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I have some notes from many years back when I began to do Japanese. As you might expect, I am suspicious of my understanding at the time and of what I've written.

I have two verbs for "to give" and would like to check what the differences are.

上げる    give
与える    give

I also have

あげる    do a favour (not 'I' but 'they')

but I don't know what I meant by my english explanation. Does anybody recognise あげる as "doing a favour"?

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    Verb te form + あげる can be doing a favor, あげる alone is "To give" from the givers perspective – Felipe Oliveira Apr 7 '17 at 13:47
  • Could you give me an example of each please? I am struggling to understand. – VictorySaber Apr 7 '17 at 14:31
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上げる is used generally and it is also polite. If you want to say the same meaning in not polite way, you say やる(遣る). 与える is used only when the upper rank person gives something to the lower one/ones. For example, a king gives something to the vassal/retainer.

あげる used in (し)て+あげる is used in doing somebody a favor in doing something. I'll show you some examples; ごみを出すのを手伝ってあげる。I would help you take out the garbage. 苦労話を聞いてあげる。I would hear your hard-luck stories.

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  • 上げる as "give" and あげる as give, do they have any differences in politeness or meaning? 今日、僕は彼女にプレゼントをあげる. 今日、僕は彼女にプレゼントを上げる – Felipe Oliveira Apr 7 '17 at 16:26
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    @Felipe, あげる and してあげる sometimes sounds arrogant. In your case it sounds normal because 僕 and 彼女 are friends. you should not say, 社長/陛下にプレゼントをあげる or 社長/陛下に日本語を教えてあげる. it would be best to describe プレゼントする プレゼントを贈る – user20428 Apr 7 '17 at 23:11
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    > ... , do they have any differences in politeness or meaning? 今日、僕は彼女にプレゼントをあげる. 今日、僕は彼女にプレゼントを上げる Both sentences have the same meaning and have no differences in politeness, but they have a diffrence in terms of 正書法(せいしょほう、Orthography). "あげる" is far more common than writing "上げる." In the same way but not so strictly as あげる/上げる, it is better to write "お金をください。" than to write "お金を下さい。" meaning "Give me some money.! – Yoshimi MAKINO Apr 8 '17 at 0:48

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