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Here is a sentence taken from a manga:


Thank you for having provided me with all that energy at that time.

I don't get why 私 is used with the particle に instead of が (or not being used at all). The way I see it :


A provides B with C.


B is (receiving the favor of being) provided with C by A.

Is it the use of ~てありがとう that swaps the particles? Literally, something like:


A is thanked by B (who is glad) for being provided with C.

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@Szymon : Thanks for the corrections. –  Alox Apr 16 '14 at 10:05
I think ていただく is sometime used to meaning something like させる or られる. “私に提供していただく” is more like “[私に提供し]ていただく]”, rather than “[私に][提供し]ていただく”. I think it's mainly for two reasons: 1)私に itself does not work well with ていただく. It must be 私が if you mean “someone do ... for me” or “I let someone do ...” It's simply ungrammatical to use ていただく when you mean something like “I make myself do ...” or “I do ... for myself” 2) に is ambiguous whether it belongs 提供し or いただく. To make it clearer, one may say [..から]提供していただく or [..に][..に提供し]ていただく. –  Yang Muye Apr 16 '14 at 14:16
As for ていただいてありがとう, some native speakers suggest that, ていただいて is an honorific from, not humble form. The agent of the action is usually omitted or marked by から or に. It means the same as てくださって. ありがとう itself is used to express the speaker's appreciation. You can't say something like “Aが...ありがとう” to mean “A thanks” or “A is thanked”. –  Yang Muye Apr 16 '14 at 14:20
@YangMuye You should write an answer. –  Darius Jahandarie Apr 17 '14 at 2:22
@YangMuye, yup your answer too was really helpful. –  Alox Apr 17 '14 at 15:39

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Although your application of grammatical rules is on the whole technically correct you need to consider context. A is thanking B for doing something for him (not anybody else). This affects what information you need to include in the sentence:

  • 私 does not usually take が, 私は is more common, if it needs to be said at all. So;
  • If you are saying thank you then you are unlikely to say 私は (because it is clear who is saying thanks). And;
  • が is commonly used in sub-clauses within sentences. If you used が in this sentence then it would sound odd because (i) it would seem to go with 提供する, so you are doing the "supplying" and, (ii) いただく indicates you are also doing the receiving.
  • By saying 私に the speaker is saying thank you for giving me , as opposed to somebody else, the energy (see note below)
  • Although a sentence with the ~ていただく/もらう construction will often identify the supplier of the service by the particle に this is usually done when the supplier is a third party. In this case the supplier is the listener and it is not necessary: B knows what he did and the speaker wants to "Thank you for doing X for me."

Note: I am not quite sure from the context you have provided if the speaker was "inspired to do something" or they were recipient of some kind of fuel but it does not make a huge difference to the main points of your question on grammar.

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Thanks for your answer, actually the speaker took 生体エネルギー from the hearers by force, I don't know if it makes a difference. So, to make it crystal clear, if the sentence were let say お父さんにたくさんのエネルギーを提供していただいた。 A translation would be "(I'm glad that) your father gave me all that energy." But in the original sentence, we know that gramaticaly, "私" cant be the subject of 提供, therefore we can use に with it's original function of indicating the reciever of 提供. Am I right? Last question, is it a perfectly valid sentence (gramaticaly) or a casual way of speaking? Thx for your time. –  Alox Apr 16 '14 at 12:09
Explaining the context makes it much clearer: "(I'm glad that)" is not included in your revised sentence (お父さん〜いただいた)although it might be inferred. (You've also turned the viewpoint of the sentence around from the literal "I received" to Your father gave me" but I think you understand that.) If the speaker forcefully took the energy from the listener then I would say there is a sense of irony in what he actually says ("Thank you for for giving me..."). The sentence is grammatically correct and is not casual (eg いただく is not casual) but it is spoken & the words are chosen to fit the context. –  Tim Apr 16 '14 at 14:08

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