I have the following translation for class.


I am having trouble figuring out who goes along with what parts of the sentence.

The first line I think I am fine with.

In the Japanese-style inn, there were a lot of people and...

The second line I am also pretty confident about.

a person called Ted-san who came from America...

The third line is where I start having an issue. I thought ...てくれる was only used when someone was giving/doing something for you (the speaker). Is this not the case? I feel like I want to assign it to the son, and make it the following. But I am not sure.

taught my son how to speak English so...

The fourth line the only issue I have is knowing what そのおれいに means. I know その marks "that" and is a particle. I looked up おれい and find "thank you". So "to that thank you"? I am guessing it's the following. But not sure how it comes together.

to thank him for that, I decided to take him to a shrine in our car.

So my questions are.

  1. When can ...てくれる be directed towards someone other than the speaker?
  2. How does そのおれいに transfer to English?

Thanks :)

  • くれる isn't only used when someone gives something to you. It's more of a "giving down". Someone of higher "status" gives to someone of lower "status", or alternatively, someone close to the speaker is being given something. My first thought when reading this (and I could be wrong) is that Ted-san's son is close to the speaker. Commented Dec 14, 2013 at 0:33
  • 2
    I thought 下さる was used for giving down. Commented Dec 14, 2013 at 0:47
  • 下さる is the extremely humble version of くれる。 Usually not used in normal speech. Commented Dec 14, 2013 at 1:21
  • 1
    I think 下さる is 尊敬語(honorific form) not 謙譲語(humble form). I don't think 下さる is "extremely" polite/formal. I think 息子に英語の話し方を教えてくださったので、そのお礼に車で神社に連れて行って(さし)あげることにしました would be acceptable here. (それと、Tedさんの息子とか関係ないです。>> 「「くれる」「下さる」:与える側が主語、受ける側が視点となり、与える側はソトの人物に限られる。」授受動詞)
    – user1016
    Commented Dec 14, 2013 at 6:27
  • 2
    If your son benefited from Ted's kindness, you also benefited, so you gave Ted a ride as a token of gratitude. Is this uniquely Japanese or just universal?
    – user4032
    Commented Dec 14, 2013 at 8:47

1 Answer 1


I don't see anything wrong with your translation (except 外国人 = foreign people)

  1. When the action is directed towards someone from your in-group ([内]{うち}/ウチ).
  2. そのお[礼]{れい}に means そのお礼として, in return (for~). 参考:お礼として in Weblio
    その its
    お礼(≒[返礼]{へんれい}, お[返]{かえ}し) reward, return(favor, gift...)
    に/として as

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