So, the difference between these two. Am I right in believing that 催 is to encourage/urge a third party to do something quicker/with more haste, whereas 促使 is to encourage/urge someone to do something at all? 圣诞快乐! Hashamyim / 罗云

  • 促使 to cause someone to do something; 催 to cause someone to do something earlier or quickly – Farnz Seager Dec 25 '18 at 19:53
  • Wouldn't it be more appropriate to ask the difference between 催促 vs 促使? – Tang Ho Dec 25 '18 at 20:14
  • I'm happy to ask that, but my vocab list only states 催 and not 催促. But anyway, what is the difference between 催促 and 促使? (I'm hoping that this is the setup for a really good joke :-)) – Hashamyim Dec 25 '18 at 20:21
  • see dictionaries, e.g.促使 bkrs.info/slovo.php?ch=%E4%BF%83%E4%BD%BF (users may conclude that no human actors need be explicitly involved) 催 bkrs.info/slovo.php?ch=%E5%82%AC (En follows Ru ) – user6065 Dec 25 '18 at 22:17

催: to urge; to harry (someone to do something)

促使: to motivate; to cause; to prompt (someone to do something or something to happen)

'催' has to be with intention. e.g. in "我催他快點出門" ( I urge/ hurry him to go out sooner). 'I' have the intention of 'urging him to go out sooner'

'促使' has to be with a cause. e.g. in "前蘇聯的威脅促使北約成立" (The threat of the former Soviet Union prompted the establishment of NATO) '前蘇聯的威脅' is the cause of 'the establishment of NATO'

Note 1: '我' is the subject that applies the verb 'to hurry', it is not the cause of '他快點出門'. the subject must have an intention to apply the verb 催

Note 2: there is no intention in '前蘇聯的威脅' to cause NATO to form.


促使: make something happen;

催(促): To urge sb.;

The normal collocations would be 促使 + something and 催(促) + somebody(+something) or bare. Eg:





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