Is there a strict rule for when one should use「~てきてくれる」vs 「~てくれる」?

I thought the part about being the benefactor is already captured by 「くれる」. The sentence I am thinking about is the following:


Is it not possible to drop the 来て from the sentence? What did I lose if I drop it?

  • 2
    Well, the parents have to come back with the お土産...
    – Eddie Kal
    Jan 11, 2022 at 4:24

2 Answers 2


I think the 'きて' here is only saying they came back with the gifts.

The nuance in English would be the same as: "お土産を買ってきてくれる" "...bring back souvenirs for me(that they buy)"

"お土産を買ってくれる" "...buy souvenirs for me"

The difference is subtle. Both phrases can be used in the same context but offer varying degrees of detail. Not much different from how we use English.

For me, as a writer, the difference is more noticeable. With the ”きて” I can picture them giving the gift, I see expressions, I feel the joy, excitement. Without it, it's not that I get a negative impression but I might only picture them buying the gift. Different experience.


You can definitely drop it.

I think there are two implied meanings with ‘きて’くれる. As you know, きて means ‘come’, go out of the way. It means his or her parents took time to buy souvenirs for their children and implies the parents’ effort and speaker’s appreciation to the parents.

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