This question is closely related to a similar question I asked not long ago:

送ってくれた : Why is both "sending" and "giving" being used together here?

I now understand くれた being useful as an auxiliary verb meaning "did for his/her/my (benefit)"

In this case I wanted to express a story to my Japanese friend about how when I visited my girlfriend's father for the first time, he had a lot of questions to interrogate me with.

My friend told me to say this: ​父さんはたくさん質問してくれました.

I did some more research, but I don't undertand how くれました is being used here.

It seems like it should mean this: "Her father had a lot of questions to give me (for my benefit)"

I also came up with this variant on my own (is it correct?): お父さんはたくさん質問して聞きました。 "Her father had a lot of questions to ask me."

Anyway, in the first case, the questions are interrogative, and thus not necessarily wanted by myself, or for my benefit. Interrogative questions feel more forced or imposed upon me, than "given" to me.

Am I misunderstanding the usage here? Is there a better way to express this?

  • 1
    If I listen to this sentence, I will understand that the speaker was the one that was asked because kureru in this case sounds like “for me” even if it doesn’t translate literally... that’s how I understand at least. “Her father had a lot of questions for me” Mar 12, 2018 at 23:02
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    父さんはたくさん質問してくれました <-- You sure they didn't say 「質問してました」?  the questions are interrogative, and thus not necessarily wanted by myself, or for my benefit <-- Using くれました would be strange, then.
    – chocolate
    Mar 13, 2018 at 3:23
  • @FelipeOliveira this explanation makes sense to me.. kureru sounds to me like "(..) for me", "he had questions FOR ME". Thanks!
    – Cmaxster
    Mar 13, 2018 at 18:55
  • @Chocolate I agree.. it's odd to use kureta.. but I think it can also mean "he had questions for me". I think using kimashita probably does make more sense in this case.
    – Cmaxster
    Mar 13, 2018 at 18:57

2 Answers 2


This くれる is not really different from くれる in 送ってくれる you asked before. The sentence just means Father asked a lot of question and that fact was beneficial (to you or your friend*). A lot of questions mean 父さん was interested in you, and that fact itself is the beneficial thing here.

* I'm not entirely sure what was happening... maybe your friend and your girlfriend's father knew each other and was talking about you when you were not present?

  • No, the situation was that I was talking to my Japanese friend (no relation to my gf or her dad), and I was telling him a story about the first time I met my gfs dad. The story was he interrogated me with a lot of questions. The questions were not beneficial to me, so I think the use of kureta can be understood as "had questions FOR ME (not necessarily beneficial but given to me with the understanding that I should answer)" That's how I'm understanding it anyway. Perhaps it's better to simply use kimashita (asked) instead of kureta (had for me). I'm not an expert so I may be misunderstanding..
    – Cmaxster
    Mar 13, 2018 at 19:02
  • @Cmaxster 父さんはたくさん質問した obviously refers to dad's questions, not the questions from your friend. If your friend knew nothing about your gf's dad, "父さんは質問した" cannot be true in the first place even without any subsidiary/auxiliary verbs. Perhaps I think you've misheard something.
    – naruto
    Mar 14, 2018 at 3:48

I agree that using くれた at the end makes it sound like there was something that you found beneficial in the questioning. It would be better to omit that part if you don't want it to sound this way.

@naruto's answer is good at addressing the fact that, normally asking a lot of questions to one's daughter's boyfriend, while uncomfortable, indicates that he is at least willing to find out more about you: thereby demonstrating the possibility of acceptance, which would be beneficial to you.

If, on the other hand, you want to make it sound closer to your suggested meaning/nuance, you should probably substitute 質問する for another verb clause like 尋問{じんもん}する.

彼女のお父さんに、警察の尋問みたいに質問された。I was questioned by her father as though he were performing a police interrogation.

彼女のお父さんに質問された ... 尋問みたいに。I was questioned by her father, like an interrogation.

彼女のお父さんに厳しく質問された。I was questioned severely by her father.

Finally, I'm not sure if using these phrases in regards to one's potential future father-in-law would be advisable and there might be better ways to emphasize the feeling of being 'under the spotlight'. Possibly 職質(職務質問)みたいに, etc. Maybe someone else has a suggestion.

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