My friend sent me this message:


And I'm confused by what seems to be a really long series of conjugations of the verb 描く。

My question is, what does this message mean, and also what each of the conjugations are?

For context, we were talking about a type of body paint.

Does it mean "Can you draw on me?" or "Can you let me draw on you?" or something completely different?

  • 4
    Probably, it's "描いてくれない?". – Yuuichi Tam Jul 6 '18 at 14:20

I'm quite sure either you did not copy the message correctly here or your friend made a typo and forgot a "く". Given the context it is most likely: 私に描いてれない?

This means simply "would you draw it for me?" or maybe "on me" given the context of body paint.

It is using the te-form of the verb plus くれる. This bears the meaning of o do something for me (the asker) or somebody’s sake.

The general construction is:

Giver + は/が + Receiver + に + Verb-てform + くれる/くださる

To be more specific, くれる in your example is in the negative form くれない and it is a colloquial way of the more polite form くれませんか? This is simply a way to ask politely for something using an interrogative negative. In English something like "Wouldn't you (be so kind to) do Verb for me?"

Note that in particular Verb-てform + くれる also conveys a sense of gratitude from the receiver towards the giver (as someone made you the favor of doing Verb).

You can see more about this here and here.

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