Grammar Info
N5 Lesson 10: 8/12

To give (away), To present, To provide

For both あげる and くれる, に marks the recipient

Giver(*)(1) + Recipient(*) + Object(*)あげる

Recipient(*) + Giver(*)(1) + Object(*)あげる

Giver(*)(1) + Object(*) + Recipient(*)あげる

(*) Giver
Recipent and Object are Nouns
Giver(*)(1) + Recipient(*) + Object(*)あげます

Recipient(*) + Giver(*)(1) + Object(*)あげます

Giver(*)(1) + Object(*) + Recipient(*)あげます

(*) Giver
Recipent and Object are Nouns
Part of Speech Verb
Word Type Independent Word
Register Standard
品詞 動詞
単語の種類 自立語
使用域 一般
あげる is a verb with many uses in Japanese. It’s original meaning is ‘to raise’, but is also used as a polite 丁寧語(ていねいご) way of saying ‘to give’. In this way it can be thought of as similar to ‘to offer up’ in English. As teineigo (polite speech) has the same basic subject and object rules as standard speech, the giver will be marked with or , while the recipient will be marked with . As usual, the ‘object’ that is being given will be marked with .
  • トムタカプレゼントあげる
    Tom will give Taka a present.
  • タカトムプレゼントあげる
    Tom will give Taka a present.
  • トムプレゼントタカあげる
    Tom will give Taka a present.
From these three examples, we can see that the order of ‘giver’, ‘recipient’, and ‘object’ does not matter, so long as the correct particles are used.
あげる should not be used when giving something to someone of a higher status, or when lowering oneself to elevate another. This is done through 尊敬語(そんけいご), or 謙譲語(けんじょうご), and will use different verbs.
Fun Fact
Although あげる is considered polite speech, it is the most natural way of saying ‘to give’. やる is the ‘casual’ equivalent of あげる, but due to やる sounding a little bit rough, あげる became the standard.
  • このペンお前(まえ)やる
    I will give you this pen. (This pen is all yours)
  • このペンお前(まえ)あげる
    I will give you this pen.
Slow Male
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I will give you that umbrella.
I gave my little brother a drink.
I will give you a key to a treasure chest.
Genki II 2nd Edition
Page 56
みんなの日本語 I
Page 50 [CH 7]
[DBJG] A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
Page 63
Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Guide
Page 170