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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... How do I use もらう (morau) and くれる (kureru) correctly when someone gives me something?
The meaning of もらう (morau) is “receiving something from someone,” and the meaning of くれる (kureru) is “someone giving something to someone.”
Let’s use these two sentences as examples--
First, わたしは友達に夕食を作ってもらう。 (Watashi wa tomodachi ni yūshoku o tsukutte morau.)
And second,
友達がわたしに夕食を作ってくれる。(Tomodachi ga watashi ni yūshoku o tsukutte kureru.)
Both mean, “My friend will cook dinner for me.” So how can you tell the difference?
In the first sentence, using もらう (morau), the action is focused on “I” receiving my friend’s cooking. In the second sentence, using くれる (kureru), the action is focused on the act of my friend cooking for me, and my appreciation for her cooking. Therefore, in a sentence using もらう (morau), the subject should be the speaker, and with くれる (kureru) the subject should be the giver.
Let’s go through a few more examples so you can learn how to use もらう (morau) and くれる(kureru) correctly.
Firstly, 娘が夕食を作ってくれる。(Musume ga yūshoku o tsukutte kureru.)
This means “My daughter will cook dinner for me/us.” In this situation, the giver is 娘(musume) which is the subject of くれる(kureru) and the receiver is the speaker and uses くれる(kureru) to humbly show his or her appreciation for the meal.
Next, 娘に夕食を作ってもらう。(Musume ni yūshoku o tsukutte morau.)
This means “I will have my daughter cook dinner for me.” In this situation, “I,” the receiver, is the subject of the sentence. This sentence can be literally translated as “I received the beneficial action of my daughter’s cooking dinner.” That means the speaker is appreciating the daughter cooking dinner for the speaker.
If you really want to show appreciation for someone, using くれる (kureru) is your best bet. It highlights the appreciation of the doer’s actions while もらう(morau) highlights the receiving of those actions.
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!