400 - ~てあげる

In the previous (N5) lesson, we saw how to use あげる.

I highly recommend looking at that lesson again, since in this one we're essentially looking at the same thing.

JLPT N4: ~てあげる (give; do ~ for, be kind and ~)

Remember that あげる means "to give" when the giver is either the speaker or a person in the speaker's "in-group."

The あげる that we saw in the N5 lesson, though, was only for giving objects. That is, it is used for giving NOUNS.

But what if we want to give someone a kind action of some sort? Well, in that case, we can just attach あげる to a verb in the te-form.

V てあげる
do V for
be kind and V

In this lesson, we will use these verbs (including "NOUN + する" verbs):

手伝う(てつだう // to help
修理する(しゅうりする // to repair; to fix
貸す(かす // to lend
案内する(あんないする // to show around; to guide
なでる(なでる // to pet; to stroke
褒める(ほめる // to praise; to compliment
おごる(おこる // to treat [to a meal]
乗せる(のせる // to take someone on board [a vehicle]; to pick up

So all we have to do is put these into te-form:

手伝って(てつだって
修理して(しゅうりして
貸して(かして
案内して(あんないして
なでて(なでて
褒めて(ほめて
おごって(おごって
乗せて(のせて

Finally, we'll attach あげる:

手伝ってあげる
修理してあげる
貸してあげる
案内してあげる
なでてあげる
褒めてあげる
おごってあげる
乗せてあげる

(Forgetting the kanji readings or meanings of these words? Then maybe you should take a closer look at the lists above--that's how we learn.)

Usually when translating, we don't need to explicitly point out that someone is "giving" something.

For example, you won't see the word "give" in our translation of this sentence:

わたしは昨日、舞ちゃんの宿題を手伝ってあげました
わたし は きのう、 まいちゃん の しゅくだい を てつだって あげました。
Yesterday, I helped Mai-chan with her homework.
Literally: "I + は + yesterday, + Mai-chan + の + homework + を + helped (and) + gave."


As we saw in the last lesson, あげる is only used to describe the actions of (A) the speaker or (B) someone psychologically closer to the speaker than the person receiving the action.

In other words, the following sentence is INCORRECT:

× 矢野さんはわたしの父に食事をおごってあげました
× やのさん は わたし の ちち に しょくじ を おごって あげました。
Yano-san treated my my father (to food).
Literally: "Yano-san + は + I + の + father + に + food + を + treated (and) + gave."

For these, we would need to use くれる, not あげる, which we'll look at in another lesson:

矢野さんはわたしの父に食事をおごってくれました
やのさん は わたし の ちち に しょくじ を おごって くれました。
Yano-san treated my my father (to food).
Literally: "Yano-san + は + I + の + father + に + food + を + treated (and) + gave."


Here's another example:

先月わたしの叔父は、近所の人の車を修理してあげたそうです。
せんげつ わたし の おじ は、 きんじょ の ひと の くるま を しゅうり して あげた そうです。
Apparently [I heard that] last month my uncle fixed his neighbor's car.
Literally: "last month + I + の + uncle + は, + neighborhood + の + person + の + car + を + repairing + did (and) + gave + そうです [=hearsay marker]."


As mentioned in the previous lesson, when giving to a "social superior," we can use the humble 差し上げる (さしあげる) instead of あげる:

内海先生がとても寒そうだったので、ひざかけを貸してさしあげました
うつみ せんせい が とても さむそう だった ので、 ひざかけ を かして さしあげました。
Utsumi-sensei looked very cold, so I lent her my blanket.
Literally: "Utsumi-sensei + が + very + looks cold + was + ので (=because), + lap blanket [=knee blanket] + を + lent (and) + gave."


私たちがサントスさんに大阪を案内してさしあげましょうよ。
わたしたち が サントスさん に おおさか を あんない して さしあげましょう よ。
Let's show Santos-san around Osaka.
Literally: "we + が + Santos-san + に + Osaka + を + showing around + do (and) + let's (humbly) give + よ."


And remember that we can use やる when talking about giving to animals:

わたしは愛犬をしょっちゅうなでてやります
わたし は あいけん を しょっちゅう なでて やります。
I'm always petting my beloved dog.
Literally: "I + は + (beloved) pet dog + を + always + pet (and) + give."


Or we can use やる when telling a person how we performed a generous act for one of our own family members:

A:
大悟さんはお子さんをよく褒めてあげますか。
だいごさん は おこさん を よく ほめて あげますか。
Do you praise [compliment] your son [daughter] often?
Literally: "Daigo-san + は + child-san + を + often + praise (and) + give + か."
Note: "You" = "Daigo-san."

B:
もちろん。毎日たくさん褒めてやりますよ。
もちろん。 まいにち たくさん ほめて やります よ。
Of course. I praise him [her] a lot every day.
Literally: "of course. + every day + a lot + praise (and) + give + よ."


A word of caution.

This grammar form is extremely common.

However, you should be careful about saying ~てあげる for actions that the recipient might not perceive as a generous act. Otherwise you could sound very rude.

For example, don't say this to your girlfriend:

今夜会いに行ってあげるよ。
こんや あいにいって あげる よ。
I'll come see you tonight.
Literally: "tonight + meet + に + go (and) + give + よ."
Note: What the speaker's actually saying is something like, "I'll give you the gift of going to see you tonight..." which, yeah, is rude. And will get him in trouble quite fast.

But don't be so scared of being rude that you don't use this grammar point at all. It is absolutely necessary that you master this one.




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