407 - ～てくれる
You may have caught on that we've been doing a kind of series of lessons for N5 and N4. So far we've had:
If you haven't already done so, please read those lessons listed above. In writing this lesson, I am going to assume that you understand the following, all of which is explained in those lessons:
💀 We use あげる when the giver is the speaker or someone psychologically close to the speaker.
💀 We use くれる when the giver is someone psychologically far from the recipient, and the recipient is the speaker or someone psychologically close to him/her.
💀 We use あげる for giving things, but we use ～てあげる for "giving actions."
💀 We use くれる for giving things, but we use ～てくれる for...
That's right, "giving actions!"
Specifically, we use ～てくれる when we want to express that an action was generous and/or is appreciated. An example:
そぼ が、 ずっと ほしかった スリーディーエス を かって くれました。
My grandma got me the 3DS that I’d been wanting for so long.
Literally: “grandma + が, + forever + wanted + (Nintendo) 3DS + を + buy (and) + gave (me).
If I, the speaker, just said "bought," 買いました (かいました), then it would not be clear that my grandma did this generous action for me. So, I say 買ってくれました (かってくれました), "bought me."
You may be thinking, Hold on. But a 3DS is a thing. Why not just say くれました and not use the verb 買う (かう // to buy)...?
Actually, we could say that:
そぼ が、 ずっと ほしかった スリーディーエス を くれました。
My grandma gave me the 3DS that I’d been wanting for so long.
Literally: “grandma + が, + forever + wanted + (Nintendo) 3DS + を + gave (me).
The only difference is the nuance. If we say 買ってくれました, then we know that she bought it as a gift.
This might also be true when we only say くれました... but it could also mean that she gave us her old 3DS that she didn't want anymore, for example.
Making these sentences is pretty easy if you know how to conjugate your verbs. Here are the "generous actions" that we'll see in this lesson:
買う（かう// to buy）
貸す（かす // to lend）
手伝う（てつだう // to help）
助ける（たすける // to help; to save）
教える（おしえる // to teach）
来る（くる // to come）
So we need to make those into te-form (note that 来る is irregular):
買って（かって // buy）
貸して（かして // lend）
手伝って（てつだって // help）
助けて（たすけて // help; save）
教えて（おしえて // teach）
来て（きて // come）
Finally, we attach くれる to them:
A note about particles.
Particles can be scary. As such, it makes sense that a lot of people mess up the particles for あげる and くれる sentences.
But really there is only one important thing to remember:
RECIPIENT + に
This makes sense if we look back on what we've seen in earlier lessons:
✨ 🐯 ✨
Formation for あげる：
A は B に C を あげる。
A gives C to B.
A is the giver. B is the recipient. C is the thing that is given.
It might help to look at it this way:
So if I want to say, "I give Robert a present," that would be:
わたし は ロバート に プレゼント を あげる。
I give Robert a present. // I give a present to Robert.
Literally: "I + は + Robert + に + present + を + give."
✨ 🐯 ✨
Formation for くれる：
A は B に C を くれる。
A gives C to B.
To make the same example:
ロバート は わたし に プレゼント を くれる。
Robert gives me a present.
Literally: "Robert + は + Me + に + present + を + give"
Keeping all of that in mind, note that it's is often unnecessary to include the recipient in the sentence. This is especially true for sentences using くれる, as the speaker is often the recipient. Since くれる can often make it clear that the speaker is the recipient, there is no reason to say "RECIPIENT + に."
That's why "RECIPIENT + に" is in none of the example sentences for this lesson. We always understand that the speaker is the recipient, thanks to ～てくれる.
しょうがくせい の むすこ たち は、 せっきょくてきに かじ を てつだって くれます。
My young sons eagerly help me with the housework.
Literally: “elementary school student + の + sons + は, + positively / proactively + housework + を + help (and) + give (me).”
わたし が やけん に おそわれた とき、 おっと は たすけて くれませんでした。
When I was attacked by the stray dog, my husband didn’t help me.
Literally: “I + が + stray/homeless dog + に + was attacked + time (=when), + husband + は + save/help (and) + did not give (me).”
しょくば に さいふ を わすれた。 よる、 どうりょう が いえ に とどけ に きて くれた。
I forgot my wallet at work. That night, one of my coworkers brought it to my house for me.
Literally: “workplace + に + wallet + を + forgot. + night, + coworker + が + house + に + deliver + に + come (and) + gave (me).
As we saw in the くれる lesson, when the person doing the generous act is someone of a high or respectable social standing, we can use the verb くださる：
リッキーせんせい が げんざいかんりょうけい の つかいかた を わかりやすく おしえて くださいました。
Ricky-sensei gave me an easy-to-understand explanation on how to use the present perfect tense.
Literally: “Ricky-sensei + が + present perfect form + の + way of using + を + easy-to-understand + teach (and) + gave (me).”
Note: If you plan to ever teach English in Japan, learning terms like 現在完了形 is highly recommended.
Remember how, above, I said that we often do not need to include "RECIPIENT + に," since it's obvious from the sentence?
Well we can also clarify who the recipient of an action is simply by using ～てくれる.
That probably sounds confusing. Take this sentence for example:
りささん が おかね を かしました。
Risa-san lent (someone) some money.
Literally: “Risa-san + が + money + を + lent.”
In this sentence, we do not know who Risa-san lent the money to. The sentence is accurate Japanese, but presumably there is some context that is explaining who the recipient of the money is. In any case, we know that the recipient was not the speaker, because the sentence does not use ～てくれる.
Compare with the following example:
りささん が おかね を かして くれました。
Risa-san lent me some money.
Literally: “Risa-san + が + money + を + lend (and) + gave (me).”
We know that I, the speaker, am the recipient because we have ～てくれる.
As you get better at Japanese, you'll get very good as using a myriad of tactics such as this one to effectively remove all kinds of subjects, objects, and particles from your sentences.
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