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I was learning passive and causative forms of Japanese coupled with もらう and particles, and got very confused. A couple of examples and what I think they mean:

  1. AさんはBさんを病院に送ってもらう - A received a favor of having (Someone) send B to hospital

  2. AさんはBさんを病院に送る - A send B to hospital

  3. AさんはBさんに病院に送る - B send A to hospital

  4. AさんはBさんに病院に送てもらう - A received favor of having B send (someone/something) to hospital

  5. AさんはBさんに病院に送らせてもらう - B let/made (someone/A) send (something else/ someone else) to hospital (as a favor for A)

  6. AさんはBさんを病院に送らせてもらう - A let/made (someone) send B to hospital (as a favor for A)

  7. AさんはBさんに病院に送られてもらう - B send (something) to hospital (as favor to A)

  8. AさんはBさんに病院に送られる - B send (something) to hospital

  9. AさんはBさんを病院に送られてもらう - (Someone) send B to hospital (as a favor to A)

Are there any sentence/sentences that I misinterpreted?

Writing (and thinking) about these sentences took a heck of a lot of thinking time from me. I was wondering if those at JLPT N1 ¬ N2/native Japanese can immediately understand these sentences

Also, assuming a friend were to verbally say these sentences to me, is there a way to sort of gauge beforehand what the sentence means partway through. For example, taking sentence 5 (AさんはBさんに病院に送らせてもらう). If a friend was to narrate this sentence to me, partway through the sentence, say AさんはBさんに......, at this point, in my mind, I would have think that Bさん is the target of an action/verb, but this of course changes depending on the form of the verb (passive, caussative, etc). If someone were to say any of these sentences to me, I highly doubt I will be able to understand what it means unless they repeat the sentence a couple of times.

Any pointers would be greatly appreciated

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You get used to the common ones pretty quickly. Also, many of these are more complex than anything you will see in everyday life. Especially examples like AさんはBさんに病院に送らせてもらう are rare.

As for the translations, firstly, here, 送る can also mean "take (someone) (somewhere) (by car, etc)". Some things to note,

AさんはBさんに病院に送る

sounds more like "A-san will send (something) to B-san, who is at the hospital".

AさんはBさんを病院に送らせてもらう

sounds more like "A-san will take B-san to the hospital (which is a good thing for A-san)". This sounds like A-san really wanted to send B-san to the hospital. Normally you'd use this in first person though (i.e. speaking as A-san).

On the other hand, if you want to twist it into something more complex, it could also mean "(someone) made (someone else) take B to hospital (as a favor for A)". I'm not sure if I've ever heard this before, but needless to say, it's extremely rare (and confusing, since normally you would interpret it the way I gave above).

AさんはBさんに病院に送られてもらう

This sounds more like "B-san was sent to the hospital (by someone), and B-san let this happen (as a favor to A-san)". You could also imagine that what was sent was some mysterious item, but either way, this is not something you would see in real life (except in some special cases, e.g. when someone is intentionally trying to make the sentence as complex as possible for fun).

AさんはBさんに病院に送られる

This would be more or less just "A-san was taken/sent to the hospital by B-san" in a neutral tone. I imagine A-san might be dead in this case (or maybe A-san is not human, but an object... like a plush doll), which would explain why 送ってもらう is not used. You can also drop it if A-san was taken to the hospital against his/her will, or if A-san was unconscious/delirious. Then again, you would also use this form if you simply wanted to state, in a neutral/objective tone, that "A-san was taken to the hospital by B-san".

The other sentences are pretty much as as you interpreted, although when talking about a person, "take (by car etc)" would be a more natural translation for 送る in this context.

  • Thanks a lot for the answer. After a bit of thought, it makes sense except for AさんはBさんに病院に送られてもらう, which I still can't comprehend. Fortunately, since I most probably won't hear this in real life (hopefully), I will just ignore it for the time being – Newbie May 14 at 2:03
  • Yeah, even a native speaker would go 「……えっ?」 if they suddenly heard that in a conversation. I don't think anyone would use that under normal circumstances. – VVayfarer May 14 at 5:24

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