質問. Do you agree? 3. I assume 困らせる is not really used by people. As you said, it's wordy at best. A Google search using "困らせ" gave me only about a few hundred results; the same goes for "困らせる." – Yeti Ape Jun 6 '18 at 1:16
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    1. してくれる and してもらう can't be used with passive form together like 本は読まれてくれた. 2. Yes. 3. I don't think so. 困らせる is used, but 困らせられる is wordy. – Yuuichi Tam Jun 6 '18 at 7:45
  • I didn't know you cannot use してくれる and してもらう with the passive form! Is this the same for してあげる? *The last word in my comment was meant to be "困らせられる." It doesn't change anything though. I'm just pointing out my typo. Again, thank you so much for clearing everything up. – Yeti Ape Jun 6 '18 at 7:59
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    Your are welcome. Yes, してあげる is the same as them. – Yuuichi Tam Jun 6 '18 at 8:11

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