I already know how to use あげる、もらう and くれる as verbs... But I have some questions regarding the te form of a verb + てあげる、てもらう、てくれる. Where I'm learning it they translate Verb(teform)+あげる/もらう as making a favor like

友達がゲームをするのを教えてくれた。 My friend made me the favor of teaching me how to play the game. Is there a better way to translate it?

What different tone this sentence has in comparisson to something like:


Also, is くれる only allowed when the action is going for me? When talking about a third person should I always use あげる or もらう?

"The mother took her children to the school."

母が彼女の子供に学校で連れてくれた. Is it wrong? How could it be right?



Also I can't really tell what different meaning the sentence would have changing the end like that, even though I know how to use it as verbs alone.

Sorry for the big question, I hope I am making sense.

  • 1
    If you don't use ~てくれる in your example, it sounds weird and pompous because the way it comes across is: "My friend told me how to play the game, and it's the most obvious fact in the world that he would help me with this." You need to be explicit that your friend did you a favor.
    – Kurausukun
    Mar 7, 2017 at 21:58
  • I see... interesting. thanks for clearing that up Mar 7, 2017 at 23:34

1 Answer 1

  • 母が子供を学校へ連れていった。
    • Mother took her children to school. (no favor)
  • 子供が母に学校へ連れていってもらった。
    • The children were taken to school by mother. (favor to children by mom)
  • 母が他人に(母の)子供を学校へ連れていってもらった。
    • Mother had another person take her children to school. (favor to mom by other)
  • 母が他人の子供を学校へ連れていってあげた。
    • Mother took another persons children to school. (favor to the other by mom)

Favor here is not necessarily a really big generous favor.

Edit in reply to comment:

When an outsider does something "for" your sister (an insider), then くれる can also be used.

  • Simple example: 他人が姉にドアを開けてくれた。
  • Complex example: 他人が、姉に(姉の子供を学校へ連れていくことを)してくれた。

The complex sentence can be shortened to

  • 他人が、姉の子供を学校へ連れていってくれた。(sentence accepted by one native speaker)

However, in that abbreviation, the favor-receiver is not specified. A friendly native speaker resource (not a linguist) feels uncomfortable with this sentence

  • 他人が、姉に姉の子供を学校へ連れていってくれた。(sentence rejected by one native speaker)

Despite the fact that this would be OK

  • 姉が、他人に姉の子供を学校へ連れていってもらった。(sentence accepted by one native speaker)

You used a complex example in your question, containing 連れていく. If you are only interested in the simple example, you can leave the complex example until later.

  • You didn't mention directly but, does it means that I can't use くれる when talking about someone who isn't me right? Thanks for the answer, all other points are clear! Mar 8, 2017 at 12:35
  • @Felipe Oliveira - I have addressed your question. Mar 9, 2017 at 3:08
  • @Shoko I will probably stick for the simple example for now but I have two question: 1 - why did you use 連れていってくれた instead of 連れてくれた? 2 - What's the purpose of 連れていくことをしてくれた? Why did you turn the verb into an adverb? Mar 9, 2017 at 16:05
  • @Felipe Olivera - 連れて行く and 連れて帰る are used to mean specifically bring or take [somebody or some-beast] to or from [somewhere]. 連れる alone has a wider range of meanings. See ejje.weblio.jp/content/%E9%80%A3%E3%82%8C%E3%82%8B Mar 9, 2017 at 17:54

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