For the below sentence:

When you have no money who would you borrow from?

I think the Japanese translation would be:


And using Google Translate, it translates to:

Who would you borrow when you have no money?

Which matches with the expected sentence at the top.

However, the textbook chooses this sentence instead:


But 貸します means to lend and the sentence without もらいます, I think, would be:


Which means:

When you have no money, who do you lend money to.

And it doesn't match with the expected sentence.

Also with the above sentence (in textbook), Google Translate translates to:

Who do you want to lend when you have no money?

Which is odd, isn't it?

  • 3
    Just to be clear, do you understand how ~てもらう works generally? Before getting into 貸す vs 借りる
    – Leebo
    Aug 12, 2020 at 4:26
  • @Leebo I understand it is used in situation where a person does a favor to other person. name of the actor, person who does the favor, is put before に. And name of the receiver, person who receives the favor, is put before は.
    – Khanh Tran
    Aug 12, 2020 at 8:24

1 Answer 1


First of all, ~してもらう means "have something done".

"Who would you borrow from?" is translated as "誰から借りますか?". "誰に借りてもらいますか?" means "Who would you ask for borrowing money (from someone)?" For example, A said "誰にお金を借りてもらいますか?", B answered "母に借りてもらいます". The answer doesn't mean "I will borrow money from my mother" but "I will ask my mother for borrowing money (from someone)."

お金がないとき、誰にお金を貸しますか? is unnatural because you can't lend money when you don't have money. お金がないとき、誰に貸してもらいますか? make sense and it means "Who do you ask for lending money (to you)?"

  • 1
    お金がないとき、誰にお金を貸しますか?<-This sentence makes things clear for me now. ありがとうございます!
    – Khanh Tran
    Aug 12, 2020 at 8:33

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