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I came across this sentence during immersion:

人を不安にさせといてそりゃないでしょ!!!

Why is 不安にさせといて and not 不安にして in this case if the meaning is "to make people anxious"?

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Focusing on 不安にさせる/不安にする, both sound ok to me, so 人を不安にしといて works. But probably 不安にさせといて is more common.

I guess that this would be best understood simply as a pragmatic fact for learners.


This paper (pdf will download) cites a seemingly relevant reult:

I : 感情形容詞の連用形に後接するスル-サセル置換では「サセル」が、属性 形容詞の連用形に後接するスル-サセル置換では「スル」が優先される傾向 にある。

Ⅱ:感情形容詞・属性形容詞の種別を問わず、形容詞の連用形に後接するスル -サセル置換では、X項(ガ格)が非情物であるのが典型となる。 (森 2004 , p.37)

Note this seems corpus-based and does not give any definite rules.


FYI: some other examples

  • 幸福にさせる(0) is not acceptable. 幸福にする(21) is the only option.
  • 不愉快にさせる(1)・不愉快にする(4) are both fine.
  • 不快にさせる(9) sounds more natural than 不快にする(5)

The parenthesized numbers are results returned by BCCWJ. Also 不安にさせる/不安にする = 23/2.

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I'm not a native speaker, but my feeling is that the 'させる' part emphasizes that it is someone else's experience. 'にする' is more for things that are for you and affect you.

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  • What’s someone else’s experience? Feeling anxious, or making someone anxious?
    – aguijonazo
    Oct 10 '21 at 5:11

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