What's the difference between these two sentences?

  1. リサに道を見せてあげました

  2. リサに道を見せていただきました

I'm studying the structures ~てあげます and ~ていただきます, but I can't understand the difference, they both look the same to me. Can you help me please? I'm going crazy.


2 Answers 2


Do you know what the basic verbs mean?

  • [本]{ほん}をあげます。 means "I (will) give you (the) book"
  • お[茶]{ちゃ}をいただきます。 means "Yes please", literally "I will gratefully accept some tea"

So if you combine these with verbal phrases, they similarly mean "give" and "receive" -- almost opposite meanings.

  • リサさんに道を[教]{おし}えてあげました means "I showed Lisa the way" (I gave showing her)
  • リサさんに道を[教]{おし}えていただきました means "Lisa (kindly) showed me the way" (I received being shown by her)

Indidentally, what is this リサ? Except in very particular circumstances (in none of which you would be saying いただきました), personal names take さん. And unless you really mean there is a curiously different sort of road, and you want to show it to someone, 道を見せる is not natural, so I changed it to the usual expression.


リサに道を見せてあげました means "I showed Lisa the road." リサに道を見せていただきました means "Lisa showed me the road." (polite form)

So, it's total different.

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