I am reading よつばと! On page 180 of volume 1, the character Janbo is telling Yotsuba-chan that he is a "pro" when it comes to catching cicadas. In the balloon it says:

いいか よつば 俺はセミを取らせたらプロ級だぜ。 略してセミプロだ。

I understand the meaning of the sentence overall. What I don't understand exactly is the actual "grammar-like" usage of the causative 取らせる.

I tried to think grammatically 🤔

I'll allow (teach?) you to get cicadas.

If I "teach" you to catch cicadas, you'll be a "pro".

I wonder if that thought of mine is correct.


1 Answer 1


You can think of it this way:


The basic structure of this sentence is 俺はプロ級だ.

取らせる, "make someone catch", is the causative form of 取る.
The subject of 取らせる can be "(generic) you".
The agent of the action 取る is 俺.

Literally means "If someone/you make me catch cicadas, ..."

  • Sorry, my previous comment was totally confused... It sounds like the translation should be "If someone makes me catch cicadas I will be a pro". Is this correct? It sounds weird in English. I'm struggling to understand what it could mean, especially as I would expect なる rather than だ for that translation. How do you understand this sentence and in what context is it meaningful for you? I did enjoy the joke though :-) Jun 6, 2020 at 15:03
  • 3
    @user3856370 「あいつは何をさせてもうまい。」「あの人は歌わせても踊らせても上手い。」みたいなことはよく言うんですけど、英語にしたら変なんですかね・・ Lit. Whatever we make him do, he's good. She, whether you make her sing or dance, is good. ?? If you make me catch cicadas, you'll find me almost a pro ? When it comes to catching cicadas, I'm almost a pro. みたいな感じですかね?
    – Chocolate
    Jun 6, 2020 at 15:15
  • Makes perfect sense now. Thanks. Jun 6, 2020 at 15:41
  • So if I understood well, I could say something like 俺は卵焼きか焼きそばを作らせてもおいしくするから。 to mean "No matter if I am to do tamagoyaki or yakisoba, it'll be delicious."??????? And the ても could be replaced by たら as the character in the manga does???????
    – Francis
    Feb 15, 2021 at 23:34

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .