てあげる - Grammar Discussion

to do something for someone

Structure

  • Verb[] + あげる

View on Bunpro

1 Like

" 周りの人の話をよく きいてあげましょう"

Can you help explain this to me? The grammar is “to do something for someone” but this doesn’t make sense to me. It sounds like you are suggesting you give listening to somebody?

Edit: I looked at the sentence in the examples and there is some additional context " [ lend an ear to/for the people ]. I think this makes sense. It’s saying “to the story of the people around let’s do the favor of listening to them”. That’s the most literal translation I can think of. Make sense or am I way off?

2 Likes

Yes, that is the correct interpretation :+1:

You got it :+1:

2 Likes

Does anyone have any tips on how to differentiate this from other similar grammar such as なさい?

Is it that one is a command and the other is just a request?

2 Likes

Hey and welcome on community forums! :grin:

てあげる simply adds a nuance of someone (for example speaker) doing something for someone else.
なさい is polite imperative form, basically telling someone (ordering) to do something.

To sum up てあげる by itself doesn’t express an order. But it can imply that the action has been requested and is a favor.

You can use them together:
あんなかに教科書をかしてあげなさい。
Do a favor to Annaka and lend her the textbook!

あんなかに教科書を貸しなさい。
Lend the textbook to Annaka!

あんなかに教科書を貸してあげてください。
Please, do a favor to Annaka and lend her the textbook.

あんなかに教科書を貸してください。
Please, lend the textbook to Annaka.

Basically you can say those without あげる, it won’t change the meaning, but emphasize that the action is a favor.

2 Likes

Thank you for the really thorough and super quick reply!

2 Likes

This is another one I get it confused with unfortunately.
喋(しゃべ)らないで だまっていってくれます か。[黙(だま)って行(い)く]
Could you not talk, shut up and go ? [ for me ]

Is the hint for くれる to look for a favor that would be for the speaker?

2 Likes

Hey :grin:

The whole “shut up and go” part is the favor :smiley:

1 Like

I’m struggling with this particular sentence despite reading the various materials, and would really appreciate any insights.

このプレゼントをお父とうさんに わたしてあげて

In particular, I guess I struggle with ‘who’ is doing something for who.

eg. my initial thought was to use くれて because someone is giving you (=the speaker) the favor of giving the item to their dad?

But… based on the answer, I suspect that the てあげて・てこれて should be the actual subject of the sentence, rather than the speaker…? But since it’s not explicit in the example sentence, it’s not so obvious?

(Aさんは)このプレゼントをお父とうさんに わたしてあげて

As in, A is giving the present to his/her father and hence A-san is doing a favor (as opposed to the speaker of the sentence receiving a favor), resulting in てあげて?

3 Likes

I don’t think you can use くれて as a command like that. You could use くれ perhaps, but I don’t think that’s the same concept because it’s more like a rougher version of ください. (Well that’s my interpretation at least.)

If the present was already given, it could be くれた. This would specifically mean that someone else gave the present to (probably) your father since you can’t do the action of くれる.

Since the English translation uses “please” you know it has to be in て form, and since the action is giving the only thing left that makes sense is あげて. The て form pretty much removes the possibility that you are doing the giving.

4 Likes

@mickos @seanblue

Hey and sorry for the late answer :grin:

So basically, てあげる is used when:

  • Speaker does something to the listener
  • The listener does something for others
  • Speaker does something to others
  • Other person does something for another person

てあげる doesn’t change the meaning of the sentence, it simply points out that someone receives a benefit. (this can sound rude when you use this phrase while directly speaking to the beneficiary, for example, 言ってあげるよ - I am doing a favor of speaking to you - implying that the person in question is not worth it normally. Though this does not apply to てあげてください since we are not speaking directly to the beneficiary, right?

てあげてください is used when the speaker is asking the listener to perform a favor for the other person (third person). Usually used when both, the third person and listener are of lower status than the speaker or are in close/friendly relation with him/her.

In other words, the listener is doing the favor, his/her father (the third person) is receiving the favor (is the recipient, the beneficiary).

I think a good example would be a school, where the teacher asks his pupil to help another one.

じゅんくん、それをともちゃんに教えてあげてください。
Jun, please do a service to Tomo and teach her that.

I hope it helps!
Cheers,

2 Likes

But in this case, since it is given to your father, who is part of your inner circle, can’t くれる also not be used? I’m mostly using this image to determine what to use, is it wrong? Or am I incorrectly applying it here? (I assume here that person A is giving it to my father.)

1 Like

See my earlier response. I think it’s the て form that makes くれる wrong here.

2 Likes

@mrnoone

I am also confused about このプレゼントをお父とうさんに わたしてあげて. I would’ve expected it to combine あげる and くれる like it does in this sentence (used in the てくれない entry):

まつさに先生せんせい:「みしまさん、ちょっとにったさんを手伝てつだってあげてくれない?

Because you are doing the favour to me (くれる) of handing something over to your dad (あげる). If those verbs can be combined in the other example, why not in this sentence?

1 Like

Sure, it could be, but why does that mean it has to be? In this case it’s simply あげて(ください) instead.

1 Like

Could you explain why?

In “Please hand over this present to your dad.” aren’t I asking for a favour to be done to me? The favour of doing someone else a favour, as it were? So why would このプレゼントをお父とうさんに わたしてあげてくれて be an incorrect way of asking?

1 Like

I guess? There can be more than one way to say basically the same thing. But “please” in English is more often translated to て form, with an implicit or explicit ください. てくれる・てくれない would more often be translated as “won’t you” I think. It’s about what nuance you want. Do you want to tell someone to do something (politely) or do you want to ask them to do something? In this case the translation using “please” tells you that they want the nuance from て form.

Well this would be incorrect. You can’t use くれて ever I think (though someone with more experience should confirm). You’d have to either use くれない as you first proposed, or くれ. But くれ is command form, so you probably don’t want to use it outside of a group of close friends.

2 Likes

The answer it looks for in that sentence is わたしてあげて. The て-form is mentioned in this list. I misinterpreted it at first, thinking you’d use the て-form of くれる in addition to the て-form of the favour-verb. But now I realise the least polite way of asking for a favour is to use 〜てくれる and then leave out the くれる-part entirely!

Still makes me wonder why any of the more polite options are not recognised as alternatives? @mrnoone

2 Likes

@seanblue @nienque @Pep95
More alternative answers has been added to those examples, to be honest I am wondering if てあげてください doesn’t deserve grammar point on its own.

4 Likes

In the sentence
周りの人の話をよく聞いてあげましょう。
I’m trying to figure out the purpose of よく. Is it intended to mean ‘often’, as Wiktionary suggests it can be used?

Thanks,
Cris

1 Like