Japanese Verb Conjugation - Causative


The causative forms are characterized by the final u becoming aseru for consonant stem verbs, and ru becoming saseru for vowel stem verbs.

Type Causative Examples Causative
Irregular verbs
する suru (do) させる saseru 勘弁する kanben suru (forgive) 勘弁させる kanben saseru
来る kuru (come) 来させる kosaseru
Regular consonant stem (v5) verbs
-う -u -わせる -waseru 使う tsukau (use) 使わせる tsukawaseru
-く -ku -かせる -kaseru 焼く yaku (grill) 焼かせる yakaseru
-ぐ -gu -がせる -gaseru 泳ぐ oyogu (swim) 泳がせる oyogaseru
-す -su -させる -saseru 示す shimesu (show) 示させる shimesaseru
-つ -tsu -たせる -taseru 待つ matsu (wait) 待たせる mataseru
-ぬ -nu -なせる -naseru 死ぬ shinu (die) 死なせる shinaseru
-ぶ -bu -ばせる -baseru 呼ぶ yobu (call) 呼ばせる yobaseru
-む -mu -ませる -maseru 読む yomu (read) 読ませる yomaseru
-る -ru -らせる -raseru 走る hashiru (run) 走らせる hashiraseru
Regular vowel stem (v1) verbs
-る -ru -させる -saseru 見る miru

食べる taberu

見させる misaseru

食べさせる tabesaseru

  • The -ru ending of the causative form becomes the new verb ending. This conjugates as a vowel stem verb.
  • Negatives are not normally made into causatives. Instead, a negative ending is added to the causative of the verb. Thus, for example, Tabesasenai: "Do not let eat".
  • Adjectives are made causative by using the adverb form plus saseru.
  • A shortened causative form exists where the final -u becoming -asu for consonant stem verbs, and -ru becoming -sasu for vowel stem verbs.


The causative is used for:

  • Making someone do something: 宿題をさせる shukudai o saseru: "(I) make (him) do homework".
  • Letting someone do something: 外で遊ばせる soto de asobaseru: "(I) let (him) play outside".
  • With explicit actors: 先生が子供に勉強をさせた sensei ga kodomo ni benkyō o saseta: "The teacher made the children study."
  • The honorific forms させて貰う sasete morau or させて頂く sasete itadaku using the verbs 貰う morau or its humble equivalent 頂く itadaku.

Read more about this topic:  Japanese Verb Conjugation

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