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I encountered this sentence in the first book of Minna Intermediate:

わざわざお時間をとっていただいたのに

It is used by a student discussing her meeting with a professor regarding her (the student's) thesis paper.

So far I have always thought that we can only use the actions of the one who's doing the favor (in this case, the professor), so it should be something like

わざわざお時間をとらせていただいたのに

I then looked around a bit and found this question on chiebukuro, which confirmed my confusion, so to speak, because that means that Japanese people also find it strange even though they still use it this way.

So, is it possible to use the receiver's actions before these verbs, too? Or is it just another common mistake?

P.S. According to the plot, the student is Chinese, so I even thought that the authors somehow did it deliberately, but then again, this chiebukuro post shows that this usage is not just "how foreigners might speak"

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  • I don’t see how the question on chiebukuro confirms your confusion. In your understanding, whose action is とる?
    – aguijonazo
    Jul 9 at 15:44
  • Possibly, I have not provided enought context. In the book, the student is late and thus is not able to come to the meeting on time, even though the teacher has already allotted her some time in his schedule. So, he allotted it, she took it. That is the way I see it. So, とる is her action. And my question follows: since とる is her action, is it okay to use it with いただく? After all, we receive other people actions (I am not sure which would be the best verb to use from the teacher's perspective though, like "allot"), or their permission to do something (e.g. とらせていただく)
    – Vladimir
    Jul 9 at 16:13
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    It’s the professor’s action. He took the time to meet her.
    – aguijonazo
    Jul 9 at 16:19
  • On the other hand, having studied some more examples, I do understand now that we can have cases where とっていただく is correct by all means because it IS an action on the side of one doing the favor. I found this example: 昼食をとっていただく時間があります. It is in the context of a travel tour, describing that tourists (i.e. customers) will have time to have a lunch. Their action is viewed from the conpany's viewpoint, so the company recieves their favor of having lunch etc.
    – Vladimir
    Jul 9 at 16:20
  • "He took the time to meet her". Thank you. Haven't thought that it works the same in Japanese.
    – Vladimir
    Jul 9 at 16:23
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Let me put what I said in my comments in an answer, just for easier reference for future readers.

Your understanding of いただく is correct. Your confusion stems from your misreading of 時間をとる. It’s the professor’s action. The professor took the time to meet the student.

The question on chiebukuro is different. It is asking whether saying 時間をとっていただいて would be appropriate when the listener (the doer of the favor) took time to meet someone for the speaker (the beneficiary) without the speaker being present, rather than spend that time to meet with the speaker. The asker felt 時間をとらせてしまって might be a possibility but was not sure. Either way, 時間をとる is the listener’s action. (The causative とらせる is the speaker’s.)

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  • Yes, thank you for summarizing it. I have actually encountered this expression a couple of times already since you answered, so it seems to be settling in. And as for the variation with 取らせる、I found another good example on this NHK's course just today.
    – Vladimir
    Aug 9 at 9:55
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お時間を取っていただきありがとうございます。correct

わざわざお時間を取らせていただいたのに
no correct

Because いただく is 謙譲語

For your reference https://biz.trans-suite.jp/21158

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  • I could be wrong but I don't think that this is what questioner is asking for?
    – Skye-AT
    Jul 9 at 20:47

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