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Can someone please tell me what てもらうためかい means in this sentence?

波打つ潮の流れに目を向けたのは 孤独の涙を流してもらうためかい?

I know that てもらう means "to have something done for you" and ため means "in order to" or "goal", but I really don't know what they mean combined with the other parts of the sentence. Is it something like "You turned your attention to the rippling tide so that you can shed tears of loneliness"? Does it mean that you do it for your own sake and what does かい imply?

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かい is simply another version of the question particle か. You can read this post for details, but the main nuance is that you only use it when it's a yes and no question. You are correct for the meaning of てもらう and ため. The main subtlety here is that てもらう is used to request the ocean, not someone.

The literal translation would be something like: "In order to request that your tears are washed away".

But the correct english equivalent would be: "Did you turn your attention to the rippling tide in the hope that it would wash away your tears of loneliness?".

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  • Thank you very much, this was really helpful!
    – Victoria
    Jul 5 at 17:25

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