Causatives: 이, 히, 기, 리, 우, 추, 게 하다

Causatives show that a person is not acting of their own will. They can be understood as ‘make’, ‘let’ or ‘cause’. For example:

보다 (to see)

보이다 (to show)

벗다 (to undress)

벗기다 (to make someone undress)

There are no hard rules for which suffix a stem takes, only some very loose (and contradictory!) patterns:

이: after vowels and sometimes ㄱ

비행기에 탑승하기 전에 모든 승객들은 여권을 보여야 돼요.

Before boarding the plane, all passengers must show their passports.

어렸을 때 어머니가 저에게 모든 채소를 먹였어요.

When I was young my mother made me eat all my vegetables.

히: after ㄷ, ㅂ and sometimes ㄱ

수업마다 선생님이 저에게 교재를 읽혀요.

Every lesson my teacher makes me read from the textbook.

교장 선생님이 아이에게 학생복을 입혀요.

The principal makes us wear a school uniform.

기: after ㄴ, ㅁ, and ㅅ

소년이 누나를 웃겼어요.

The boy made his older sister laugh.

저는 제 친구에게 가장 좋아하는 소설 책을 맡겼어요.

I let my friend keep my favourite novel.

리: after ㄹ and sometimes ㅂ

지난 밤에 들은 노래가 저를 울렸어요.

The song I listened to last night made me cry.

군중 사이에서 그의 목소리를 똑똑히 들렸어요.

His voice was clearly audible among the crowd.

**우: no real pattern


오늘 아침에 저는 남동생을 깨우는 것을 잊어 버렸어요.

I forgot to wake my younger brother this morning.

아기가 아주 일찍 일어나면 저는 오후에 낮잠을 재워요.

If the baby wakes very early, in the afternoon I let him have a nap.

기사님, 다음 신호등에서 세워 주세요.

Driver, please stop at the next traffic light.

**추: no real pattern


영국에는 10월말에 시계를 1시간 늦춰요.

In the UK, clocks are delayed (go back) one hour at the end of October.

소리를 좀 낮춰 주세요.

Please turn the volume down.

게 하다

Causatives — ‘make’, ‘let’ or ‘cause’ to do/be something’ — can also be made using A/V + 게 하다:

어머니가 학생들에게 더 숙제를 하게 한다.

The teacher makes the students do more homework.

어렸을때 어머니가 저에게 하루에 3 시간 동안 피아노를 치게 해요.

When I was young my mother made me play the piano for three hours daily.

그가 일어나서 아내에게 아침 식사를 만들게 했어요.

He woke up and made his wife breakfast.

친구의 해동이 저를 짜증나게 했어요.

My friend’s behaviour annoyed me.

(lit. made me annoyed)

부모님이 저를 자랑스러워게 하게 하고 싶어요.

I want to make my parents proud (of me).

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