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てあげる

てあげる

てあげる Japanese Grammar Lesson

Grammar Type: Auxiliary Verb (Group 2)

Essential Meaning: To do X as a favor

Construction: 

  • Verb て form + あげる
    • E.g. つくってあげる [To make X for Y]
    • E.g. はなしてあげる [To speak as a favor to Y]

Notes:

  • 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. ぼくはゆきにおにぎりをってあげた。[I bought onigiri for Yuki.] The verb う [To buy] is transitive and is thus paired with てあげる in this case.
    • E.g. わたしはジョンのためにはたらいた。[I worked for Jon’s sake.] The verb はたらく [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: ぼくはゆきにおにぎりをってあげた。[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: ぼくはゆきにおにぎりをってもらった。[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: ゆきはぼくにおにぎりをってくれた。[Yuki bought me onigiri.] Because the speaker is the indirect object and the receiver of the favor, てくれる is appropriate.

Example Sentences:

わたしはゆきにおにぎりをってあげた。 [I bought onigiri for Yuki.]

わたし黒木くろぎさんにばんはんつくってさしあげました。[I cooked dinner for Mr. Kurogi.]

WILD Examples:

This is a very popular Japanese karaoke song called プレゼント [Present]. The chorus ends with this line: さようならしてあげる [I’m doing you the favor of leaving you.] Throughout the song, the singer lists various presents that her boyfriend gave to her before she discovered that he had been cheating. The singer then sarcastically returns the favor by doing him the favor of leaving him.
At 1:22, listen for this line: Always, そばにいてあげる [I’ll always do you the favor of being by your side]

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