Why is てくれますか used when it's obviously a request?

Hello!I am very confused with understanding of giving verbs, especially with てくれる and てもらう.

It is said, that てもらう is used when you are making a request someone and てくれる when someone has done something good(or bad) for you: gave a gift, helped with smth and ect.

  • So why does the grammar sentence like この漢字の意味を おしえてくれます か ( Would you teach me the meaning of this kanji? [ for me ]) is used with くれる?It is obviously a request and it’s already driving me mad!The same problem was with the sentence like: Since there would be guests soon, could you make me a coffee?.
    Why can’t we use てもらう?What do I miss?

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Hey :blush:

Both can be freely used to make requests. Below is the list of common expressions used in requests, sorted by politeness level from least to the most polite. (in question intonation)

て(just て form, used by men and women)/てくれ(mostly used by men)

When it comes to てもらう and てくれる in statements, both imply that the speaker benefited in some way from the action, the first one often implies that something has been done due to it being requested earlier, why the other one doesn’t have that implication.

Mechanic repaired car for me. | I had my car repaired by mechanic.
Often implied: (The mechanic repaired my car because I have requested it.)

Mom bought me a car.
Often implied: (Mom bought me the car because I have requested it.)

Mom bought me a car.
Implied: (“Mom bought me the car out of her goodwill, I didn’t request it before.” or “it doesn’t matter if I requested it or not, my mom bought me a car.”)

But it is not always the case and てもらう can be also used when someone did something out of goodwill without being requested, and てくれる can be used when something has been requested. Though it is not usually that way.

is also good.

I hope it is understandable,
Cheers :+1:


Ok, so implying isn’t always the same with this grammar, but then how do I differientiate 2 with each other?You say the tekureru may be used to requests and temorau may now always imply that it was asked beforehand.Obviosly,I stumbled across the grammar that fall in that problem.But I don’t have native’s instictive understanding, so whatt should I do?

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First of all, don’t worry about it too much and use both. Try to observe how Japanese natives use them in light novels, manga, anime, drama, real-life conversations and imitate them. Don’t be afraid of errors, especially with those two expressions.

Your starting point is:

  • both are used in requests
  • if there is no context, in statements, assume that てもらう implies that speaker requested something before, and with てくれる that he didn’t or it doesn’t matter.
  • in most cases that nuance is not very important, what is the real focus is that the speaker received some kind of benefit from someone else

Advice about expressions used in requests:

  • use てください when speaking to people of similar age, similar social status
  • use ていただけませんか when speaking to people older and higher status
  • use て・てくれ・てくれる, etc when speaking to close people, like your friends

I hope it helps!
Cheers :+1:

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