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Which (if any at all) of the following two understandings of お世話になりました is correct?

  1. The implicit subject is あなた. The お〜になります pattern is a 敬語 construction. The full sentence in plain form is あなたが(私の)世話をした, literally meaning "you took care of me".
  2. The implicit subject is 私. There is nothing special about the なりました part. It just means "became". The full sentence would be 私が世話になりました, literally meaning "I became 世話".

And what about ご馳走になりました?

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The correct answer is the second.

If you translate litteraly, it means "I became trouble (for you)

世話 does not mean help here, but rather has the nuance of care here

EDIT: I do not know if you checked: The grammar of 世話になる

but it provides some more details

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  • 2
    Thank you for your explanation and also for the link in the edit. Now it all makes sense to me.
    – Cabbage
    Dec 26 '20 at 12:52
  • You're welcome !
    – Makoto
    Dec 26 '20 at 14:15

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