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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody! [Hiroko] here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common [Japanese] questions.
The question for this lesson is...Why can’t you say 私は、息子に自転車を買ってくれた( Watashi wa, musuko ni jitensha o katte kureta.)? to mean “I bought my son a bicycle?”
The meaning of くれる (kureru) has the image of something being lowered down to be given to someone. Therefore, くれる (kureru) is used when someone is giving me, or a close person to me, something, and you want to show appreciation to them. So, the subject of the verb くれる (kureru) cannot be 私 (watashi).
So, in this case, you can’t say 私は、息子に自転車を買ってくれた (Watashi wa, musuko ni jitensha o katte kureta.), instead, you need to say, 私は、息子に自転車を買ってあげた. (Watashi wa, musuko ni jitensha o katte ageta.)
Let’s go through some examples so you can learn how to use くれる (kureru) correctly.
A basic example is,
友人が私に誕生日プレゼントをくれました。(Yūjin ga watashi ni tanjōbi purezento o kuremashita.)
meaning “My friend gave me a birthday present.” You useくれる (kureru) because your friend is the giver, and わたし (watashi) is the receiver. So, it’s natural to humbly use くれる (kureru) and show your appreciation to the giver..
Next is...
友人が(私の)弟に誕生日プレゼントをくれました。(Yūjin ga (watashi no) otōto ni tanjōbi purezento o kuremashita.)
meaning “My friend gave a birthday present to my brother.” In this case, your friend is the one who gave the present to your brother. Since the giver is not a family member, and your brother is a family member, it is appropriate to humbly use くれる (kureru) and show your appreciation to the giver.
The last example is,
父が(私の)息子に誕生日プレゼントをくれました。(Chichi ga (watashi no) musuko ni tanjōbi purezento o kuremashita.)
meaning “My father gave a birthday present to my son.” In this case, both the giver and the receiver are your family members. But you can use くれる (kureru) to show your appreciate to your father as the giver from the same point of view as your son, because you feel your son is closer than your father.
Both the giver and the receiver can be your family members in sentences using くれる (kureru), but please note that the giver or the subject of the sentence using くれる (kureru) can never be わたし (watashi).
How was this lesson? Pretty interesting, right?
Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them!
またね![mata ne!] See you!

8 Comments

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JapanesePod101.com Verified
August 16th, 2016 at 06:30 PM
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What Japanese learning question do you have?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
April 24th, 2018 at 10:19 AM
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Hi Rosean,


Thank you for the comments! Your Japanese sentence is good. One small detail to be careful.

友達 means 'friends' while 友人 means 'a friend.' So if your son buy a gift to your friend (one friend), it should be:

息子は私の友人にプレセントを買ってあげました。


Keep up the good work!


Miki H

Team JapanesePod101.com

Rosean
March 31st, 2018 at 08:46 AM
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What if I want to say..

My son bought my friend a gift?

Is this correct: 息子は私の友達にプレセントを買ってあげました。

Rosean
March 31st, 2018 at 08:45 AM
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What if I want to say..


My son buy my friend a gift?


Is this correct: 息子は私の友達にプレセントを買ったあげました。

JapanesePod101.com Verified
September 27th, 2016 at 03:14 PM
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Alain-san,

konnichiwa!

Glad I could help! :innocent:


Natsuko (奈津子),

Team JapanesePod101.com

Alain
September 16th, 2016 at 08:47 PM
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Natsukosan,

Thank you for your answer.

I have forgotten いちども~ない.


Yes, I should have ask for "I have never done that" instead od "I never did that", but in my langage (French) there is no difference beetween both phrases. すみません.

Alain

JapanesePod101.com Verified
September 9th, 2016 at 05:28 PM
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Alain-san,

konnichiwa!

First of all, I'm very sorry that no one has replied to you until now:disappointed:


The verbs like 'do' and 'make' can be translated into several different Japanese words

depending on the meanings and/or sense in certain context.

So, unfortunately it's difficult to give you straight answers to your question.


With that said, please know that まだ means 'still' or '(not) yet', and ぜんぜん

denies something completely and utterly, so these two usually don't got together in the

same sentence, side by side.


Also, there are some other expressions to say 'never' and いちども~ない

(not even once) is one of them. I think, when we say 'I never did that' kind of

sentence we might use more often other expressions than ぜんぜん

or simply make it sound close to 'I have never done that'.


If you could give us the situations/context where you want to use those sentences,

maybe we can help you better. :innocent:


Natsuko (奈津子),

Team JapanesePod101.com

Alain
August 27th, 2016 at 11:26 PM
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Hirokosan


Thank you for those interesting lessons.


What Japanese learning question do I have?

A lot, but perhaps the first is: how to say "I never do that or I never did that" in japanese.

I use "ぜんぜん食べません zenzen tabemasen" or "まだぜんぜん行きませんでした mada zenzen ikimasen deshita", but I think it's not the best I could say..


Alain