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そのお菓子を息子にくれますか?

そのお菓子を息子にもらえますか?

Apparently these sentences are equivalent, but as far as I know に marks the subject who gives the object, I don't understand how do they have the same meaning

Is there anything am I missing?

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    the recipients aren't the same though. – A.Ellett Jul 11 '16 at 4:07
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This くれる means "someone give something to someone", so the action is the other side. そのお菓子を息子にくれますか? is translated as "Can you give the snack to my son?"

This もらう means "someone receive something from someone", so the action is speakers' side. そのお菓子を息子にもらえますか? is translated as "Can I receive the snack from my son?" but it is unnatural to say that to someone.

I think "そのお菓子を息子にくれませんか?", "そのお菓子を息子にください" are more common than "そのお菓子を息子にくれますか?".

  • thank you, I understand the part about くれる, but in several sites llike guidetojapanese.org/favor.htmll I always see that the に in 息子にもらえますか marks the subject who gives the object, in that case 息子にもらえますか would mean something like "can I receive the snack from my children?" to me, the opposite of what you say – Snaut Jul 11 '16 at 19:30
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    @Snaut Yes, 息子にお菓子をもらう means "I receive the snack from my son." I understand そのお菓子を息子にもらえますか? is said to someone and it means ' Can I receive the snack from you for my son". What do you want to say in this sentence "そのお菓子を息子にもらえますか?"? "そのお菓子を息子にもらえますか?"means also "Can I receive the snack from my children?" but it is unnatural to say that to someone, isn't it? However 息子にそのお菓子もらえるかな? make sense and it is translated as " I wonder if I can receive the snack from my son.". – Yuuichi Tam Jul 11 '16 at 21:13
  • unnatural yes.. sorry I still don't understand how you can understand そのお菓子を息子にもらえます as "Can I receive the snack from you for my son", the にもらえます indicates "from my children" (I know it is unnatural, but still) they way you say it is as if にもらえます indicates both giver and receiver – Snaut Jul 11 '16 at 21:16
  • I first そのお菓子を息子にもらえますか? is unnatural as I explained in my answer. However if 息子にもらえる means 息子のために(に対して)私がもらえる, I thought it may make sense. – Yuuichi Tam Jul 11 '16 at 21:41
  • に can act as のために then – Snaut Jul 11 '16 at 21:46
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If you use「もらう」the subject is you or someone in your in-group  

If you use「くれる」the subject is someone else

In both cases the beneficiary is you or someone in your in-group.


In example:

  • 息子に渡{わた}してくれた  

(They) handed (my) son (some sweets) for (me)

Someone handed something to your son for you


  • 息子に渡してもらった  

(I) had (our) son hand (them) (some sweets) for (us)

You had your son hand something to someone for you and your wife  


  • 息子に渡してくれませんか?

Would (you) hand (my) son (some sweets) for (me)?

You are asking someone to hand something to your son  


  • 息子に渡してもらえませんか?

Can (you) hand (some sweets) to (my) son for (me)?

You are asking someone if they will hand something to your son for you  


  • 息子にもらいました

(I) got (some sweets) from (my) son

You received something from your son  


  • 息子に渡してもらいました

(I) had (him) hand (some sweets) to (my) son

You had your son hand something to someone else for you

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