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I recently started learning the causative form of a verb combined with the もらう or くれる. I am a bit confused on this and would like further clarification as to whether my understanding is correct.

The 「させて (て form of causative)」+「もらう」 is, if I am not mistaken, a very polite form of "I will do" in English. This means exactly the same as「する」, with the only difference being the former being polite and the latter casual.

  1. Is my assumption above correct?

Now, if I am to replace「もらう」with「くれる」 (ie: 「させてくれる」),the sentence will then become "Can you let me do?" instead of "I will do". If I want to imply the former (in this case "can you let me do?") with 「もらう」, it would become「"させてもらっていい?"」. The reasoning behind this is 「くれる」 is really 'asking' someone for the permission, whereas「もらう」isn't 'asking' for any permission, it is just the act of doing.

  1. Is what I have written above correct?

Adding on, if I instead want to say the firmer "please let me do", it will then be 「"(私に)させてください"」, or the「もらう」form「"(私に)させてもらってください"」.

  1. Again, is the above correct?

And of course you saw this coming, next will be the「あげる」. 「させてあげる」 means "I will let you (second person) or someone else (third person) do". It means the same as「させる」, with the only 2 differences, the first being the action of letting someone do is actually in favour of the person receiving it (the person is happy that I let him do, for example: "I let my son play games (and he is happy because of it)"), and the second difference, the sentence becomes more explicit. And lastly, if I am to say 「させてあげていい」 instead, it will mean "Can I let you do?".

  1. Is my understanding on the above paragraph right?
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    I suggest you rework the text to make it clear exactly what your questions are. Labeling your questions, 1,2,3,4 etc might help. – kandyman Aug 30 at 13:03
  • @kandyman Thanks. I have edited it to hopefully, make more sense. Let me know if it still is a bit confusing and I will redo it again – Newbie Aug 30 at 14:40
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For No1. Yes. I think you are correct.

For No2. Partially not. Both 「させてもらう」and「させてくれる」are asking for the permission.

This site 「させてもらう」の敬語表現・使い方と例文・別の敬語表現 explains

「させてもらう」も「させてくれる」も相手に許可を取って行動し、その恩恵を受けるという点においては同じ意味を持っています。この両者の違いは「視点」です。誰目線の話なのかに着目してください。

For example, you are a guest presenter in the conference and might say to the organizer.

ex) 30分間話させてもらえますか? Could I please get 30 minutes to speak.

This is actually asking for the permission and is focused on the presenter's perspective.

ex) 30分間話させてくれますか? Let me please speak for 30 minutes.

On the other hand, this sentence is focused on the organizer allowing the presenter to speak.

For No3. 「"(私に)させてください"」is explained in No2.

Saying 「"(私に)させてもらってください"」 for asking the permission from the opponent is wrong since it is saying the opponents receiving the request and at the same moment the speaker getting the request.

So, it correct if the speaker's advising the opponents to get the permission from third-party.

運営者に話させてもらってください。 (The speaker is advising) You should ask the organizer for the permission to speak (since the speaker cannot give them a permission).

For No4. I think your understanding is basically correct. However, 「させる」sounds more ordering though.

  • Thanks for the answer. Just 1 question, させてもらう means will do (not asking for any form of permission, literally just saying "i will do"), whereas させてもらえませんか is actually asking for someone's permission to do something, in this case "can I do?". Is this correct? – Newbie Sep 1 at 23:07
  • Similarly. "させてもらう" is focused on one's voluntary's action, but still asking the permission even not so explicitly. ex) To your friends when exit the meeting, the sentence"「先に行かせてもらうよ」I will leave early". For させてもらえませんか, I think you are correct. – kimi Tanaka Sep 1 at 23:31

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