I'm familiar with using the causative from to request something for oneself, as in "could you let me do this, please" (やらせていただけませんか). However, I've come across this sentence:


This seems to me to say "please finish the work", but with the causative form it would be something like "make it be finished", which doesn't make sense.

So, why is the causative form of 終わる used? Is it the causative form in the first place or it's something else?

Thank you very much.



終わらせる is the causative verb of 終わる (intransitive).

Here the thing that 終わる is 仕事.

仕事が終わる -- the work ends
(あなたが)仕事を終わらせる -- lit. (you) make the work end → "(you) finish the work"

In 「17時までにこの仕事を終わらせてください。」, the subject of 終わらせる is "you" (unmentioned), and the object is 仕事.

Similar examples:

「工期が遅れる」 - 「(人が)工期を遅らせる」
「車が走る」 - 「車を走らせる」
「不安が募る」 - 「不安を募らせる」
「足が滑る」 - 「足を滑らせる」
「母が困る」 - 「母を困らせる」

  • I see. Thank you very much. I imagine この仕事を終わらせてください is the only way to use 終わる to make a request, since 終わってください would refer to the job (something like, "please finish yourself work"). – makamoe Aug 21 '20 at 16:43

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