Wait…Who Made Whom Do What?!

I think I sprained my brain.

I should mention ahead of time that, in case anyone is considering that rash act of actually reading this post, it’s going to be rather technical on finicky points of grammar.  I’m really writing more to get my head clear than for any other reason.  You have been warned.

Once upon a time, I learned about the passive form of a verb.  This is when something is done to the subject of the sentence, rather than having the subject be the doer, which would be the active tense.

犬は私をかみました – A dog bit me.  The dog is the subject of the sentence and the doer of the action.  This is active tense.

私は犬にかまれた – I was bitten by a dog.  I am the subject of the sentence, but the dog is the doer of the action.  This is passive tense.

Okay, fine.  I can do that.

Then I learned to causative form.  This is when someone lets or makes someone else do something.

先生は私に宿題をさせました – My teacher made me do homework.

Okay, so that’s alright, too.

But now I have to learn to combine them into that mythical beast we call the passive causative form.  Ir causative passive.  It seems to depend on who you ask.

Huh?

Now, correct me if I’m wrong (seriously, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong!), but, as I understand it, this means that the subject of the sentence is forced (or made) to do something by someone else.  For example:

いかを食べさせられた。- I was forced to eat squid.

Now, here’s my homework.

私は子どもに薬を飲ませた.   薬を飲んだ人 =

So, let’s break it down.   飲ませた is nonformal causative past tense (whew!).  So, the subject (私) made someone else do something.  I made my child take medicine.  薬を飲んだ人 = 子ども

私は嫌な上司にお酒を飲まされた。   お酒を飲んだ人 =

飲まされた is nonformal causative-passive past tense.  (Oh, boy.)  So, the subject (私) is being forced to do something.  My annoying boss forced me to drink alcohol.  Bad boss!  お酒を飲んだ人 = 私

子どもの時、私は母によく買い物に行かされた。  買い物に行った人 =

行かされた is nonformal causative-passive past tense.  (Again!)  When I was a child, my mother made me go shopping.  買い物に行った人 = 私

私は隣の人に足を踏まれた。 足を踏んだ人 =

踏まれた is nonformal passive past tense.  So the subject had something done to him by someone else.  I had my foot stepped on by the person next to me.  足を踏んだ人 = 隣の人 (I think that is asking for the person who did the stepping on…)

先生は遅刻した学生にその理由を言わせた。   理由を言った人 =

言わせた is nonformal causative past tense.  So the subject made someone else do something.

The teacher made the student who was late say the reason.  (Yes, I know that sounds clunky.  I’m not worried about that right now.)   理由を言った人 =  遅刻した学生

So…that’s what I’m going with.  Maybe it’s even correct.  We’ll see.

頑張って

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