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I have this thought from time to time when I am trying to express an English thought in Japanese. Perhaps the sentence itself is unnatural so let me know.

It seems like we can make him come (to a place far from the speaker. in a playful "forcing someone" way)

あ、行かせられそう

Does this work? I suppose 行ってもらえそう might work here but I thought it might be too soft for the nuance I want. And I know the actual passive causative would be 行かされる, but is it still possible these could get confused for each other? Does 行かせられる sound like can make someone go? What about る-verb where the conjugation would look the same like 見させられる (can make him look or being forced to watch)

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  • Looking at the English all I can see is 行かせそう where does the られ come from? (I assume you meant "make him go somewhere")
    – By137
    Sep 10 at 4:00
  • Yes thats what I meant. I mean different from just 行かせそう, more like できそう, so a combination of the potential and mas-stem + そう
    – Lucas
    Sep 10 at 4:10
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行かせられる works for you, while 行かされる doesn’t.

行かせる and 行かす are both valid causative forms of 行く.

The former works as a ru-verb (or ichidan or Group II verb), and therefore, its potential and passive forms are both 行かせられる. As with any other ru-verb, ambiguity could arise. Depending on the context, it could mean either “can make someone go” or “be forced to go.”

The latter, the short form, works as an u-verb (or godan or Group I verb), and therefore, its potential form would be 行かせる. However, this form is usually not used because it is identical to the (long) causative form. You would need to say 行かすことができる to mean “can make someone go.” 行かされる only means “be forced to go.”

見る is not a very good example because there is another verb with a causative sense, namely 見せる.

Let’s use 食べる as an example of a ru-verb.

Its causative form is 食べさせる and this also works as a ru-verb. Therefore, its potential and passive forms are both 食べさせられる. Depending on the context, it could mean either “can make someone eat” or “be forced to eat.”

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