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Japanese Grammar Guide

Japanese Grammar Guide

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Published by Tiana Mampionona
This guide is an attempt to systematically build up the grammatical structures that make up
the Japanese language in a way that makes sense in Japanese. It may not be a practical tool
for quickly learning immediately useful Japanese phrases (for example, common phrases for
travel). However, it will logically create grammatical building blocks that will result in a solid
grammatical foundation.
This guide is an attempt to systematically build up the grammatical structures that make up
the Japanese language in a way that makes sense in Japanese. It may not be a practical tool
for quickly learning immediately useful Japanese phrases (for example, common phrases for
travel). However, it will logically create grammatical building blocks that will result in a solid
grammatical foundation.

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Published by: Tiana Mampionona on Aug 19, 2010
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03/13/2013

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Vocabulary

1. くれる(ru-verb) - to give

2. 友達【とも・だち】- friend

3. 私【わたし】- me; myself; I

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4.14. GIVING AND RECEIVING

CHAPTER 4. ESSENTIAL GRAMMAR

4. プレゼント- present

5. これ- this

6. 先⽣【せん・せい】- teacher

7. ⾞【くるま】- car

8. 買う【か・う】(u-verb) - to buy

9. 代わり【か・わり】- substitute

10. ⾏く【い・く】(u-verb) - to go

11. 学⽣【がく・せい】- student

12. ⽗【ちち】- father

13. いい(i-adj) - good

14. こと- event, matter

15. 教える【おし・える】(ru-verb) - to teach; to inform

16. あげる(ru-verb) - to give; to raise

17. 全部【ぜん・ぶ】- everything

18. ⾷べる【た・べる】(ru-verb) - to eat

「くれる」is also a verb meaning "to give" but unlike「あげる」, it is from the receiver's point of view.
You must use this verb when someone else is giving something or doing something for you (effectively
the opposite of「あげる」).

Examples

1. 友達が私にプレゼントをくれた。
Friend gave present to me.

2. これは、先⽣がくれた。
Teacher gave this to me.

3. ⾞を買ってくれるの?
You'll give me the favor of buying a car for me?

4. 代わりに⾏ってくれる?
Will you give me the favor of going in my place?

Similarly, when used in the third-person, the speaker is speaking from the receiver's point of view and
not the giver.

1. 先⽣がこれを学⽣にくれる。
The teacher give this to student. (looking at it from the student's point of view)

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CHAPTER 4. ESSENTIAL GRAMMAR

4.14. GIVING AND RECEIVING

2. 友達が⽗にいいことを教えてくれた。
Friend gave favor of teaching something good to my dad. (looking at it from the dad's point of view)

The following diagram illustrates the direction of giving from the point of view of the speaker.

From the speaker's point of view, all the giving done to others "go up" to everybody else while the giving
done by everybody else "goes down" to the speaker. This is probably related to the fact that there is an
identical verb 「上げる」 meaning "to raise" that contains the character for "above" (上) and that the
honorific version of「くれる」is「下さる」with the character for down (下). This restriction allows us
to make certain deductions from vague sentences like the following:

• 先⽣が教えてあげるんですか。
Teacher, will you be the one to give favor of teaching to... [anybody other than the speaker]?

Because all giving done to the speaker must always use「くれる」, we know that the teacher must be
doing it for someone else and not the speaker. The speaker is also looking at it from the teacher's point
of view as doing a favor for someone else.

• 先⽣が教えてくれるんですか。
Teacher, will you be the one to give favor of teaching to... [anybody including the speaker]?

Because the giver is not the speaker, the teacher is either giving to the speaker or anyone else. The
speaker is viewing it from the receiver's point of view as receiving a favor done by the teacher.

Let's see some mistakes to watch out for.

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4.14. GIVING AND RECEIVING

CHAPTER 4. ESSENTIAL GRAMMAR

• 私が全部⾷べてくれました。
「くれる」is being used as giving done by the speaker. (Wrong)
• 私が全部⾷べてあげました。
I gave favor of eating it all. (Correct)

• 友達がプレゼントを私にあげた。
「あげる」is being used as giving to the speaker. (Wrong)
• 友達がプレゼントを私にくれた。- Friend gave present to me. (Correct)

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