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August 23, 2007



That was a good explanation of a pretty confusing set of points. Not specifying who the agents are the "kureru always comes back to you" parts are particularly helpful. Cheers!


Nicely said, Will! Lots of learners seem to have trouble between くれる and もらう, but you pointed out well how くれる is the act of somebody giving something (to you) and もらう is the act of receiving.

>>And bonus lesson - くださる is the polite version of くれる、and いただく
>>is the polite version of もらう、so the same principles apply

To be a bit more specific,
くださる is the 尊敬語(そんけいご)form of くれる. This term honors the person doing the giving. You would use this when referring to receiving something from a superior to make them sound more important.

いただく is the 謙譲語(けんじょうご), or humble form of もらう. You would use this when receiving something from someone you want to show humility in front of, lowering yourself.

The subtle difference between "raising" someone else compared to "lowering" yourself is one of the best parts of Japanese.



Yes, I glossed over the humble/polite distinction - I didn't want to throw out too much at once at this level - but I should have at least made the distinction between polite (raising someone up) and humble (lowering oneself)




not to confuse things (or maybe just a little bit), but くれる can be used not just for oneself, but also for those close to you. So for example if somebody outside of your family does a favour for a family member, they are by extension doing a favour for you and so you can use ~~てくれる:


crap example, but hopefully some of that made sense.


yeah our teacher mentioned family members, or work colleagues, as collective members of the same unit towards which the thing was given!

i like the boomerang/frisbee analogy!!! spot on!


This is an old posting so maybe this won't get read, but if I understand this correctly these translations are right.

I got a shirt from my mother.

My mother gave me a shirt.

So my question: do I understand this correctly?

Thanks for posting this explanation, I *think* it really cleared things up for me.

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