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I'm new to Japanese Stack Exchange. I've been studying Japanese with Rocket Japanese for the past two months and would love to have a resource to ask for some advice and guidance when I spend far too much time trying to figure out something myself :-) I'd much appreciate help me with this question: What is the exact meaning of kure here:

Will you come with me? いっしょ に きて くれます か? / Issho ni kite kure masu ka?

Why would it not be this instead: いっしょ に きて します か? / Issho ni kite shimasu ka?

Or do they both mean the same thing? If so, is there a different inflection? As くれ signifies the giving and receiving of something, in this example does it me the giving of someone's time?

I've only mastered the hiragana syllabary to date, so if you could please stick to hiragana in any answers, that would be great :-)

ありがとうございます!

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The て-form of a verb followed by くれる (polite form くれます) indicates that the verb is being done as a favour to the recipient of the verbs action.

くれる literally means 'to give', so いっしょにきてくれますか would translate as "Will you give (me the favour of) coming with me, i.e. "Will you come with me".

There are other verbs that do similar/related things: あげる, もらう etc. Generally, if you search for 'Japanese giving and receiving verbs' you'll find tutorials that explain how all this stuff works. It's way too much to answer in this question.

As for いっしょ に きて します か, I don't know where you got that from, but I'm afraid it makes no sense to me.

  • Ok, thank you very much - that helps a lot. きて します か came from the use of shimasu in previous lessons and what I thought was my understanding of how to use it. I'm obviously still a bit confused on its usage. I'm not too far into the beginning modules, so hopefully it will be explored in more detail soon. – イ リ ニ May 20 at 23:31
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A more grammatical alternative without くれる would be いっしょにきますか? which can be used e.g. as an invitation (i.e. you’re not asking for a favor but just making a suggestion). Yet another variation is いっしょにきませんか which negates the verb and makes the suggestion more indirect, so could be used if you don’t want to insist and give them an easier way out. Although now that I wrote this down it’s becoming more difficult for me to see the difference between the two...

An aside: while くる/きます is a possible translation of “come”, in Japanese it’s generally only used when describing a movement towards the speaker/current location. When talking about going somewhere else, いく/いきます should be used, even if English uses “come”. E.g.:

Will you come with me to the party?

パーティにいっしょにいってくれますか? (will you do me a favor of going to the party together?)

パーティにいっしょにいきますか? (Go to the party together?)

パーティにいっしょにいきませんか?(Why don’t we go to the party together?)

  • Your last point is one I was struggling with when I wrote my answer. If くる implies movement towards the speaker, how is it ever appropriate to use いっしょに? Can you think of any practical situations? – user3856370 May 22 at 7:24
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    @user3856370: possibly when speaking about next time you return to the current location? e.g. "will you come with me to this restaurant again?" or similar... but yeah, it does sound unnatural to me on its own. – Igor Skochinsky May 22 at 8:35

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