1

お母さんが男の子に頼んでいます。

お母さん:ねえ。

男の子 :なあに。

お母さん:お母さん、牛乳買って来るから、お風呂洗ってくれない。

男の子 :ええー。もうすぐ見たいテレビが始まるんだけど。

お母さん:牛乳、買って来るのと、どっちがいい。

男の子 :ええー......お菓子も買っていい。

お母さん:一つだけよ。

男の子 :わーい。じゃ、行って来る。わ、あと10分だ。自転車で行こう。

I don't understand how to translate the sentences marked in bold.

In the first one, why would mother use the word お母さん in here own speech? Is she asking him to go and buy milk and then to wash the bathroom or is she asking her son to wash the bathroom after she comes back from buying milk?

In the second one, I don't understand the usage of どっちがいい. We have one one option here (which is buying milk), so why would we use どっちがいい?

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お母さん、牛乳買って来るから、お風呂洗ってくれない。
I'll go buy some milk, so (while I'm out shopping) can you wash the bath?

As for this usage of お母さん referring to herself, see: When referring to herself, is there any pronoun other than お母さん when speaking to her children?

This does not mean "after I come back" (that would have been 買って来てから).

牛乳、買って来るのと、どっちがいい。
Which do you like, [washing the bath] or go buying the milk?

The other option (washing the bath) is simply omitted because it can be inferred from the context.

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  • The other option (washing the bath) is simply omitted because it can be inferred from the context. - Why do we need comma after 牛乳 then? It actually confuses me the most here, because it looks like one has to choose between milk and coming back from the shop. Dec 3 '21 at 4:54
  • 1
    @JConstantine Japanese commas play little semantic role, so don't let them deceive you.
    – naruto
    Dec 3 '21 at 5:06
  • Unfortunately, this explanation is way too hard for me to grasp now. Dec 3 '21 at 5:10
  • @JConstantine Ah, sorry. Basically the use of commas in Japanese is very arbitrary to the eyes of English speakers. Although this comma between 牛乳 and 買ってくる is not very usual, it doesn't change the meaning of the sentence anyway.
    – naruto
    Dec 3 '21 at 5:14
  • I've also just realized that the word テレビ here isn't used to mean the television set, but rather some television programs. Dec 3 '21 at 5:25

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