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もらう / いただく

もらう / いただく

もらう / いただく Japanese Grammar Lesson

Grammar Type: Verb (Group 1)

Essential Meaning: Receive / Be given

Construction: Group 1 Verb

Notes:

  • もらう is used to describe an act of receiving in which the speaker (or someone psychologically close to the speaker) is the subject. Be careful not to confuse もらう with あげる or くれる, which describe acts of giving rather than receiving.
    • E.g. *山本やまもとさんはわたしにおさけをもらった。[Mr. Yamamoto received sake from me.] This sentence is ungrammatical due to a viewpoint conflict. もらう requires the viewpoint of the speaker as the receiver, but the speaker in this example is the giver.
  • In a third person situation that uses もらう, the speaker clearly empathizes with the receiver rather than with the giver.
    • E.g. 山川やまかわさんは橋本はしもとさんにウイスキーをもらった。[Mr. Yamakawa got whiskey from Mr. Hashimoto.] In this case, the speaker clearly empathizes with Mr Yamawaka.
  • The polite version of もらう is いただく.
    • E.g. わたし先生せんせいほんをいただいた[I received a book from my teacher.]
    • E.g. (Before eating) いただきます![I humbly receive this meal.]
  • With もらう the giver can be marked by から as well as by . から is more appropriate when the giver is non-human (e.g. an organization or a group). The reason is that implies direct, personal contact, whereas から simply indicates a source.
    • E.g. わたし山本やまもとさんからほんをもらった。[I received a book from Mr. Yamamoto.]
    • E.g. わたし日本にほん政府せいふからおかねをもらった。[I received money from the Japanese government.]
    • E.g. *わたし日本にほん政府せいふにおかねをもらった。[I received money from the Japanese government.] Because the Japanese government is an institution rather than a person, から is more appropriate than に.
  • With もらう, first person subjects in declarative sentences and second person subjects in interrogative sentences can be omitted.
    • E.g. First person subject in a declarative sentence: 山本やまもとさんにほんをもらった。[I received a book from Mr. Yamamoto.] In this case, the first person subject and its particle (i.e. わたしは) are omitted.
    • E.g. Second person subject in an interrogative sentence: モリスさんになにをもらったの。[What did you get from Mr. Morris?] In this case, the second person subject and its particle (i.e. あなたは) are omitted.

Example Sentences:

山川やまかわさんは橋本はしもとさんにウイスキーをもらった。[Mr. Yamakawa got whiskey from Mr. Hashimoto.]

あなたはモリスさんになにをもらったの。[What did you get from Mr. Morris?]

WILD Examples:

This song begins as follows: まえよめもらうまえっておきたいことがある [Before I receive you as my way, there’s something I want to say]

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