Japanese/Lessons/Giving and Receiving

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There are several ways to express giving and receiving depending on which side the speaker is on, but also depending on whether someone of higher or lower rank is being addressed.

Giving edit

This schematic illustrates the various verbs for giving and receiving.

When expressing that someone gives to someone else (but not you), use the form of:

(Receiver) に (object) を ()()げる。


When others give you, use either:

(you) に (object) を (くだ)さる
(わたし)先生(せんせい)(ほん)()()げます。 // I give the teacher the book.
(わたし)(いもうと)にお菓子(かし)をあげる。 // I give my sister candy. (plain present)
私達(わたしたち)(ねこ)にボールをあげた。 // We gave the cat a ball. (plain past)
彼女(かのじょ)先生(せんせい)林檎(りんご)をあげます。 // The girl gives an apple to the teacher. (polite present)
友達(ともだち)はお(かあ)さんにカードをあげました。 // My friend gave his mom a card. (polite past)

The polite form is "くださる" while "くれる" is of neutral politeness and most commonly used. You will often use this verb when you've gotten something from someone who isn't currently there.

先生(せんせい)(わたし)(ほん)(くだ)さいました。 // The teacher gave me a book.
あなたは(わたし)にビデオをくれる。 // I get a video from you.
岸子(きしこ)(わたし)にマンガをくれた。 // I received a manga from kishiko.

Receiving edit

When expressing that someone receives from someone else, use a form of:

(object) を (いただ)

Although に is slightly more casual, you can use both に and から when you receive some physical objecs. For actions, you can only use に. Use から when you wish to emphasize the giver.

クリスマスが()たら、お(ばあ)ちゃんに新車(しんしゃ)をもらうと(おも)う。 // When Christmas comes, I think I'll get a new car from grandma. (plain form)
誕生日(たんじょうび)に、(あずさ)はお(とう)さんから250,000円をもらったそうです! // For her birthday, I heard that Azusa received 250,000 yen from her dad! (polite form)[2]
彼女(かのじょ)王子(おうじ)結婚(けっこん)したら、女王(じょおう)(おお)くの宝石(ほうせき)をもらいます。 // When she marries the prince, she will receive many jewels from the queen. (polite form)
(かあ)さんに(あたら)しいパソコンをもらいました! // I got a new computer from my mother! (polite form)

The verb いただく is a humble verb, and is used when you receive something from a superior or wish to show respect.


(わたし)先生(せんせい)にペンをいただきました。 // I received a pen from the teacher.

Actions edit

When the object being given or received is an action (and thus expressed by a verb) you can attach use it in the て-form in place of the object.

(Giver) は (Verb in 〜て form) (Verb of giving)。
(Receiver) に (Verb of receiving)。

Note that for receiving an action, you cannot use "から".

Examples for giving, "I washed the car for her," or, "I did the laundry for him." Here are some examples in Japanese:

(わたし)はアパートの掃除(そうじ)をしてあげました。 // I cleaned the apartment (for him/her). (polite form)
(わたし)(ばん)(はん)(つく)ってあげた。 // I made dinner (for him or her). (plain form)

Examples for receiving, "The dentist examined my teeth for me," or "Mom cleaned up my room for me." Here are some examples:

医者(いしゃ)()てもらいました。 // The doctor examined me (for me). (polite form)
彼氏(かれし)(あたら)しい(くるま)()ってもらった! // My boyfriend bought a new car for me! (plain form)

Notes and references edit

  1. The verb "やる" is rather disrespectful and would only be used by boys joking with each other.
  2. In this case, 誕生日に、梓はお父さん"から"~ may be better because you can avoid "に、... に" form

See also edit