てあげる Japanese Grammar Lesson
Grammar Type: Auxiliary Verb (Group 2)
Essential Meaning: To do X as a favor
- Verb て form + あげる
- E.g. 作ってあげる [To make X for Y]
- E.g. 話してあげる [To speak as a favor to Y]
- With てあげる, the speaker performs an action as a favor to someone else (e.g. “I do X for Chris“). てあげる is used only with transitive verbs (i.e. verbs that take direct objects). When describing a situation in which the speaker performs a transitive action as a favor to someone else, ために is used instead of てあげる.
- E.g. 僕はゆきにおにぎりを買ってあげた。[I bought onigiri for Yuki.] The verb 買う [To buy] is transitive and is thus paired with てあげる in this case.
- E.g. 私はジョンのために働いた。[I worked for Jon’s sake.] The verb 働く [To work] is intransitive and is thus paired with ために in this case.
- The humble form of てあげる is てさしあげる, and the casual form is てやる。
- Be careful not to confuse てあげる with the similar auxiliary verbs てくれる and てもらう. The appropriate verb choice depends on whether the speaker is the giver or receiver of the favor as well as whether the speaker is presented as the subject or as the indirect object.
- E.g. てあげる: 僕はゆきにおにぎりを買ってあげた。[I bought onigiri for Yuki.] Because the speaker is the subject and the giver of the favor, てあげる is appropriate.
- E.g. てもらう: 僕はゆきにおにぎりを買ってもらった。[I received onigiri from Yuki.] Because the speaker is the subject and the receiver of the favor, てもらう is appropriate.
- E.g. てくれる: ゆきは僕におにぎりを買ってくれた。[Yuki bought me onigiri.] Because the speaker is the indirect object and the receiver of the favor, てくれる is appropriate.
僕はゆきにおにぎりを買ってあげた。 [I bought onigiri for Yuki.]
私は黒木さんに晩ご飯を作ってさしあげました。[I cooked dinner for Mr. Kurogi.]
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