From my understanding, both of them mean "to set a trap" (in order to catch something).

I encountered 罠を仕掛ける in the story カチカチ山:


However, jisho.org also list 罠を掛ける as a valid expression. So I would like to know if there are any differences between them in terms of meaning or usage ?

1 Answer 1


かける basically means to hang, to hook, etc. while しかける means to set up in general.

罠をかける is not very common, but is appropriate for primitive traps (e.g., rope traps) for capturing small animals, including the one in your story. 罠をしかける is very common, and can be used with any type of trap, including complicated ones. For example, traps you see in action movies, where spears, bullets, or monsters come at a human when activated, would be しかけられた罠, not かけられた罠.

Both can be used to metaphorically refer to non-physical traps (e.g., in a detective movie), in which case there is almost no difference.

Note that 罠かける ("to entrap") and 罠かかる ("to become entrapped") are different set phrases, and you cannot say 罠しかける.

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