I came across this expression on TV recently when B said something nice about A, and so A kind of told the viewers 褒めてもらった? I got the impression that the speaker meant "Did I just received a compliment?"

I have never heard this expression before apart from 褒めてくれた. When do one use this expression and how different is it from 褒めてくれた?

  • 1
    In short, the subject is different. (私が)褒めてもらった and (他の人が)(私に)褒めてくれた.
    – dvx2718
    May 5, 2022 at 4:31

1 Answer 1


Remember もらう is basically "to receive" and くれる is basically "to give". 褒めてもらった describes your action, and 褒めてくれた describes someone else's action. The difference is obvious when personal pronouns are explicitly stated:

  • 私は友達に褒めてもらった。
    I was complimented by my friend.
    I received a compliment from my friend.
    ("I received the favor of complimenting from my friend.")
  • 友達が私を褒めてくれた。
    My friend complimented me.
    ("My friend gave me the favor of complimenting me.")

That said, when you use もらう or くれる, you can normally drop 私, and often the "giver", too. The difference between 褒めてもらった and 褒めてくれた is small in a typical situation where personal pronouns can be inferred from the context.

In your example, everyone understands the question is about what just happened between B and A ("I"), so both "褒めてもらった?" and "褒めてくれた?" are equally natural. The former is closer to "Was I just complimented?" and the latter "Did B/you just compliment me?". The latter may sound like a question directly addressed to B ("Did you ..."). "褒めてもらった?" sounds like a question addressed to the speaker (A) themself, which may be desirable if this was said as a light joke.

See also: Why is に used with causativeて+もらう but not causativeて +くれる?

  • What I mostly hear is 褒めてくれた and rarely hear about 褒めてもらった, but you explained that so well, thanks.
    – Himawari
    May 5, 2022 at 18:46

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