If I said “he did X to me,” I would probably say 彼にXされた. On the other hand, if I said “I let him do X,” I would say 彼にXさせた. But if I were to combine the two and say 彼にXさせられた, that would mean “he made me do X,” correct? How then would I be able to say “I let him do X to me”?

EDIT: for a more concrete example, say I was in a class and we were made to form groups. Either we chose our groupmates ourselves, or we let the teacher group us. Say I let the teacher put me in a group: how would I say “I let the teacher put me in a group?” (I imagine saying “the teacher put me in a group” would involve passive voice, me being the narrator and therefore the subject of the sentence).

  • I'm struggling to replace X with any word other than 'it'. Can you think of anything else that makes sense? Feb 21, 2019 at 8:09
  • @user3856370 I assume 'did X' stands for a verb: 'he Ved me'. Feb 21, 2019 at 8:19
  • 1
    @user3856370 I’ve edited my question to include an example. Feb 21, 2019 at 8:34
  • 2
    I feel like it would be hard to literally say that you "let" or "allowed" your teacher to do anything in Japanese without it sounding strange. Maybe if the actor was a peer, like another student?
    – sazarando
    Feb 21, 2019 at 21:07
  • I agree with sazarando: as a student, you do not enable the teacher to do their job. Being the objective action "a teacher distributing the students in groups" and specially as you said that "we were made go form groups", it is the teacher who makes you/lets you go in a particular grup at her or his will, and not the other way around. It seems that it isn't a request for permission.
    – jarmanso7
    Apr 27, 2019 at 12:16

5 Answers 5


I assume the question used the versatile word "let" to mean the teacher becomes the decision maker by choice, and not by command, which is otherwise rude.

Personally, I would avoid the direct translation. The following suggested expressions use 私のグループは that refers to the group I would be in (translated as "my grouping"); not the literal "my group", which is yet to exist in this context.

A. 私のグループは 先生に決めてもらった。
A. [I] had [my] teacher decide for my grouping.

B. 私のグループは 先生に決めてもらう方にした。
B. [I] opt for the choice that [my] teacher would decide for my grouping.

A is the straightforward, passive voice. The phrase 先生にきめてもらった is probably the shortest phrase one can use readily to describe that "the teacher decide (do) the group (X) for me".

B is the alternative expression made by modifying A, which turns the passive voice to not-so-active voice. As a result, B would be perceived less straightforward, but would appeal the speaker as slightly independent (on the surface only, because the teacher is still the decision maker by choice).

Note that B will make sense only when "the teacher would decide my grouping" is available as a choice, due to the phrase 〇〇方にした being used to refer "that choice". In contrast, A will make sense regardless of that is a choice or not.

Then again, these expressions may vary when describing the "do": If the groups were already formed, the teacher would choose (選ぶ) which group the student (I) would be in; else if no groups were formed yet, the teacher would decide (決める) how the groups would be formed, or decide which and which students would be put into the groups.


You can't really use させられる I think because this form has a special meaning. It implies that someone (other than you or your close circle) forced you to do something you don't want to do, with a nuance that you are the victim of the action (which is negative of course since you are a victim). It can not be used to express "to let someone do X to me".

The most suitable structure would be a casual causative form. So your example would give :

  • 先生は(私に)グループに入らせた

which translated would be something like :

  • I let the teacher put me into a group
  • Can anyone explain why this was downvoted? It makes sense to me.
    – oxr463
    Jul 22, 2019 at 13:14
  • Since nobody care to explain, I will help to comment: The downvotes are probably disagreeing with the given example with the translation. I could at least tell that the example is incorrect, or even misleading.
    – user15816
    Jul 25, 2019 at 15:56

I think you could express this idea by saying that you,

  • "had your teacher choose the group you would be in for you"



I think this fits in your question,


  • I let/would like/wished/hoped teacher choose to be in a group.

If you put stress もらった, it gets close the nuance of "let" in English.

  • “I let” is past-tense in English, so it’s not もらおう in Japanese. Jul 22, 2019 at 13:34
  • @DariusJahandarie ご指摘ありがとうございます!勘違いしていたようです。 Jul 22, 2019 at 13:44

In the specific example you give, I'd probably just say 「私のグループは先生に任せた」 ("I left my group up to the teacher") or similarly 「グループの選択は先生に任せた」("I left the choice of my group to the teacher").

In the case you provide, it's more like you're saying you're leaving something up to someone else, rather than allowing someone to do something to you.

If you're looking for something more general than "leaving it up to someone else," you'd probably want something of the form ~してもいい (it's ok even if you do X) as in:


("It's OK no matter what he does to me.")



("It's fine if [it] touches me.")

If you want a more active voice, you could use ~頼む, as in:


("I asked my teacher to pick my group")

A more direct translation might be 「~こと許す」("I will allow X [to be done]"):


("I will let you pat my head.")

But, at least to me, this seems to have a bit of a "high and mighty" feel to it, as though you're looking down on the person and doing them a favor by allowing the action, and it has a very active voice.

  • 3
    Um, not the downvoter, but almost all your sentences are unnatural... (though the answer is directionally correct...) Jul 22, 2019 at 3:32
  • 「私を触手もいい。」translates to "You can feel good with me", which sounds weird.
    – oxr463
    Jul 22, 2019 at 13:13
  • @Lucas For one, that sentence is not even grammatical, and furthermore it’d translate into something about tentacles... Jul 22, 2019 at 13:26
  • @Darius If that is the case, please provide suggestions on how to improve the sentences, especially if they're "directionally correct" (whatever that means). Simply saying they're unnatural without providing any corrections is of no help ot anyone.
    – stix
    Jul 22, 2019 at 14:41
  • 1
    @stix The downvoters did not provide a reason so Darius attempted to be helpful and indicate why you might have been downvoted :)
    – rjh
    Jul 26, 2019 at 10:33

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