In a Grammar book, they are introducing the 使役受身形 with the example, 感心させられる But they also classified this sentence


in this grammar structure too. But my Jisho told me that 悩まされる is the 受身 form of 悩ます。

So, is 「悩まされている 」a 使役受身形? If not, why would they classified it in the same group of させられる?


1 Answer 1


There is something called "shortened causative form" in Japanese. For example you can say 走らす instead of 走らせる. See Tae Kim's guide on this topic.

Although the article says the shortened causative form is rare and slangy, it's not rare nor rough when godan verb's causative-passive form is concerened. To my ears, the shortened causative-passive form (-asareru) sounds considerably more common and natural than the "standard" causative-passive (-aserareru), even in formal writings.

  • 書かされる is more natural than 書かせられる
  • 笑わされる is more natural than 笑わせられる
  • 悩まされる is more natural than 悩ませられる

(I think this does not apply for shortened causative of ichidan verbs and godan verbs with su-ending; 食べさされる and 話さされる are ungrammatical)

Some shortened (non-passive) causative forms are widely used without sounding rough/slangy (eg 頭を悩ます問題, 犯人を泳がす, 醤油を切らす), and dictionaries often list them as separate transitive godan verbs. In Japanese, the borderline of "the causative-form of an intransitive verb" and "a transitive verb" can be sometimes blurry. Nevertheless, I think it's not wrong to say 悩まされている is causative-passive(-progressive).

  • @ Naruto , thank you very much! By the way、can you please tell me what does 醤油を切らす mean?
    – JoisBack
    Jul 21, 2018 at 1:44
  • 1
    @JoisBack Literally, "to allow shoyu to run out".
    – naruto
    Jul 21, 2018 at 2:02
  • Does japanese people say that? Also do you say 醤油を切らさないで
    – JoisBack
    Jul 21, 2018 at 2:03
  • 1
    @JoisBack Yes, 味噌を切らしちゃった, 名刺を切らさないで, and so on.
    – naruto
    Jul 21, 2018 at 2:05

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