I made up a few example sentences, and showed them to some native-Japanese speakers, which helped a lot, but there were somethings that I was not able to get answered, so I was wonder if someone here would be willing to help me out. I want to know how to say such a sentence without sounding that I am thanking the person who taught me (unless the situation called for it). I'm aiming for a sentence that would answer a question asking how/where I learned to do something.

  1. 小学生の時に、お父さんにロッククライミングの仕方を教えてくれられました。 I got feedback on this one, and I know it is terribly wrong, but I was not able to get a clear answer as to why. Would someone be able to explain? I figure I should have used 「もらいます」, and that it probably doesn't sound right using the past-passive conjugation of the verb, but I sadly don't understand why. This is slightly unrelated to my question, but I would still like to know why this is wrong, and if there is a situation this sentence structure could be used.

  2. 小学生の時に、お父さんがロッククライミングの仕方を教えてくれました。 I was told this was the most natural sounding sentence of the ones I made, but I was told that it sounds like more of a subjective point of view, and that I sound thankful to him and his teachings. Would it translate to something along the lines of "When I was in Elementary school, my father taught (gifted me the knowledge) of how to rock climb." Or something in that general area?

So, what I was aiming for originally was to say: "When I was in Elementary school, my father taught me how to rock climb."

I want to say it in a way that would be used to tell someone how I learned to rock climb, but without saying it in a strange, thankful kind of way, which I was told my second sentence portrayed.

Would this be more accurate (if not, could you explain what it would more accurately mean): 小学生の時に、お父さんにロッククライミングの仕方を教えてもらいました。Would this be a more natural way to tell people that I learned rock climbing from my father, if I was asked where I learned? I'm still far from understanding the language's nuances, but I'll keep practicing.

Thanks again to anyone who is able to help me out.

1 Answer 1


The feedback you got (and your interpretation thereof) is pretty much on point, I think. Indeed, くれる is a special/irregular verb, in that it doesn't have a passive form: "くられる" isn't recognized as an existing word; and in such cases もらう is used instead.


This sentence is correct, but while it does reduce the emphasis on who you received that rock climbing ability from, the usage of もらう still emphasises somewhat the fact that this is something you received from your father.

To de-emphasize the receiving/appreciation aspect more clearly, you can instead simply drop the くれる/もらう part entirely, and use the passive form of 教える instead:


I applied two more minor changes as well:

  • Assuming a conversational setting, 仕方 sounds a bit "stiff" to me. やり方 is a more commonly used alternative. In the context of something like rock climbing, こつ (meaning something like "the knack", "the trick", "the hang of", "the ropes", etc) would be my first choice though.
  • I changed the order a bit. This depends on the context though: assuming this is an answer you're giving to someone asking you how come you're "so good at this", it makes sense to mark ロッククライミングのこつ/やり方 as the sentence topic with は.
  • Thank you for clearing that up for me, it makes a lot more sense now. The only thing I'm not fully understanding is こつ. Would it be something I could use for anything type of action that involves being skilled or good at something, such as cooking, crafting stuff, or anything like that? Commented Apr 12, 2021 at 6:44
  • @モレランド・ウィル re:こつ. Yeah, sort of. I'd say it applies to any activities of which the basics are fairly self-explanatory, but which require understanding of certain "tricks" in order to do those things proficiently. Nobody, I think, is completely clueless about how to climb stuff. Many kids learn to do so by themselves to some extent without supervision. To climb difficult surfaces though, requires understanding of how to effectively manipulate your center of gravity and how to reduce the strain on your muscles etc? I assume having someone around to teach such tricks/こつ is beneficial like that?
    – Will
    Commented Apr 12, 2021 at 7:03
  • I think I understand now. Thanks a lot for the help! Commented Apr 12, 2021 at 7:05

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