So does てもらう mean I got someone (asked someone) to do something for me? Or does it mean I recieved (blank) from someone?

For example, 彼に漢字を教えてもらいました. Would this mean, "I got him to teach me," or would it mean "I recieved the teaching of kanji from him?

What I'm trying to say is, does てもらう always mean I got/asked someone to do something? Like I asked him to teach me? Or can it just be, I recieved teaching from him? Or would that just be てくれる? 漢字を教えてくれました. "He taught me kanji."

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1 Answer 1


does てもらう always mean I got/asked someone to do something?

No, this is not a requirement. Who asked it or started it is not important. If someone did something voluntarily for you, you can still say てもらう. For example, it's perfectly fine to say 彼に漢字を教えてもらいました even if it's he who suggested the lesson. Of course, saying (彼は私に)漢字を教えてくれました with 彼 as the subject is equally correct.

Just in case, note that the subject of もらう (i.e., the "receiver") is not necessarily "I". In 娘は先生に数学を教えてもらいました, the "receiver" is 娘.

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