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How does one express thanks when made to do something. For example:

Thanks for making me realize the meaning of happiness - 幸せの意味を気づかせて(くれて)ありがとう

To me, it doesn't sound right because I feel that 気づかせて really means "making me realize (against my will)". Is there a better way of saying this?

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    I feel that 気づかせて really means "making me realize (against my will)" -- why do you feel so? – macraf Apr 20 '20 at 20:30
  • "Thanks for making me realize the meaning of happiness" - I don't understand what that means even in English. – Super-User Apr 20 '20 at 23:29
  • @macraf causation means to "make someone" do something. Somehow gives me the impression it's forced. Is it not? – Newbie Apr 21 '20 at 0:35
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幸せの意味を気づかせてくれてありがとう is a perfectly natural sentence and it makes perfect sense. Note that くれて is mandatory even in non-causative sentence; お皿を洗ってくれてありがとう is fine but お皿を洗ってありがとう is not.

Japanese causative form (せる/させる) is not always forcible, and it can be translated to "to make someone do ~", "to let someone do ~" or "to allow someone to do ~". Examples of non-forcible せる/させる:

  • 大学に行かせてください。
    Please allow me to go to the university.
  • 子供に夜中までゲームをさせてしまった。
    I allowed my kid to play games until late at night (and it was my fault).
  • 彼には好きなことを言わせておけ。
    Let him say whatever he wants.
  • 眠そうだったから、そのまま寝させておこう。
    She looked sleepy, so let her keep sleeping.
  • 妻を事故で死なせてしまった。
    My wife was killed in an accident (and it was my fault).
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  • Thanks. Without くれて, what would the sentence translate to? Or would it just be grammatically wrong and it wouldn't make sense without the くれて? – Newbie Apr 21 '20 at 1:22
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    @Newbie Without くれて, the sentence is simply ungrammatical. Proper use of donatory verbs is very important in Japanese. Of course you can say ~ていただいてありがとうございます instead, which is much politer. – naruto Apr 21 '20 at 1:49

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