Lassen plus Infinitiv
Could anyone please explain the below sentences....
1) Ich lasse mir von meiner Oma einen Kuchen backen 2) Ich lasse meine Oma einen Kuchen backen
I have constructed the first sentence on my own using lassen. And the next one is the book answer. Which one is correct.... I'm bit confused on this....
Ich muesste noch einen Kuchen als Geschenk backen. / Meine Oma backt besser.
Rewrite the sentence using lassen plus infinitiv
A construction like "Ich lasse meine Oma einen Kuchen backen" would normally mean that you let = allow/leave somebody (to) do something: "Ich lasse mein Kind auf die Wand malen" (I let my child paint on the wall).
I think that when talking about your granny and the cake, it can sound a bit disrespectful. It doesn't sound like "I graciously allow her to bake a cake", but it does sound a bit like "I won't bake a cake myself, I'll just leave that to granny, baking cakes is what she's useful for".
A construction like "Ich lasse mir von meiner Oma einen Kuchen backen" translates as "I have a cake baked for me by my granny" (to have sth. done by sb.; someone else gets the task done), so a common usage would be e.g. "Ich lasse mir von einem Friseur die Haare schneiden" ("I have my hair cut by a hairdresser").
I wouldnt view this as straight disrespectful. Aside from your correct description of the usage, it is also used to describe situations where you actively created the situation so that it can happen.
Obwohl Oma schon 100 Jahre alt ist, lasse ich sie noch Kuchen backen. Here the let would be in the meaning as you described, Ive allowed grandma to bake.
Ich brauche einen Kuchen für das Fest und lasse diesen von meiner Oma backen. Here allow wouldnt fit, it's very likely that you asked your grandma to do the baking for you and not that youre allowing her to do it. (it could still be allow, like grandma heared that you need one and asked you if you let her bake it). I just add this, because this meaning is still pretty common and this meaning is why I would not consider it disrespectful. Usually you have to ask grandma in a respectful way to help to create the situation that you let her make it. Another example. Ich lasse meinen großen Bruder meine Hausaufgaben machen. Here its very likely that it is not "allowed" and instead you asked for help or bribed him or something similar to do it.
> I wouldnt view this as straight disrespectful.
...and that's why I wrote, "it can sound a bit disrespectful" instead of "it sounds straight disrespectful".
And yes, my phrasing was unclear: "...that you let = allow/leave somebody (to) do something" should have meant (besides "allowing") "to leave doing sth. to sb.", as in "I let my brother do my homework".
Thank you so much. Your post was extremely helpful. I need one little clarification though, if you please. Should it be taken that in addition to permission, "lassen" can also express order/command/(polite) request, etc. depending on the situation. E.g., in the following sentence I've just come across, what does the "lassen" express: "Glauben Sie, daß sich meine Frau von mir scheiden läßt?"