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I found this odd use of てあげる while reading an introductory Kobun book.

終止形の「i」が「u」になっていたら、四段活用に入れてあげられたのに、「あり」はそこだけ変なので四段活用には入れてあげられません。

It seems to me that てあげる used in this sentence seem to mean "raise up." But I fail to understand how the meaning will change if 入れられる is used instead? Also, is there any difference between 入る and 入れてあげられる/入れられる?

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    It's the same あげる you know well. He is speaking subjectively as if including あり in the group of 四段活用 is a favor. It sounds colloquial.
    – aguijonazo
    Jan 30, 2022 at 4:06
  • @aguijonazo Ah that means られる is potential not passive. Interesting. I thought あげる is restricted to animate beings.
    – Jimmy Yang
    Jan 30, 2022 at 4:11

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This (-て)あげる is a donatory subsidiary verb, the antonym of (-て)もらう. られる is potential. Here, this -てあげられない roughly means "unfortunately cannot ~". With あげる, the author is signaling that treating あり as an irregular verb is inconvenient to someone or something.

Maybe the author temporarily personified classical Japanese verbs, and said excluding あり from its friends was harsh to the verb. But maybe the author just thought this irregularity was inconvenient to the readers.

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