More about -게 하다 causative froms – Korean Causative and Passive Forms #6

In this episode, I'll tell you more about Korean causative forms.


In Korean, there is "이다" verb that has a meaning of "be" in English. When you want to make a causative form of 이다 verb, you should change the form like ~이/가 되게 하다. The verb is completely changed to 되다.

그분은 아들이 의사가 되게 했다.
He made his son a doctor.

이 가게를 맛집이 되게 해 주세요.
Please make this restaurant a famous one.

It is wrong to speak like 그분은 아들이 의사이게 했다 or 이 가게를 맛집이게 해 주세요.


When you use tense expressions with "-게 하다" causative forms, you should add these tense ending with 하다, not main verb. For example, past tense form of 먹게 하다 is 먹게 했다 and future tense form is 먹게 할 것이다, 먹게 하겠다.

아저씨들이 길을 넓게 했다.
Those workers made the road wider.

내가 너희를 제 시간에 도착할 수 있게 할 거다.
I'll make you arrive on time.

Various meanings of Causative form

Korean causative forms are used to describe 3 situations. Let's see this with these sentences.

어머니가 동생에게 옷을 입혔다.
어머니가 동생에게 밥을 먹였다.

This situation is to do it yourself. Mother hold the clothes and put it on her son. Mother held the spoon and put the food with it and brought it to my younger brother or sister's mouth. She does everything herself. It has a nuance of forcing to do something.

어머니가 동생에게 옷을 입게 했다.
어머니가 동생에게 밥을 먹게 했다.

This situation is to give permission or order something. In this case, mother let her son wear that clothes. She let her son eat the food. She didn't disagree or she told her to do so.

In most cases, 이히리기우구추 causative form is used to describe "do it yourself" situation and -게 하다 causative form is used to describe "give permission" or "order something".

Double Causative

In some cases, you can use 이히리기우구추 causative form and -게 하다 causative together. It's used when you order something to someone to do something like making someone feed some food to kid, making workers widen the road, making someone notice some information, etc.

어머니는 동생한테 새에게 밥을 먹이게 하셨다.
Mother made my brother to feed birds some food.

시장은 인부들에게 길을 넓히게 했다.
The mayor made the workers widen the road.

왕은 신하에게 이 소식을 널리 알리게 하라고 말했다.
The king told his subordinates to let this news be known to everybody.